The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the Internet
1. Will the real Atlanta Hawks please stand up? – Tim Cato, SB Nation
There were two different Atlanta Hawks teams last season, one before the all-star break in which they won 43 of a possible 54 games, and one post all-star break that saw some of the shots that were falling in previous months rim out. The Hawks are largely bringing back the same core they had last season with the exception of DeMarre Carroll. Unfortunately for the Hawks, Kent Bazemore and newly acquired Tim Hardaway Jr. aren’t suitable replacements for a player with the abilities of Carroll. While the Hawks will probably finish with one of the better records in the Eastern Conference, there is some reason for concern.
2. BBALLBREAKDOWN’s Top 50 NBA Players: 45-41 – Jesse Blanchard, BBALLBREAKDOWN
With the season of ranking players upon us (feel free to check mine out while you’re at it), the second edition of the top 50 players are up at BBALLBREAKDOWN. There is a mix of young and aging talent in a list that consists of only five players with Nikola Vucevic representing the young, and Zach Randolph, Dirk Nowitzki and Tony Parker representing the aging. The other player mentioned is Brook Lopez, who probably does not get enough credit for the production he provides despite playing in Brooklyn.
3. Concerning Coaches: Terry Stotts, potential victim of change – Chris Manning, Hardwood Paroxysm
With four of the five starters changing in Portland, the person that might suffer the most is head coach Terry Stotts. After two seasons of surprising success centered around a big man able to score 20 points on any given night, a dynamic sharp-shooting point guard and a stable of role players who fit perfectly, only Damian Lillard remains, and he’ll be surrounded by a number of teammates looking for their first real opportunity in the league. Portland will likely be one of the worst teams in the Western Conference, and unfortunately for Stotts, he may be seen as part of the reason if the growth isn’t going as planned over the next few months.
4. San Antonio Spurs: Dissecting LaMarcus Aldridge’s Defense – Shane Young, Hoops Habit
This is an extensive breakdown of what to expect from LaMarcus Aldridge defensively. While I’m not as high as Aldridge as others, he does bring a unique approach to what the Spurs can do, and he can hold his own with an elite wing defender and Tim Duncan behind him. Everything else you need to know can be found in Shane’s piece.
5. Moses Malone needed no polish to be one of the NBA’s greatest – and most memorable – Adi Joseph, Sporting News
Many good words have been spoken about Moses Malone since his untimely death earlier in the week. He was one of the first pioneers of the high school to NBA era, and did so at a level that was untouched for many years. He was possibly the best rebounder in the history of the league, with a personality to match his skill. He was the only player to win back-to-back NBA MVP awards with two different teams doing so in 1982 with the Rockets and in 1983 with the 76ers (he also won the NBA Finals MVP with the 76ers). There may be better players in the history of the NBA, but none that have affected the game quite the way Moses did.