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: Silver Screen and Roll. Nice work from Drew Garrison on why the Los Angeles Lakers had trouble establishing Pau Gasol on offense in their blowout loss to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night, and how Mike D'Antoni's starting five can do a better job of working through their talented pivot going forward.
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PF: BSports. Jared Dubin takes a closer look at the Indiana Pacers' Wednesday win over the New Orleans Pelicans, focusing on the difference in skill sets and deployments between the Pacers' established wing trio of Paul George, Lance Stephenson and George Hill and the Pelicans' recently convened group of Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans.
SF: Keeping Score and Hardwood Paroxysm. The SportVU optical tracking data that's been all the rage at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in recent years and that the league is now collecting in all NBA arenas — well, some of that data, at least — will be made publicly available to fans on the league's website starting Friday afternoon. But don't expect it to offer any answers right away ... or, maybe, offer any answers at all.
SG: Sports Illustrated. Chris Ballard sits down with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to talk about shooting. Seems like a pretty good pair of guys to ask. (He also talks to Kent Bazemore about guarding Steph. That's great, too.)
6th: Hickory High. Bobby Karalla takes a look at the success the Dallas Mavericks had in the two-man game on Wednesday night, employing multiple screening combinations with Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon to keep the Atlanta Hawks guessing en route to rolling up 118 points in a big season-opening win.
7th: Waiting for Next Year. Scott Sargent on the first win of the Cleveland Cavaliers' new Mike Brown era, which boasted some similarities and differences to its predecessor, and earned an appropriate evaluation from Brown after the game: “It wasn’t pretty at all … and I’m OK with that.”
8th: The Triangle and Sports on Earth. On the occasion of Allen Iverson's retirement, Ben Detrick considers the high "price [Iverson paid] for stubbornly adhering to a flawed code," while Howard Megdal acknowledges the likelihood of his own bummer being dwarfed by what the retiree must experience: "I'm going to miss watching Allen Iverson play basketball. I can only imagine how much he'll miss being Allen Iverson playing basketball."
9th: Wall Street Journal. Chris Herring explores one of the weirdest streaks in professional sports — the Milwaukee Bucks' 29-season-long run of opening the NBA's regular season on the road.
10th: Ultimate Rockets. Kevin McHale on his Houston Rockets' performance in a 96-83 Opening Night win in which shiny new toy Dwight Howard dominated on the glass: "It was really out of character. Watching us play offense tonight was like a trip to the dentist.” What a difference a year makes.
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