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: The Wall Street Journal and Posting and Toasting. Chris Herring tries to figure out why the New York Knicks haven't called for an MRI to try to get some clarity on the injured shoulder that's been bothering Carmelo Anthony — which, weirdly, is nothing new for the Knicks — and Seth Rosenthal thinks that everyone just deciding they don't want to know if anything's wrong so that Melo can keep playing is a bad idea.
PF: ESPN. Matt Bonner eats with and interviews Bushwick Bill of the Geto Boyz in a new series of interviews where the "Red Mamba" eats wraps (in this case, tacos) with rappers. This is some really top-shelf Basketball Internet, gang. For real: Matt Bonner asks Bushwick Bill, "Growing up, what was your experience with, like, sandwiches?"
SF: Bucksketball. Milwaukee Bucks head coach Larry Drew explains to Jeremy Schmidt why John Henson doesn't play more often, despite frequently looking like he has the makings of a gifted offensive player built to crash the boards and disrupt the opposition with his length. The words "physical," "presence" and "culture" show up a lot.
SG: Prada's Pictures. Mike Prada on the recent return of the Oklahoma City Thunder's aggressive, long-armed, paint-packing defense, which — if it sticks around — seems like bad news for the rest of the Western Conference's playoff bracket.
PG: TrueHoop and Hang Time. Ethan Sherwood Strauss and Scott Howard-Cooper on something I mentioned late Thursday/early Friday — the Golden State Warriors' recent maddening inconsistency, especially as it relates to handling their business against bad teams at home, and what that could mean for the Dubs' postseason chances.
6th: Ballerball. Sure, "real plus-minus" is all well and good, but Steve McPherson's not content to merely let statistical analysis rest until it can explain the absurd in sports, too: "J.R. Smith’s league-leading surreal plus-minus is an eyeball with an egg cracked over it that two aging nuns are squabbling over outside of a scale replica of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore built entirely of celery."
7th: The Score and The Point Forward. Mark Deeks and Rob Mahoney scratch their heads at the Houston Rockets' decision to waive injured big man Greg Smith to sign healthy very big man Dexter Pittman, because while there's logic behind the move — Smith's hurt and can't contribute this postseason, Pittman's healthy and conceivably could, and Houston could use some big-man insurance with Dwight Howard continuing to work his way back from an ankle injury — it's a clear downgrade in talent that represents jettisoning a quality low-cost big man whose rights they could have hung onto on the cheap.
8th: Regressing and In Street Clothes. After yet another convincing victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night, there doesn't seem to be much that could derail the San Antonio Spurs these days. One major issue, though, is the health of point guard Tony Parker, who has missed the last three games with "a sprained facet joint" in his lower back. Back issues are notoriously squirrelly — just how bad is this one, and could it wind up presenting a big problem for the Spurs come the postseason? Dr. Matt McCarthy and certified athletic trainer Jeff Stotts break it down.
9th: Corpus Christi Caller Times. The silver lining surrounding the cloud of Parker's injury has been the play of San Antonio reserve guard Patty Mills, who popped for 26 points and six assists off the pine against Dallas and has gone from end-of-the-bench towel-waver to transition terror, 3-point-shooting nightmare, and legitimate game-changer at the backup point guard spot. Mark Travis traces the Aussie's evolution.
10th: SLC Dunk. A celebration of all the tough decisions Tyrone Corbin has made as the head coach of the Utah Jazz this year. A true tour de force performance.
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