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.
(NOTE: It's been a bit since I've had the chance to put one of these together, thanks to the playoffs, so I'll be using a few late passes here on pieces I really enjoyed.)
C: The Los Angeles Times' Economy Hub. Many of us just want Donald Sterling to go away, and there are very legitimate reasons for that, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't find something compelling in Michael Hiltzik's hope that Sterling makes the NBA's attempt to terminate his ownership and force him to sell the Los Angeles Clippers painful and protracted: "It can only be healthy to be reminded that the professions of progressivism and equality mouthed by sports leagues are typically commercial window dressing. That may be the only healthy aspect of a long fight over the Clippers ownership."
PF: The Washington Post. A fantastic feature by Michael Lee on Washington Wizards small forward Trevor Ariza, who has overcome more than most of us knew to get where he is today, and who is playing perhaps the best ball his career at exactly the right time for Randy Wittman's club.
SF: 8 Points, 9 Seconds. Ariza got going in the Wizards' Game 1 win over the Indiana Pacers, going a perfect 6-for-6 from 3-point range, and he was able to get off in large part to Paul George "losing sight of the team principles and not maintaining the discipline to stay home" on defense, according to Jared Wade.
SG: Bullets Forever. Really good stuff from Umair Khan on Bradley Beal showing during Washington's Game 1 win how far he's come before even hitting age 21.
PG: Ultimate Rockets. After another disappointing first-round exit, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey talks with Jonathan Feigen about the futures of head coach Kevin McHale and small forward Chandler Parsons, what the Rockets need to add to be able "to win four tough series," and more.
7th: Grantland. Jonathan Abrams' profiles are typically quite good, but what got to me here wasn't his writing and reporting about Jermaine O'Neal's life as a basketball player; it was the way he captured O'Neal talking about his daughter. (Wonder why.)
8th: The Atlantic. Ta-Nehisi Coates on Donald Sterling, Cliven Bundy and identifying/doing things about the harder stuff that matters more than soundbytes: "Housing segregation is the weapon that mortally injures, but does not bruise."
9th: USA TODAY Sports. A smart, nuanced, well-reported read from Sam Amick on the role of religion in NBA locker rooms, as viewed through the prism of the Los Angeles Clippers-Golden State Warriors series and the differing perspectives of Doc Rivers and the just-ousted Mark Jackson.
10th: SB Nation. Paul Flannery gets personal on the Nets-Heat series, the KG-Truth-Ray-era Boston Celtics and "a culmination of a lifetime lived through basketball."
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