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Ball Don't Lie

The 12-man rotation, starring the 25th anniversary of Larry, ‘Nique and ‘The Duel’

A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out.

Also, that's not a typo — we're going two deeper today.

C: Hawks.com. "Twenty-five years ago on May 22, 1988, two Hall of Famers staged what is widely considered to be the greatest one-on-one battle in NBA Playoff history." In celebration of that momentous mano-y-mano showdown, Micah Hart goes in-depth and all-out with an oral history that features recollections of the battle as remembered by combatants Larry Bird and Dominique Wilkins, their teammates, the people who covered it and more. Very good, very fun, very well done.

PF: Sports Illustrated. Lee Jenkins spent a week with the Memphis Grizzlies during the second round of this year's playoffs for a story that, among other things, introduced us to Buckets, Quincy Pondexter's Husky puppy. It offers a pretty interesting perspective at what the day-to-day operation of a playoff team looks like, and is well worth your time.

SF: Pro Hoops History. Before he was the definition of a ref-hating homer who makes Boston Celtics broadcasts either must-see TV or borderline-unwatchable, depending on your rooting interest, Tommy Heinsohn was a dynamic scorer and inveterate gunner who attempted nearly as many shots per minute as Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor. Curtis Harris takes a closer look at the playing career of the Celtics legend, one of the newest enshrinees in Harris' self-styled Hall of Fame.

SG: TrueHoop. Kevin Arnovitz bids farewell to ousted Los Angeles Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro, "the happy warrior" who was likable enough to get along but too much of a "schematic lightweight" to get the Clippers where they need to go.

PG: 20 Second Timeout. As David Friedman sees it, Lionel Hollins' decision to roll with a lineup that didn't include Tayshaun Prince, Ed Davis or Austin Daye to spark a Memphis comeback in Game 2 "reveals what he thinks of the Rudy Gay trade." Is the Grizzlies coach still sore about his "beer budget?"

6th: Brian Spaeth. Upon learning that his Cleveland Cavaliers had won the top pick in the 2013 NBA draft, author/filmmaker/podcaster/NBA-blogging trailblazer Spaeth decided to "watch as much footage as possible" to figure out who they should take No. 1 overall. He made it through 11 seconds of three separate videos.

7th: SB Nation. Paul Flannery takes a look at this year's NBA final four — one superteam, three small-market squads built according to different blueprints — and tries to figure out what lessons we can learn about roster management, player development and salary shuffling from the areas where they've succeeded and others have failed.

8th: SLAM. An awesome read from Tzvi Twersky on New Orleans Pelicans point guard Greivis Vasquez, whose upbringing in Venezuela made him uniquely suited to dealing with playing in hostile environments: “Why wasn’t I afraid in college? I’ve seen m*******s getting killed, people stealing stuff back home. That’s tough. Seeing that, it ain’t nothing playing at Duke.”

9th: Joe Posnanski. With the process of moving from Bobcats to Hornets now officially underway, Posnanski recalls why the Charlotte Hornets were A Big Deal, at least for a while, in their first go-round: "The Hornets made some of us feel like we lived someplace that mattered."

10th: HoopSpeak. Want to watch 15 minutes of the San Antonio Spurs' offensive sets to show the myriad options, counters and actions in their playbook? Iona College assistant coach Zak Boisvert has just the video for you.

11th: Extra Mustard. An interesting read on the background of Vivek Ranadivé, the leader of the Sacramento Kings' new ownership group, whose career has largely been built on getting and processing data quickly and effectively: "A little bit of the right information, just a little bit beforehand — whether it is a couple of seconds, minutes, or hours — is more valuable than all of the information in the world six months later."

12th: Working the Corners. "Ball don't lie" just got referenced in an NHL playoffs story — "It’s an old basketball term" — and it wasn't an accident or a mistake. We did it, 'Sheed. We did it.

Got a link or tip for Ball Don't Lie? Give me a shout at devine (at) yahoo-inc.com, or follow me on Twitter.

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