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: Sports Illustrated. Rob Mahoney checks in from the New Orleans Pelicans’ first training camp under new head coach Alvin Gentry, where the players are all the same but everything is changing, and brings with him something so simple and clear that we hesitate to call it a prediction: “[Anthony] Davis would be an MVP candidate while playing for any coach in the league. Under Gentry he’s the clear favorite for the award.”
PF: NBA.com. James Harden still thinks he was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player last season, and enters this season eager to prove he can do even more, according to Fran Blinebury. (For what it’s worth, Stephen Curry doesn’t seem to think too much about all that.)
SF: Bleacher Report. While the rest of us wonder when, not if, the Sacramento Kings will self-destruct this season, DeMarcus Cousins says this year’s MVP trophy is “mine to grab” and that, for the first time in his career, the Kings have “playoff expectations.”
SG: SB Nation. Yes, Paul George got loose at the four-spot on Tuesday, but Mike Prada digs into the tape and sees that plenty of reason for the Indiana Pacers star to object to playing power forward — that’s a lot of work.
PG: ESPN.com. Kevin Arnovitz and Brian Windhorst dig deep to unearth the palace intrigue behind how the Atlanta Hawks’ ownership group fell apart.
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6th: Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News. Point guard Raul Neto looked impressive defensively in his preseason debut against the Los Angeles Lakers, and his dad loved John Stockton, so some Utah Jazz fans — eager for an answer at the point after Dante Exum’s injury and amid Trey Burke’s inconsistency — are already penciling the Brazilian rookie in for greatness. That has Jazz head coach Quin Snyder calling for brake-pumping.
7th: Eye on Basketball. Matt Moore sits down with Jameer Nelson to talk about what it takes to become a veteran leader, what it means to be a mentor, and how he views his role on a Denver Nuggets team intent on building around 19-year-old rookie point guard Emmanuel Mudiay.
8th: Grantland. Jonathan Abrams on how Wesley Matthews became an NBA player, and how he’s working his way back to being one after suffering arguably the most devastating injury an NBA player can suffer.
9th: Basketball Insiders. Ben Dowsett tries to figure out how Enes Kanter fits into new Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan’s offensive and defensive philosophies, and comes away wondering just what Sam Presti spent $70 million to accomplish.
10th: WEEI.com. Our Ben Rohrbach, elsewhere, considers the decision facing the Boston Celtics and Brad Stevens: do we start Isaiah Thomas, or bring him off the bench as maybe the best sixth man in the league?
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