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 New York Times. “In the past 10 games, Chandler has attempted to tap the ball back to a teammate 27 times. Of those attempts, the Knicks have corralled the offensive rebound 17 times (63 percent). The Knicks have gone on to score 12 times on the second-chance opportunities.” Ahead of the New York Knicks’ Monday night matchup with the Boston Celtics, Nate Taylor’s got a neat read on one of the under-the-radar contributions that’s made Tyson Chandler such an important piece of the Knicks’ rise to the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference.
PF: The Point Forward. The San Antonio Spurs, Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Clippers have all surprised NBA observers by making marked improvements on the defense end thus far this season. But how likely are these improvements to hold fast over the balance of the season? Rob Mahoney digs into the numbers and the tape in search of answers.
SF: CSNNE.com. Avery Bradley barely played as a rookie, became an integral part of the Boston Celtics as a sophomore, then suffered major injuries that required double shoulder surgery that kept him sidelined and largely immobile for months. Jessica Camerato went looking for what goes into making the kind of dude that can handle that kind of professional sturm und drang at the tender age of 22; changing high schools, mopping floors and doing your own laundry all factor into it.
SG: Heat.com. One big reason why the Miami Heat boast the NBA’s third-most efficient offense: they take and make more corner 3-pointers than any team in the league, converting on the most valuable shot in the game at an absurd 45.9 percent rate. Against the Chicago Bulls on Friday night, though, Miami went just 1 for 9 from the corners and saw some opportunities that would typically lead to high-percentage looks scuttled by characteristically brilliant Tom Thibodeau-coached defense, and the result was a big Chicago win. Couper Moorhead breaks down Thibs’ strategy and, as always, teaches us a thing or two.
PG: Cowbell Kingdom. FINALLY, a 13-minute video of highlights from Jimmer Fredette’s wedding that includes a clip of him doing something attempting to approximate the Harlem Shake. Back in September, the Sacramento Kings guard said in an interview that he believed his offseason marriage to his college sweetheart would help him become a better NBA player. He has been way, way better this season, knocking down 41.1 percent of his 3-pointers and averaging nearly 21 points per 36 minutes of floor time. Whether this is all Mrs. Fredette’s doing is anybody’s guess, but the dude in that video looks relaaaaaaxed.
6th: SB Nation. Our pal Tom Ziller looks at trade rumors surrounding DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay, and agita surrounding the early January repopulation of the waiver wire, and issues a corrective for anxious fans. Deep, cleansing breaths, everyone.
7th: Red94. The Houston Rockets are playing at by far the NBA’s fastest pace, averaging about 2 1/2 more possessions per 48 minutes than the league’s second-most go-go team, and they’ve been successful at pushing the pedal to the medal, riding their uptempo style to seventh-most efficient offense, according to NBA.com’s stat tool. Michael Pina breaks down how Houston’s high-speed O works and asks an important question that we considered a bit this summer: Can you really win big by playing at a breakneck pace?
8th: Bleacher Report. The second part of today’s Rockets one-two punch: After a struggle-heavy start to the season, Jeremy Lin’s been much better of late, averaging about 15 points, seven assists and two steals a game on 50 percent shooting from the floor over the past three weeks. Jared Dubin breaks down Lin’s recent upswing, much of which stems from increased aggression in the pick-and-roll game.
9th: HoopChalk. And now, more pick-and-roll chatter, this time picking up on something I touched on when talking about the Denver Nuggets’ “embarrassing” loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves last week — the high-screen game employed by Russian guard Alexey Shved and Montenegrin center Nikola Pekovic. Jacob Frankel details the “simple, brutal effectiveness” of their burgeoning two-man game.
10th: The Good Point. After a miserable start to the season, the Toronto Raptors have won eight of their last 11 games. Is this a proper turnaround, a case of addition by subtraction, or something else? Mark Milner takes a look at Toronto’s changing fortunes.
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