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: Daily Thunder. A great read from Royce Young on how the Oklahoma City Thunder's season now rests on whether Kevin Durant — a pressing, scuffling world-breaker-turned-late-game-decoy — can come up with a Game 6 like LeBron James did two years ago.
PF: The Triangle. Jared Dubin would like to see Stan Van Gundy coach Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka. I'd like that, too. I think most people not named Scott Brooks would, as a matter of fact.
SF: GQ. Bethlehem Shoals and Myles Brown have a pretty worthwhile dialogue about what Adam Silver's decision to ban Donald Sterling for life and the response it received tells us about the priorities of the NBA and the fans who watch it, whether this action represented "justice" as much as it represented "crisis management," and more. There's a lot to get your arms around.
SG: The Hook. Tom Ziller thinks Sterling's ouster, while welcome, falls well short of an honest and comprehensive address of how money and power tilt systems: "[…] justice hasn't prevailed. Sterling is a billionaire who will get richer with the sale of the Clippers. Sterling never actually had to admit to the horrible crimes it is rather obvious he committed. Why? Because everyone took his money. Because in the United States, if you're a bulldog legal fighter and you have a bankroll that doesn't end, you can get away with anything."
PG: Hot Hot Hoops. After finishing off a four-game first-round sweep of the Charlotte Bobcats, the Miami Heat now have an awful lot of time to rest up before their second-round matchup with the winner of the Toronto Raptors-Brooklyn Nets series … and while some might raise that old "rest vs. rust?" pseudoargument, as Matt Pineda writes, the time off is categorically a good thing.
6th: Corpus Christi Caller-Times. Mark Travis with a smart read on how the Dallas Mavericks has derailed Gregg Popovich's offense and given themselves a real shot to knock off the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs: "Dallas simply isn't allowing the Spurs to move the ball because they refuse to help off of their shooters when [Tony] Parker, [Manu] Ginobili or [Tim] Duncan has the ball."
8th: Narratively. As Sam Riches writes, Anthony Bennett might not have had much of an impact for the Cleveland Cavaliers in his rookie season, but the mere fact of his No. 1 overall selection has made a huge difference in the tough neighborhood where he grew up: "'We're trying to show the kids there’s more to the world than Jane and Finch,' Dei continues. 'Sometimes it just takes somebody to push you outside that box.'"
9th: Baller Mind Frame. Gather together, everyone, and commiserate about the kinds of calls referees make that fans everywhere, of every team, can all hate as one.
10th: Legends Corner. In which former Clipper Bo Kimble claims his playing time was reduced midseason during his first two years in L.A. so that Donald Sterling wouldn't have to pay him a $300,000 incentive bonus.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Kevin Durant
- Oklahoma City Thunder