Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The 10-man rotation, starring Heat-Spurs Game 3, which could turn on adjustments

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 Point Forward and Bleacher Report. Rob Mahoney looks at some strategic decisions the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat have made to try to create more and better 3-point looks against two defenses that are excellent at taking away the long ball, and Jared Wade considers some Xs-and-Os tweaks Gregg Popovich and Erik Spoelstra might consider to give their offenses better shots in Tuesday's pivotal Game 3.

PF: SB Nation. While I was looking at whether Tim Duncan really is getting the kind of looks he can feast on, Drew Garrison was looking for ways the Spurs can kickstart Tony Parker, who struggled against Miami's softer traps in Game 2 and must attack the basket off the bounce more often for San Antonio to get back to its winning ways in Game 3.

SF: ESPN Insider. Tom Haberstroh makes the case for the Heat bringing a clearly diminished Dwyane Wade off the bench — if not now, then in the near future — to keep Miami's best lineups and skill combinations working.

SG: San Antonio Express-News. I loved this line from Mike Finger's Tuesday story on the Miami Heat's very confident point guard: "To watch Mario Chalmers play basketball is to watch a toddler reach for a cookie jar. Does he not realize what he seeks is beyond his grasp?" It's a great entry point to a sharp consideration of the important role Chalmers played in Miami's Game 2 win.

PG: The Point Forward and SB Nation. Mahoney and Tom Ziller address increasingly boring LeBron/M.J. comparisons in different ways — the former by detailing all the subtle ways in which James impacts a game even during his supposedly "quiet" periods and the latter by suggesting a perhaps-more-apt comparison that used to kick around in kelly green.

6th: ShamSports. If you missed Mark Deeks' comprehensive rundown on the weekend of the amount of cap space the 30 NBA teams are actually likely to have this summer, do yourself a favor and read it, and then bookmark it for quick reference come free agency.

7th: The Basketball Jones. With Jason Kidd somewhat shockingly emerging as the apparent front-runner for the Brooklyn Nets' head coaching job, some fans have found themselves wondering just what's on the recent retiree's coaching résumé. Luckily, Trey Kerby's super plugged-in, coaching carousel-wise. (Two pages might be a mistake, Jason.)

8th: CelticsHub and CSNNE.com. So, what the heck is going on with Doc Rivers and the Boston Celtics? Is he coming back next season or not, and why isn't he saying anything about it? Brian Robb tries to read the tea leaves, while A. Sherrod Blakely cites a source who says Rivers may be wary of undertaking a full-blown rebuilding process ... which could very well be in the offing if Danny Ainge elects to move Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett chooses to retire.

9th: PistonPowered. A number of the articles projecting Maurice Cheeks as the top choice for the Detroit Pistons' coaching vacancy cited the beneficial impact Cheeks had on mercurial point guard Russell Westbrook while an assistant with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Now that those projections have been proven correct, Dan Feldman says Joe Dumars and the rest of the Detroit braintrust had better "be darn confident Cheeks is significantly responsible for Westbrook’s growth."

10th: The New York Times. Hey, remember when Flo Rida's manager got kicked out of the Heat's Game 7 win over the Indiana Pacers? Nate Taylor tracked down the lady who was sitting next to Mr. Rida when the hullaballoo happened. Her name is Phyllis, and Birdman (the rap one) and Lil Wayne call her "Ma."

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