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.
PF: Indy Cornrows and The Point Forward. Tony Adragna offers some simple and spot-on "dos and don'ts" for the struggling Indiana Pacers, while Rob Mahoney details just what's ailing Indiana's already subpar offense.
SF: Raptors Republic. With the Toronto Raptors preparing to return to the playoffs, Tim Chisholm wonders whether DeMar DeRozan can avoid a nasty bit of franchise history: "the trend of their All-Star choking in his first stint in the postseason."
PG: TrueLosAngeles. Andy Kamenetzky details the carefully drawn battle lines in the forthcoming "civil war" between Los Angeles Lakers fans and Kobe Bryant fans, two groups of people who might intersect, but who are not the same.
6th: Basketball Insiders. Nate Duncan revisits some of the "system issue" changes of the 2011 collective bargaining agreement between NBA owners and the National Basketball Player's Association, which resulted in some unintended consequences that seem to run contrary to the "competitive balance" rhetoric the league leaned so heavily on during the lockout.
7th: SB Nation Longform. Paul Flannery on what Doc Rivers has brought to the Los Angeles Clippers, what Los Angeles has brought to Doc and the nature of ceaseless pursuits — of enlightenment, of ways to lose with a winning mindset, or of a better way to beat traffic.
8th: Hickory High. Ian Levy turns inward to provide a deeply personal reflection on never being able to nail down the look you want, and the sheer follicular exhilaration that comes from, of all sources, the Charlotte Bobcats: "Josh McRoberts is everything I ever wanted in a beard and a haircut — a splendid interweaving of manicured chaos, with a sweaty sheen that projects just the right amount of danger." (And we haven't even touched on Chris Douglas-Roberts yet.)
9th: NBA Y2K. Jon Bois is performing his dark magick on NBA video games now. First up: An attempt to fail where the Philadelphia 76ers succeeded (or vice versa) by creating a digital crew that could go 0-82.
10th: Grantland. Zach Lowe's deep dive on the near-incomparable Anthony Davis includes what might be my favorite heretofore-unheralded comparison yet ("The potential is there for Davis to be sort of a super–Chris Bosh") as well as a fantastic quote from Houston Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson on what makes the New Orleans Pelicans sophomore such a limitless prospect ("His biggest strength is going to be that he has no weaknesses”).
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