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: NBA.com's Hang Time Blog. With the Chicago Bulls having been bitten by the injury bug and possibly considering making a move to add some depth, it's clear that healthy bodies are in short supply for Tom Thibodeau's team. So if, as general manager Jim Paxson has said, injured point guard Derrick Rose needs a "high volume of practices" before he can be considered ready to come back, and the big-league club doesn't have enough bodies to really accomodate that necessity, then why not send the former MVP down to the D-League for a spell? Steve Aschburner makes a pretty compelling case.
PF: BBall Breakdown. Coach Nick offers his picks for the top five power forwards in the NBA, analyzing their individual strengths and what makes them such a handful for opponents night in and night out. (Hat tip to Straight Outta Vancouver's Kevin Lipe on this one.)
SF: HoopSpeak. Josh Smith thinks he's worth a max-level contract in free agency, and whether or not you agree, it seems likely he'll be offered just that when he hits the market this summer. Kevin Draper considers how the Atlanta Hawks forward might actually make himself more worthy of the richest deal possible, and comes up with a potentially unlikely answer — by doing less.
SG: The Basketball Champs Belt. One day after Michael Beasley awakened "The Beast" and summarily torched the Los Angeles Lakers, Michael Hogan told us why the former No. 2 overall pick reminds him of Proust; over the next two days, Beasley went 2 for 13 from the floor in a 10-point loss and scored a team-high 24 in a 20-point loss, and somehow made the comparison all the more reasonable. Beasley's funny that way, I guess.
PG: Shaky Ankles. Spencer Lund considers nine NBA teams from the perspective of wants and needs — a perspective to which I am partial — in a fun piece about the motivation to win a championship that name-checks Nietzsche, Schopenhauer and the Borg. Y'know, typical NBA writing.
6th: NYMag.com. Like us, Will Leitch is celebrating the one-year anniversary of Jeremy Lin's bolt-from-the-blue appearance for the New York Knicks against the New Jersey Nets and how it reminded us of one of the best things about sports: "You never know when something miraculous is going to show up out of nowhere."
7th: The Point Forward. Rob Mahoney sings the praises of Tony Parker, the San Antonio Spurs' "unthanked constant," who's playing perhaps the best ball of his career in pushing his team back to the top of the NBA heap and yet somehow remains underrated. Along the way, he uses the word "epitomical," which I had to look up to make sure was a real thing. But of course it is, because Rob wrote it.
8th: The Classical. Jonathan Tjarks offers the latest installment in the excellent running "Why We Watch" series, telling the story of how Dirk Nowitzki changed both the NBA and his own life, and why we should never stop challenging conventional wisdom.
9th: SB Nation. Tom Ziller explains why Chandler Parsons and Eric Bledsoe are below-market luxury apartments, why Rodrigue Beaubois and DeJuan Blair are arrested developments, and why timing is everything for NBA front offices when it comes to making calls on their low-cost, high-value late first-round/second-round producers.
10th: Hardwood Paroxysm. Amin Vafa's preparing for the possibility of a postseason without the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, and finds the work somewhat off-putting: "Even my small-market-loving heart that should be thrilled at the prospect of other teams making the playoffs in their stead can’t picture it; it’s pretty unsettling even to try."
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