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: USA TODAY Sports. After a sluggish 3-5 opening to the season had some whispering that the Memphis Grizzlies might have made the wrong move in getting rid of former head coach Lionel Hollins, new boss Dave Joerger has his team coming off a 4-0 West Coast road trip, defending like demons again, and looking primed for a Western Conference finals rematch with the San Antonio Spurs at the Grindhouse on Friday night. Sam Amick caught up with Joerger and stars Zach Randolph, Mike Conley and Marc Gasol to chat about the changes that led to the slow start and the decision to take a step back that might have restored the roar.
PF: ProBasketballTalk. The next time someone tells you that Blake Griffin is a no-skills, all-athleticism hack who can only dunk and has no refinement on the basketball court, just pull up this D.J. Foster look inside where the Los Angeles Clippers star's game is at right now and end the argument right there. Or, y'know, quietly let the aggressor rail on and be mad about things while you pursue a life of just enjoying the things you enjoy without having to be angry all the time. One or the other, really.
SF: Sports Illustrated and TrueHoop TV. With the sky seemingly falling down around the 3-8 New York Knicks, a pair of pieces (kind of) come to the defense of beleaguered and embattled star Carmelo Anthony. Ian Thomsen says the fault really lies with those who have miscast 'Melo as a LeBron/KD-level savior when he's really more like Paul Pierce, and Tom Haberstroh suggests that "What's wrong with 'Melo?" is the wrong question for Knicks watchers to be asking, because New York's primary issues lies with the 7-foot Italian dude spending too much time alongside Anthony.
SG: All Ball, twice. Lang Whitaker details a night spent as something of a photographer's apprentice, riding along with the great Nathaniel S. Butler at Barclays Center when the Brooklyn Nets welcomed the Portland Trail Blazers. Spoiler alert: Photographing an NBA game is harder than you might think.
PG: Red94. After the crash-and-burn of the twin-towers frontcourt and the apparently imminent end of Omer Asik's time in Texas, it seems like the Houston Rockets' starting power forward for the foreseeable future is 2012 first-round pick Terrence Jones. Michael Pina takes a brief look at the state of the 21-year-old's game, which shows cause for excitement on offense and some cause for concern on defense. (As you might expect from a 21-year-old.)
6th: Got Buckets. A good read from Tom Sunnergren of Hoop76 on Thaddeus Young, a player who rarely leaps to the forefront of fans' minds but who "doesn’t have a single area of weakness" and consistently ranks among the league's top players as measured by adjusted plus-minus ... which, now that the Philadelphia 76ers are run by an analytics guy, could pose an interesting problem for Philly's rebuild.
7th: SB Nation. Mark Deeks gets deep on the forthcoming repeater tax — which we've discussed a few times before — and how its Everest-steep penalties are going to impact team construction and maybe narrow the title windows of competing teams like the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers: "It's not this year. It's the next three."
8th: Land O'Lakers and LA Weekly. Andy Kamenetzky and Jeff Weiss offer a pair of interesting treatises on the Los Angeles Lakers season as it stands and the specter of a back-to-practice Kobe Bryant's possibly imminent return, with Kamenetzky hoping a post-Achilles Kobe comes back "able to play on his own terms, rather than those dictated by circumstances," and Weiss treating us to the mental image of a rehabbing Bryant "in his Orange County compound, bicep curling 180 lbs, while Kanye's 'I Am a God' blares at insane volume in a room packed with infinity mirrors."
9th: Under the Knife. Injury expert Will Carroll offers a fascinating look at some of the next-level tools and technologies being put into practice by NBA training teams, from the anti-gravity treadmills used by players like Kobe Bryant to the cryogenic chambers deployed by the Phoenix Suns' legendary training staff and beyond. Interestingly, the athletic trainers Carroll spoke with said they expect the next big thing in sports performance work to be analysis of the data brought in by STATS' SportVU camera tracking system, which was a fairly popular topic of discussion at this past February's Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.
10th: BSports. A few days late on this, but really nice work from Jared Dubin on the value of taking — and not even necessarily always making — 3-pointers in transition, along with a video breakdown of some of the game's preeminent fast-break snipers.
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