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: Complex. Thomas Golianopoulos delivers an oral history of MTV's "Rock N Jock" franchise, replete with fond memories of the 25- and 50-point baskets and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar telling Michael Rapaport to quit yapping. Very fun times.
PF: TrueHoop. Steve McPherson on Kevin Garnett's victorious return to Minneapolis, which revealed the reason he was brought home: "[...] in his first game back, he showed the Wolves' players and reminded the Wolves' fans that it's okay to want: to not just hit your marks and do what you're supposed to but in that moment to want to make the play so badly that you want it more than anything else -- to know that you can make that feeling happen when you need it."
SG: Raptors Republic. Speaking of that scuffling, which has seen Dwane Casey's club drop three straight and five of nine in February to cut the Raps' lead on the surging Cleveland Cavaliers and now Rose-less Bulls for East's the No. 2 seed to just 1 1/2 games, Ryan McNeill suggests agitated Torontonians relax a bit: "The reality for the Raptors is their goals of winning the division and a playoff series can and will survive a horrible month."
PG: Medium. Bethlehem Shoals on Larry Sanders' explanation of why he's chosen to walk away from the NBA, and the reminder it offers that the players we watch on the hardwood every night are, to some degree, just people with jobs like we are: "You can’t force someone to be an athlete, no matter what their physique or natural feel for a sport [...] the identity crisis of having to be an athlete sounds harrowing."
6th: Bleacher Report. A good, sharp read from the great Howard Beck, who asked a bunch of smart and successful people who'd know to address some of the myth-and-strawman-based arguments against the use of analytics in NBA decision-making that continue to make the rounds.
7th: The Triangle. Bryan Curtis takes a different angle on the sour notes about statty types struck by the Round Mound of Rebound (and others): "Barkley’s problem with reporters isn’t that they’re using the wrong tools. It’s that they’re reporters."
8th: CelticsBlog. Boston Celtics forward Jared Sullinger, who's out for the rest of the season with a broken bone in his left foot as his club pursues a playoff spot, talks about the importance of getting into better shape this summer to avoid the sorts of recurring injuries that often befall big-boned big men. It sounds like Celtics general manager Danny Ainge thinks it's high time the Ohio State product gets with that particular conditioning program.
9th: Sports Illustrated. Rob Mahoney looks at how the Houston Rockets have not only built the NBA's third-best defense — a rise up the league rankings that would have been unthinkable just a year ago — but maintained it with top stoppers Dwight Howard and Patrick Beverley missing chunks of time by finding a balance where the D feeds the O and vice versa.
10th: SB Nation. Paul Flannery goes long on Anthony Davis, weird mascots, civic duty and two big challenges — of getting New Orleans to fully embrace the Pelicans, and of getting the Pelicans to fully embrace New Orleans.
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