C: The Brooklyn Game. Really good stuff from Devin Kharpertian, who sat down with somewhat surprising Brooklyn Nets glue guy Shaun Livingston for an in-depth chat about matters on-court (what he sees when working in the pick-and-roll and in Brooklyn's long-armed, switch-heavy defensive schemes) and off-court (growing up as a biracial boy in Illinois, moving between private and public schools, etc.).
PF: Hardwood Paroxysm. This year's Phoenix Suns have been a thrilling, phenomenally surprising success story borne of smart front-office decision-making, a home-run coaching hire and career years from several key contributors. Who among this year's also-rans might be the next NBA team to make such a leap? Scott Rafferty's got one prospect pegged.
SF: The Morning Tip. This week, David Aldridge's always filled-to-overflowing column features (among other things) a really good read on Kevin Durant's relationship with Oklahoma City Thunder assistant coach Brian Keefe and a thoughtful take on Kobe Bryant's comments about race in The New Yorker.
PG: Grizzly Bear Blues. The Memphis Grizzlies haven't chosen international players in the draft very often in their history, but it might make sense for them to start taking a longer look overseas in the years ahead … and, as a matter of fact, they might have already started doing so.
6th: The Toronto Star. Writing off a weird Toronto Raptors road win in Orlando, Cathal Kelly comes up with an extraordinarily narrowly tailored TV show pitch: "Let’s crowd-fund a TV show about [Landry] Fields, [Steve] Novak and [Julyan] Stone living together in a loft, playing basketball and solving crimes." I mean, I might not watch it "on a loop," as Kelly would, but I'd definitely give it at least an episode or two to find itself.
7th: The Boston Globe. Baxter Holmes offers some insight into how the Boston Celtics use analytics, the ways in which front-office thinking about stuff like the SportVU cameras differ from the way some writers and fans might think about them, and more.
8th: Sunday Shootaround. Paul Flannery comes in praise of Amir Johnson, who "gets 11 points and 7 rebounds a night, while taking whatever defensive assignment [head coach Dwane] Casey has for him," and is everybody's favorite Toronto Raptor … including, it seems, every member of the Toronto Raptors. (That he was the one who punched Toronto's postseason ticket on Friday seemed just about perfect.)
9th: The Wall Street Journal. Chris Herring takes a throwaway comment made during the height of Phil Jackson-to-the-New York Knicks hysteria and turns it into a very fun read on how, and why, Carmelo Anthony learned to play chess.
10th: ProBasketballTalk. Dan Feldman on the strong recent play of Minnesota Timberwolves rookie center Gorgui Dieng, and the options it might give the Wolves in terms of upgrading their roster … provided, of course, Flip Saunders and company feel confident that the Louisville product's late-season surge is the real deal.
- - - - - - -
- Sports & Recreation
- Brooklyn Nets
- Shaun Livingston