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: Triangle Offense, Sports Illustrated and NBA.com. Russ Bengtson and Ben Golliver bid a fond farewell to Dick Bavetta, who's hanging up his whistle after 39 years as the NBA's "officiating iron man," while Steve Aschburner finds out what precipitated the referee's retirement ("“This year when [my wife and two daughters] met [to vote], it was 3-0 to retire").
PF: Hardwood Paroxysm. Roy Hibbert's certainly not a great rebounder, but Scott Rafferty thinks he's not nearly as bad as some folks believe, since he's often doing just what he's asked to do within the Indiana Pacers' scheme.
SF: Hang Time. Lang Whitaker on Rudy Gay's strong performance in Team USA's dominant win over the Dominican Republic on Wednesday, and how the Sacramento Kings forward could go from late-post-KD-bouncing addition to pivotal piece of the U.S. squad in the upcoming 2014 World Cup.
SG: Raptors HQ. Ian Levy on where Terrence Ross seems to need to go next in his development, where the Toronto Raptors seem to need him most, and "the interesting dilemma" presented by the fact that those appear to be two different places.
PG: The Hook. Tom Ziller considers rumors that the stalled restricted free agency of Eric Bledsoe have the Phoenix Suns looking to move him, and finds that they don't quite stand up to logical scrutiny.
6th: Bullets Forever. After letting Trevor Ariza go to the Houston Rockets and replacing him with Paul Pierce in free agency, can the Washington Wizards adjust to the change in defensive acumen on the wing without taking a big step backward?
8th: The Cauldron. Robert Silverman finds himself more than a little uneasy with the media promotion of sports/military partnerships like the one that the NBA and USA Basketball have in "Hoops for Troops": "The United States military is not a team. We don’t buy tickets and 'root' for them they way we do for the Lakers or the Celtics. By conflating them, we fail to distinguish between meaningless basketball games — even ones that are played by the U.S. National Team — and war, and that does a incredible disservice to those who are tasked with fighting on our behalf."
9th: D-League Digest. If the New York Knicks want 2014 second-round pick Thanasis Antetokounmpo to play for their D-League affiliate, it could wind up costing them D-League draft choices. Of course it could. These are the Knicks, after all.
10th: The Reversal. Max Minsker looks at the relationship between offensive rebounding and offensive efficiency, and how it's manifesting itself in changes to frontcourt dynamics throughout the NBA.
- - - - - - -
- Sports & Recreation
- Dick Bavetta