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: Keeping Score. TIME's Sean Gregory joined New York Knicks forward Metta World Peace for a double-decker tour bus ride through midtown Manhattan "with 22 fifth-graders from a Bronx public school, their teachers, several Madison Square Garden staff members, and new teammate Andrea Bargnani." The results, as you might expect, are phenomenal; my personal favorite part is the former Ron Artest's willingness to accept any name the children want to call him, from "Juan" to "Bob the Builder."
PF: Eye on Basketball. Really enjoyed this look from Zach Harper at how much value so-called "stretch fours" affect their teams' offenses with their long-range shooting when compared with the impact they have on their teams' defensive efficiencies — Harper acknowledges that his "scouting matrix" is a bit of a crude implement, but its results sure seem to pass the smell test in terms of which players provide help and hurt the most when playing that stretch-four spot.
SF: Forward Center. Casey Holdahl follows up the Portland Trail Blazers' recent, well, trail-blazing support of a same-sex marriage ballot initiative with additional comments from Blazers Vice President of Community Relations Traci Rose: "We knew it might not be everyone’s opinion but we knew, from a business standpoint, that it was the right thing to do [...] What we’re saying is we get behind equality, period. And why wouldn’t we?"
SG: Golden State of Mind. Andy Liu takes a look at what reports that the Golden State Warriors and Andrew Bogut have begun contract extension talks — and that the big Aussie's saying a big "hell no" to the sort of incentives-and-caveats-laden contract that Andrew Bynum just signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers — mean for the likelihood of the two sides getting a deal done before the uncertain contract status begins to loom over what could be a big season by the Bay. (For what it's worth, Marcus Thompson II of the Contra Costa Times thinks that this "is not the time for the Warriors to play around, trying to get the best bargain," if they think Bogut's legitimately healthy.)
PG: National Post. A few days late on this, but a strong feature from Eric Koreen on how Toronto went from far off the basketball radar to one of the sport's burgeoning meccas. (The supplemental "oral history," of sorts, is pretty good, too.)
6th: Sports Illustrated. Lee Jenkins, one of the very best in the business, goes deep with Kobe Bryant on the watershed moments that have made him the man and the legendary player he is today, on the "last chapter" he's about to write, and on how scars heal.
7th: Grantland. Jonathan Abrams, one of the very best in the business, goes deep with Andre Drummond (and a host of others) about overcoming dreaded questions about "motor" and "desire," shedding the equally daunting specter of the Detroit Pistons' last young, raw, potential-filled lottery selection, and finally starting to believe how good he can be..
8th: Detroit Bad Boys. Mike Payne makes the case that Greg Monroe is better that you think he is, that his numbers will be worse this year than they could/should be, that it's not really his fault and that the Pistons still shouldn't trade him. I think I am on-board with all of these things.
9th: The Brooklyn Game. Good stuff from Devin Kharpertian on how Jason Kidd and Lawrence Frank are tweaking the Brooklyn Nets' pick-and-roll coverage and aiming to revamp the defensive principles of a unit that finished last season tied for 18th in the league in points allowed per 100 possessions.
10th: People Yelling at Mario Chalmers. Whatever you do, you cannot accuse this Tumblr of false advertising.
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