Your team has finally clawed its way out of futility and has a reasonable chance to sneak into the postseason as a low seed. If they do, they'll forfeit their draft pick. That's the rub with the Detroit Pistons heading into 2012-13. Patrick Hayes of PistonPowered, writing for the Detroit Free Press, explores this internal conflict.
Rahat Huq of Red94 writes a smart postmortem of the Kyle Lowry-Goran Dragic era in Houston: "Lowry stands as perhaps Morey’s crowning achievement, reeled in for Rafer Alston’s corpse (a return value less than some carbonated beverages). The 25-year-old seemed on a sure path to All-Stardom and might have made the team this year had his own team won more games. No one played harder than Lowry and from the start, no one more seemed like a natural leader. Word of the discord with Kevin McHale came as shocking."
Zach Lowe of Point Forward sizes up the Western Conference's middle class. The big question for a bunch of those teams? The defense.
Ben Swanson of Rufus on Fire delves into Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap's persona as a first-year NBA coach, but basketball lifer: "Mike Dunlap is typically characterized as a general, which is apt. He's what people call in layman's terms a 'hard-ass.' He's fiery, passionate and particular. And Dunlap's forceful, in a guiding way. As Byron Mullens can attest, he'll rip a guy apart, but to build him up even higher. Dunlap thrusts himself into practices, instructing on driving angles, tweaking shooting form, setting picks. The more you see and read about him, the more you realized change is well on its way. He will be the fire beneath the feet of every player on this roster."
Brett Koremenos of The Post Game handicaps the four teams capable of challenging Team USA in London.
Rob Mahoney of the New York Times on the emerging chemistry of LeBron James and Kevin Durant: "Team U.S.A. has constructed an organized set that brought the N.B.A.’s two best players into glorious concert. James and Durant run unconventional pick-and-roll style plays on their respective N.B.A. teams, but bringing them together makes for an impossible cover."
Chills for New York sports fans: Marv Albert rehearsing the opening night call between the Nets and Knicks.
Anthony Tolliver's household is embroiled in a debate of enormous consequences (via Twitter): "CAN PIZZA BE LEFT ON THE COUNTER OVERNIGHT AND STILL BE EATEN THE NEXT DAY? I need answers!"
Marketplace's Tess Vigeland chats with Freakonomics' Stephen Dubner about whether hosting the Olympics pays off.
Mad Men's John Hamm (Don Draper) explains to Vanity Fair why the presidential election is like the NBA season.
Phoenix rookie Kendall Marshall is clearly not a grammarian.