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: RealGM. Jonathan Tjarks comes in praise of the LeBron James vs. Stephen Curry duel, a snapshot of the NBA’s constant evolution: “There’s just no one in the history of the league who has ever played like Steph or LeBron before. […] That was all I could think watching those two trade baskets in the fourth quarter of Game 5 — this is the future of the game unfolding in real time.”
PF: ESPN.com. Tom Haberstroh’s sports-science-focused pre-Game 5 look at the “unfathomable” workload that LeBron’s handling in these Finals was pretty stunning.
SF: Grantland. Jordan Ritter Conn humanizes the Finals, taking us through the experience of Game 1 at Oracle through the eyes of a die-hard Warriors fan, and through Game 3 at the Q through the eyes of a die-hard Cavaliers fan. A tremendously engaging read.
PG: Sports Illustrated. Rob Mahoney on how Steve Kerr and the Warriors have both forced Blatt’s hand into uncomfortable adjustments and eliminated the few counters he’s been able to find against Golden State’s superior depth.
6th: Talking Points. Tim Kawakami on “the Barbosa Exception” — Kerr’s willingness to live with just about anything Leandro Barbosa does on the floor because of the spirit and energy with which he plays — and how it paid dividends in Game 5.
7th: The New York Times. Scott Cacciola comes through with a great profile of The Amazing Sladek, a.k.a. the older gentleman/halftime performer who climbs up on all those chairs, a.k.a. the Cavs’ good luck charm.
8th: I Go Hard Now. Jared Perry offers a game photographer’s perspective on LeBron coming up bloody after colliding with a camera in Game 4, launching a new round of calls for the NBA to move photographers further back off the baseline.
9th: The Triangle, twice. Noted genius Shea Serrano recasts the Cavs’ trade for J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert as a reboot of “Escape from New York.” Features wonderful artwork and lines like, “With that [Bargnani] swung his murder bat at Smith’s forehead with all the force of Italy.”
10th: Detroit Bad Boys. A look at how the decision to trade for floor-spacing power forward Ersan Ilyasova figures to impact the Detroit Pistons’ plans in the 2015 NBA draft and this summer’s free agency period.
– – – – – – –