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: Cowbell Kingdom. James Ham on Isaiah Thomas' triumphant post-trade return to the Sacramento Kings' starting lineup, which has seen him shoot the lights out and average 23 points and 7.3 assists in four games, with Mike Malone's team going 2-2: “I’ve been ready for this moment since I came into this league. That’s what I work so hard for in the summers. I want to be (one of those) guards that I see on each and every team playing 40 minutes a night.”
PF: Bleacher Report. Jared Dubin breaks down the pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop attack that's making the Phoenix Suns an incredibly tough cover for the defenses they're facing and arguably the biggest surprise (in a positive way, at least) of the NBA season thus far.
SF: The Point Forward. Rob Mahoney also likes what he's seen from the Suns through the first 23 games, but notes one reason to pump the brakes a bit: "In total, [Eric] Bledsoe — who may be the face of the franchise going forward — has not yet been successful in leading lineups without [Goran] Dragic’s aid. At the same time, he’s both more productive (as one would expect) and more efficient (as one likely wouldn’t) with Dragic out of the game."
SG: 99 Designs. The Charlotte Bobcats will put down their socks on Dec. 21 to unveil the new logo for the soon-to-be-rebooted in teal-and-purple Charlotte Hornets. If you don't feel like waiting with bated breath until Saturday to imagine what a new Hornets logo might look like, feel free to dig into this collection of unofficial fan-made options and pick your favorite concept that won't be emblazoned on a pair of shorts this time next year. If nothing else, it'll give you a specific image to hold up as you loudly boo whatever JordanCo comes up with!
PG: Knickerblogger. Jim Cavan has decided he won't let his forthcoming child be a New York Knicks fan, and his explanation for why is a hell of a lot better, more eloquent and more emotionally resonant than any other Knicks-related explanations to come around over the last 24 hours.
6th: 8 Points, 9 Seconds. After watching the Indiana Pacers drop their first home game of the season to the visiting Detroit Pistons, Jared Wade takes a look at two areas that have proven problematic for the Pacers in their losses over the past couple of seasons — a tendency to turn the ball over and an (occasional) inability to clear the defensive glass.
7th: Tanking for Wiggins. An enterprising single-serving site aimed at providing updated-hourly information about the 2014 NBA draft board, including who owns which picks based on past trades. As of right now, thanks to the Carmelo Anthony trade, the Denver Nuggets are in line to receive the Knicks' fourth overall pick. If you'll excuse me, I have some drinking to do.
8th: Grantland. Great stuff from Zach Lowe on the 3-point-chucking Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League, whether the Houston Rockets are using their bombs-away approach as something of a test lab, and the growing fear (in some circles) that the NBA is growing too 3-point-reliant.
9th: SB Nation. Drew Garrison digs into the tape and the stats detailing Pau Gasol's work in the Los Angeles Lakers offense, the cause of much consternation of late, and comes to "one grim conclusion."
10th: The Detroit Pistons' YouTube channel. Andre Drummond would like you to meet his dog Roscoe, who is probably not named after Pistons assistant coach Rasheed Wallace, but whom I'm choosing to believe very much is named after Pistons assistant coach Rasheed Wallace.
- - - - - - -