Neal, Bonner, buckets. (Gregory Shamus/NBA/Getty Images)
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: SB Nation. After another streamrolling win — this one a 14-point victory over the fourth-best defense in the NBA pulled off without their MVP-consideration-worthy point guard, All-Star center and magnificent reserve guard — Mike Prada takes a look at what makes the San Antonio Spurs' offensive system so ridiculously difficult to guard, even when its best pieces aren't available. This is great stuff.
PF: The Onion. "LeBron James Playing Flawless Basketball In Pathetic Bid For Nation's Approval." I mean, yeah, basically.
SF: Grantland. Once again, back is the incredible — Zach Lowe's Tuesday column focuses on whether noted trade-rumor-fabricator George Karl can really call himself the captain of a title contender with these Denver Nuggets, plus the score of other spot-on observations that you'd expect from one of the sharpest knives in our particular drawer.
SG: ESPN Insider. After looking at a number of "buy low" candidates who could be attractive trade targets on Monday, friend of the program Kevin Pelton comes back Tuesday with a look at some players performing over their heads whom teams should be working to move before they turn back into pumpkins. We're looking at you, Amar'e Stoudemire. (One name here might shock you, because it shocked me.)
PG: Hardwood Paroxysm. Steve McPherson chats with New York Knicks rookie point guard Pablo Prigioni in search of an answer for why a 35-year-old leader, decorated Olympian, Spanish Cup MVP and three-time ACB point guard of the year would cut his paycheck in half at age 35 to play in a foreign land. The answer speaks volumes: “This year, for me, is to try to discover some new things.”
6th: The Point Forward. As we prepare for what seems poised to be a pretty awesome 2013 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest at All-Star Weekend in Houston on Saturday, Ben Golliver braces himself and names what he believes to be the five worst dunk competitions in All-Star history. For my money, the most poisonous line: "We learned that Robinson, who was voted the champion by fans, is tall enough to jump the shark."
7th: Arizona Republic. "'Today is an exciting day in Suns basketball,' [Phoenix Suns general manager Lance] Blanks said. 'I have the honor of introducing what I think will be the greatest Sun for a day in history.'" Paul Coro has just the right touch for this wonderful story about how the Suns made the wish of Jonah Zahn, a 12-year-old suffering from a rare seizure disorder, come true. Have a tissue handy.
8th: Bucksketball. According to some stat-diggin' by Jon Hartzell, Milwaukee Bucks guards Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings lead the NBA in "bad shooting nights" this year, and have both had more "bad shooting nights" than "average shooting nights." It's always nice when the stats line up with what your eyes tell you. (Especially the note in there about how Milwaukee fares when Jennings is on.)
9th: Denver Post. Denver Nuggets power forward Kenneth Faried is continuing his advocacy for same-sex couples by becoming the first NBA player to join Athlete Ally, "an organization working to raise awareness and end homophobia in sports," as the Post's Benjamin Hochman writes. That is awesome.
10th: HawksHoop. Bo Churney has three better ideas for the Atlanta Hawks than trading Josh Smith for, like, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and a non-lottery first-round pick. Well, technically four, if you include "Don't trade Josh Smith for, like, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and a non-lottery first-round pick" as a better idea than doing it, which you should.
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