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: Grizzly Bear Blues. Locked in a hotly contested battle for home-court advantage in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, the Memphis Grizzlies suffered a major blow on Saturday night, when starting center Marc Gasol — whom we love, as all right-thinking basketball-watching individuals should — re-aggravated an abdominal tear, rendering him sidelined indefinitely. With or without Gasol, though, the Grizz must press on ... and doing so successfully will require liberal doses of uptempo small-ball and reserve big man Ed Davis.
PF: HoopChalk. Atlanta Hawks big man Al Horford is awesome, but it seems like every time we talk about how Al Horford is awesome, it's always in the service of saying, "We never talk about how awesome Al Horford is." Well, Jared Dubin decided to break down just how — and specifically why — Al Horford is awesome. In summation: Al Horford is awesome, and if you click on this link, read the words and watch the videos, you will have a better understanding (and, hopefully, appreciation) of why.
SF: The Point Forward. Now that we're all talking about how awesome the Denver Nuggets have been recently, Rob Mahoney considers whether one of the arguments frequently used to downplay their title chances — that they don't have a go-to superstar — really holds water.
SG: Ballerball. When J.R. Smith made an inconsequential-to-the-final-score layup in the last second of the Knicks' Saturday night blowout win over the Toronto Raptors, was he being an unsportsmanlike jerk or a people's champion? The answer's not as simple as you might think, according to Jason Gallagher.
PG: Mavs Moneyball. With the Season 3 premiere just six nights away, Lisa Rotter wants readers to create their own "Game of Thrones" house sigils for her wonderful Dallas Mavericks blog. I support this creative endeavor, as does Carmelo Anthony (I assume).
6th: Dancing with Noah. A few days behind on this, but a 32-team bracket designed to determine which duos composed of a father and son who both played in the NBA would come out on top in a theoretical two-on-two tournament? Yeah, that's just the right amount of crazy to work.
7th: Monday's matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers after spraining his right ankle on Saturday night — is an according-to-Hoyle "star" in the NBA.
8th: Sactown Royalty. Tom Ziller explains how the agreement between the City of Sacramento and a prospective local ownership group headed by primary investors Mark Mastrov, Ron Burkle and Vivek Ranadivé on $448 million term sheet for a new arena in downtown Sacramento that would provide a new home for the Sacramento Kings is actually a better deal for Sacramento than the one that was approved by the Sacramento City Council and lauded by the voting public last year.
9th: Bright Side of the Sun. Look, the Phoenix Suns stink. You know it, I know it, dogs know it. But one Sun has risen above the stench to produce something much more pleasing this year — Goran Dragic, who just missed a triple-double in a tough two-point loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday and has been playing quietly consistent (offensive) ball all season long. Dave King comes in praise of the Slovenian point guard.
10th: The Columbian. "Want to know a few things about Eric Maynor?" Sure, but only if there are exactly 18 of them. ... Oh, you have exactly 18 things I should know about the Portland Trail Blazers backup point guard, Candace Buckner? Well, then, let's dig in.
Got a link or tip for Ball Don't Lie? Give me a shout at devine (at) yahoo-inc.com, or follow me on Twitter.