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: Bleacher Report. Four years after his last NBA appearance as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers, Ricky Davis is sweating it out in Reno, Nev., at the D-League Showcase with the Erie BayHawks, hoping to make enough of an impression on somebody, anybody, who can grant him re-entry to the NBA and give him a chance to re-write the ending of his pro hoops career at age 34. Howard Beck's story on the famously mercurial shooting guard's quest for one last shot is worth a read.
PF: Forum Blue and Gold. A really good read from Dave Murphy on the Los Angeles Lakers' recent decision to waive forward Shawne Williams, a blip-on-the-radar rotation player whose veteran minimum contract was close to being guaranteed. It's the kind of thing that makes perfect sense under the existing collective bargaining agreement, but that doesn't keep it from being kind of sad: "For the NBA’s lowest-paid players, parity often means a trip to the unemployment line [...] The Lakers are still a family business but it somehow doesn’t feel like family anymore."
SF: SB Nation. Ricky O'Donnell on how the same problems that have plagued Josh Smith throughout his career are threatening to give the Detroit Pistons a bad case of free-agent buyer's remorse just six months into a four-year, $54 million contract.
SG: B Sports. Benching J.R. Smith seemed to work pretty well for Mike Woodson on Thursday. Should the New York Knicks head coach continue to keep his shoelace-hunting, shot-missing shooting guard off the floor? Jared Dubin investigates.
PG: Hang Time. The Knicks' offense looked sharp for most of the final three quarters, and especially the second half, against Miami at Madison Square Garden. The Miami Heat's defense, though, seemed to do New York a favor by spending most of the night skating. John Schuhmann digs into the tape to highlight some of the Heat's low-effort lowlights.
6th: TrueHoop. Ethan Sherwood Strauss sees Miami's less-than-full-bore outing against the Knicks as proof that "we can’t trust the Heat’s play" during the regular season, marked as it is by "apathy toward this 82-game prelude."
7th: SB Nation. Mark Deeks considers what, exactly, "tanking" means, whether it means anything, and whether any teams are actually doing it: "Perhaps it is the case that the supposed tankers are actually just better managed, better at asset accumulation and management, better at strategizing, better at building a team that'll last."
8th: The Score. Another good read from Deeks about the role players fueling the New York teams' recent winning ways.
9th: TrueHoop. Kevin Arnovitz on how Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan have stepped up and raised their voices to fill the void left by Chris Paul's shoulder injury and keep the Los Angeles Clippers on track.
10th: Arizona Sports. An update on injured Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe: He had the meniscus in right knee removed rather than repaired, won't miss the remainder of the season as a result, and is expected to be back on the court in four to six weeks.
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