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: Sports Illustrated. Patrick Beverley tells Lee Jenkins what he wants his opponents to experience when he defends them — "It's going to be something you don't like. It's going to be hell." — in a predictably fantastic piece on what makes the hard-nosed point guard such an integral piece of the Houston Rockets' championship hopes.
PF: SB Nation, Hardwood Paroxysm, GQ and The Triangle. James Herbert, Andrew Lynch, Bethlehem Shoals, Andrew Sharp and Danny Chau sing songs of praise for the dearly departed 2013-14 Phoenix Suns, who gave us more than we had any right to expect, never let us forget that we didn't expect anything, and head into the summer of 2014 with a remarkably bright future.
SF: Bleacher Report. A great read from Howard Beck on how the Chicago Bulls "have become, essentially, the San Antonio Spurs of the Eastern Conference," and how their real-life practice of all those coaching clichés coming out of every NBA locker room makes them the kind of team that nobody — not Miami, not Indiana, not anyone — wants to see in the postseason. (Steve Aschburner of NBA.com has a similarly themed banger that's worth your time, too.)
SG: Eye on Basketball. Matt Moore can't help but notice that, for all the talk this year about tanking, most of the league's worst teams are ones that actually wanted to be good this year: "If you want to lament the horror of bad basketball this season, recognize that it's the same as it's always been in the NBA: There will be bad basketball somewhere because playing at this level is hard, the competition is fierce, and the season is long."
PG: Regressing. Which NBA players and teams most often take shots late in the shot clock? Who's best and worst at converting them, and which defense are most and least effective at forcing opponents into late, low-percentage looks? Interesting stuff from Kyle Wagner.
7th: Rufus on Fire. A Philadelphia 76ers writer wondered if midseason trade acquisition Byron Mullens can have the same level of success with the Sixers that he had with the Charlotte Bobcats. Unlike most of the rest of us, Ben Swanson actually watched the Bobcats play when Mullens was on the team, and he's got news for you, Jack: there wasn't much"success" to speak of.
8th: Beyond the Arc. Zach Randolph can be an absolute monster offensively, but the plodding power forward remains a liability on the defensive end that could wind up costing the Memphis Grizzlies come the start of the playoffs this weekend. Kevin Yeung highlights Z-Bo's shortcomings on D, how opponents can exploit him, and how the Grizzlies need to cover for him.
9th: BSports. Chi Nwogu continues his important research, providing a full list of every uniquely Clydeish turn of phrase offered by color commentator Walt Frazier during New York Knicks broadcasts this season.
10th: The Triangle. Kirk Goldsberry looks at which NBA players create the most corner 3-point opportunities for their teammates. Hello there, Mr. Wall.
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- Sports & Recreation
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