The 10-man rotation, starring LeBron James, the Miami Heat and one more race to the top

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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: SB Nation. Tom Ziller on how far LeBron James has come since July 2010 and how perhaps the biggest change is that "we understand [him] better."

PF: Bleacher Report. Ethan Skolnick on how the world belongs to James and his Miami Heat, including some interesting stuff on James' acknowledgement of criticisms he faces both within and outside the game, and his persistent unwillingness to allow them to prevent him from stuff like being friendly with his peers (to a point).

SF: Grantland. Zach Lowe on the challenge of the three-peat, the ways Miami's opponents attack them and whether the vicissitudes of contracts and the CBA might make this the last run for James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the rest of Miami's title bunch.

SG: Boston Magazine and SB Nation. A stellar two-fer from Paul Flannery — a magazine feature on Danny Ainge confidently charting a new southbound course for the Boston Celtics, and a "why this matters" rumination on what it is about the NBA that keeps us watching, night after night and month after month, even when the team we've chosen (or the one that's chosen us) has got no shot at a title. Great stuff from one of the best.

PG: Eye on Basketball. Speaking of "no shot at a title," Zach Harper introduces "Power Tankings," an idea so good I'm mad that I didn't think of it first.

6th: Bullets Forever. Now that they've imported him to replace the injured Emeka Okafor, where does Marcin Gortat fit in with the Washington Wizards? Umair Khan takes a look at the Polish center's film to see if he'll be as big a help to Washington's playoff chances as Wiz fans hope.

7th: ClipperBlog. Sharp-eyed Seerat Sohi suggests some stuff to watch out for as the new-look Los Angeles Clippers begin their pursuit of a second straight Pacific Division crown (and more), starting with new shooting guard J.J. Redick's ability to contribute with a lot more than just his jumper.

8th: National Post. Eric Koreen on the biggest single developmental issue facing the Toronto Raptors this season — whether second-year center Jonas Valanciunas can become the defensive game-changer they projected him to be when they selected him with the No. 5 pick in the 2011 draft.

9th: The Brooklyn Game. With so much focus on new additions Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Kidd, and whether Deron Williams can be the ball-handling straw that stirs a championship-contending drink, Devin Kharpertian asks: What about All-Star center Brook Lopez? Where does he go from here?

10th: SLAM. Adam Figman catches up with Shawn Kemp two decades after his thunderous dunks made him a household name. Life, it seems, is pretty OK for the post-playing-days "Reign Man," which is nice to hear.

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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