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.
C: Elements. Jay Caspian Kang traces one of my favorite stories of NBA fashion development — how Allen Iverson made shooting sleeves the thing to wear, even if you didn't need one.
PF: Mavs Moneyball. Kirk Henderson reflects on the 2013-14 Dallas Mavericks, on the ways in which fandom changes, and on the importance of appreciating good things while you have them. This is fantastic.
SG: Sports on Earth. Tomas Rios on Scott Brooks as a man in the right place at the right time with the right crew and the wrong stuff to maximize it: "Watching any Thunder game is just a fresh chance to realize that Brooks' coaching philosophy is best summed up as 'I have Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka, come do something about it.'"
PG: The Nation. Dave Zirin looks at the "slippery slope" argument against forcing Donald Sterling out of an ownership position, takes a good look around at some of the other owners in professional sports, and comes to a slightly different conclusion than Mark Cuban might: "Maybe, this slope should be greased up and we should not be afraid to get behind the once untouchable owners in professional sports and give a little push."
6th: Triangle Offense. Russ Bengtson on the age- and classification-defying San Antonio Spurs, still putting boots to opponents' throats all these years later and still getting derided for doing so: "Yeah, being over .500 for 17 straight seasons can be SUCH a drag. Then again, any miracle can get mundane if it happens enough. Just ask a sunrise."
7th: FiveThirtyEight. Friend of the program Ian Levy on one major difference in how San Antonio defended the Portland Trail Blazers during their blowout Game 1 victory as compared to the way the Houston Rockets did during their six-game first-round loss to Portland: "According to NBA.com’s SportVU Player Tracking Box Scores, 76 percent of the Trail Blazers’ shot attempts in Game 1 were contested."
8th: The Oregonian. As Blazers forward Nicolas Batum told Jason Quick, the anecdotal experience backed up 538's stats: "The way they guarded me … it was way different than what I faced in the first six games against Houston. I had no freedom. I couldn’t do anything.’’
10th: Polygon. So that "Shaq Fu" sequel/reboot/whatever is happening, because people were willing to chip in more than $450,000 to ensure that exorbitantly rich human Shaquille O'Neal could have another new video game with him in it. Neat!
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- Sports & Recreation