Friday, 12 April 2013

The 10-man rotation, starring some wondering about the Spurs’ life after Stephen Jackson

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: 48 Minutes of Hell. Fresh off Friday afternoon's news that the San Antonio Spurs have waived Stephen Jackson just days before the start of the postseason, Andrew McNeill considers the veteran swingman's declining role on the team and whether the Spurs will actually miss him come playoff time ... and he's got a sneaking suspicion they might. (Combine this with the news that reserve big man Boris Diaw will miss three to four weeks after having a cyst removed from his spine, and this is a pretty weird/not-so-great Friday for Spurs fans.)

PF: The Painted Area. With Jermaine O'Neal's recent astoundingly odd game-losing goaltend fresh in mind, Mark Haubner defends the NBA's existing goaltending rules against those (like NBA Commissioner David Stern) who would prefer it if the league switched to FIBA-style play, where you can smack the ball off the rim without penalty.

SF: Hot Hot Hoops. Jay Ramos takes a closer look at the impact Chris Andersen has had on the Miami Heat this season, and was somewhat surprised to find out that "The Birdman" — long renowned for his shot-blocking prowess — has arguably been more beneficial offensively than on defense for the defending champs.

SG: Memphis Flyer. I thought this "state of the union"-type piece by Chris Herrington on the Memphis Grizzlies and head coach Lionel Hollins, whose contract is up after the season and may or may not be asked back, was really good, sharp and nuanced.

PG: The Brooklyn Game. We know Gerald Wallace's confidence is at an all-time low. So how do the Brooklyn Nets go about building him back up and getting him back in form? Justin DeFeo and Devin Kharpertian consider the physical and mental aspects of the rebuild, which probably won't be helped by the lower left-leg contusion that will keep him out of Friday's game against the Indiana Pacers.

6th:'s Hang Time Blog. Steve Aschburner applauds Chicago Bulls wing Jimmy Butler, who said he was going to try to rattle the New York Knicks' cages a bit on Thursday, then backed it up with 22 points, 14 rebounds, three blocks, three steals and 50 minutes of tough defense on Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith in the Bulls' overtime win.

7th: Gothic Ginobili. Aaron McGuire is playing through the video game "Fallout: New Vegas" as Phil Jackson and writing detailed fictional stories about Phil's exploits in a "post-apocalyptic world where the world's been utterly ravaged by nuclear war and taken over by several disparate ruling factions." The third installment went live today. Go microwave your brain for a while.

8th: Grantland. Kirk Goldsberry shows us the differences between Carmelo Anthony's shooting in a good-but-not-great 2011-12 and an excellent 2012-13 season. Chief among them: increased symmetry and improved guard play.

9th: SB Nation. After watching him carve up the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night, Paul Flannery comes in praise of Deron Williams, finally back to being the kind of max-level, game-changing superstar point guard the Brooklyn Nets hoped he'd be.

10th: numberFire. There's a statistical case to made, it seems, that Tyson Chandler's 2012-13 campaign is the most efficient offensive season ever.

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