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: The Toronto Star and National Post. Toronto Raptors should've-been-All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry suffered what looked like a really scary head injury late in Sunday's loss to the Phoenix Suns, catching a pair of knees to the head from Suns forward P.J. Tucker that left Lowry laying on the deck, holding his head and clearly in pain. Toronto took a timeout; the training staff checked on Lowry; he went back into the game for the final 96 seconds.
After the game, he said he didn't think he had a concussion and had no concerns about having a concussion because he's "tough," and also said he had a bad headache and that the television cameras' lights were "killing me right now." He skipped Monday's practice with flu-like symptoms, but spoke with reporters, including the Post's Eric Koreen, about exactly what happened, the protocol that the Raps' medical team followed, and why nobody should be too concerned about his head. I still kind of think that the Star's Cathal Kelly's right, though, and that there should be a strong, independent third party concerned about the heads of all the NBA players careening around a 94-by-50 piece of hardwood on a nightly basis.
PF: Forum Blue and Gold. Darius Soriano on what Phil Jackson's move to New York means for the Los Angeles Lakers franchise he once led: "This is Jim Buss’ team; this is Jim Buss’ time to lead. Tell the truth, you just got a lump in your throat, didn’t you?"
SF: DraftExpress. With the 2014 NCAA tournament upon us, Jonathan Givony gives us his breakdown of which players in the opening weekend's games bear closest watching from an NBA perspective. Consider this your cheat sheet if, like some of the rest of us, you've been watching too much pro ball to pay much attention to the college ranks.
PG: The Pitch. Jeremy Gordon made Lil B in "NBA 2K14" so that he could give the Based God the Kevin Durant square-off for which he's long been so desperate. If you do not like bad words, do not listen to the song Lil B wrote or watch the video clip at the bottom of Gordon's post. If you do not mind them, well, this is all very ridiculous and neat.
6th: Waiting for Next Year. After digging deep during the 2014 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, Jacob Rosen goes long to detail everything we know about what the Cleveland Cavaliers are doing on the analytics front, and tries to nibble around the edges of the far bigger topic of what we don't know about what they're doing.
7th: The Oregonian. Despite blowing an 18-point second-half lead to the Golden State Warriors to lose their 12th straight contest against teams currently in the Western Conference playoffs, Jason Quick thinks Sunday represented "a step forward" for the Portland Trail Blazers.
8th: Beyond the Arc. The Memphis Grizzlies have the third-best record in the NBA since Jan. 1, playing lockdown defense and better-than-expected offense, and looking like a dangerous postseason matchup for any of the West's top teams (provided, of course, that they get there). But all's not well in the Grindhouse, as Kevin Lipe sees it — find out why he thinks "it feels like maybe the Grizzlies are just so good they're winning in spite of [certain situations] instead of because of it.
9th: InPredictable. A bit late on this, but Mike Beuoy's work on trying to get closer to a definition of "clutch" offensive performance is interesting whether you think "clutch" is real, fake, everything or nothing. Also, there are lists of the players who have been most and least "clutch" this season, so please go read them and argue about the results!
10th: Suffolk Magazine. A really cool read on Mike Procopio, a player development coach with the Dallas Mavericks whose path from the suburbs of Boston to the top of Mark Cuban's shopping list make for a fantastic basketball story.
- - - - - - -
- Sports & Recreation
- Kyle Lowry
- Toronto Raptors
- Phoenix Suns