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: Pounding the Rock and 48 Minutes of Hell. The San Antonio Spurs' starters have resumed wrecking shop after some early season struggles and mid-season injuries, and the Spurs' bench might be the best one Gregg Popovich has ever had, which seems like it might be bad news for whoever San Antonio winds up facing this postseason.
PF: Welcome to Loud City and SB Nation. Speaking of Western Contenders and benches ... what's up with the Oklahoma City Thunder's second unit? Where have once-promising young spark plugs Jeremy Lamb and Perry Jones III gone? Can they find their way back into rhythm — and into head coach Scott Brooks' good graces — in time for the playoffs?
SG: Clips Nation. Swetha Prabhakar crunches the numbers on the statistical profile of the Los Angeles Clippers, which produced a takeaway that sounds very simple but is also pretty telling: "When the Clippers shoot better than 41.3 percent from the field, they have a very high likelihood of winning." The simple thing is, "Yeah, no duh, when they don't shoot well, they're not likely to win." The bigger thing, though: Would you bet against a Chris Paul- and Blake Griffin-led Clippers team shooting less than 41.3 percent from the field too many times this postseason?
PG: Stat Stuffing. Drew Garrison runs through the five best five-man units in the NBA this season — a list with a couple of surprising groupings on it — and breaks down what makes them so effective on both ends of the floor.
7th: The Diss. Kris Fenrich on the (likely) last days of the last remnants of the draft class of 1996.
8th: Milwaukee Bucks' Vine. Somebody get Kenny Smith on a microphone: Thanks to Zaza Pachulia and John Henson, the Pregame Layup Line Contest is back!
9th: The Triangle. Zach Lowe's back to set the table with five massive games to keep an eye on in the race to shake out the Nos. 5 through 8 seeds in the Western Conference playoff race.
- - - - - - -