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The Starting 5: Josh Smith Clears the Air

Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports

The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the Internet

1. Facts Only – Josh Smith, The Players’ Tribune

Josh Smith uses The Players’ Tribune as a platform to get the truth out about the recent comments he made about how the decision to go to the Clippers was going to make things a bit harder on him and his family. This piece came off very defensive for something that honestly isn’t that big of a deal, but it’s still cool to see things from Smoove’s perspective.

2. Despite Positive Offseason, L.A. Clippers Need Blake Griffin More Than Ever – Fred Katz, Bleacher Report

The Clippers made some big moves this offseason and have themselves geared up to make a big playoff run alongside the Warriors and Spurs. Blake Griffin has established himself as one of the top power forwards in the league, and even one of the best 10-15 players in the NBA. With all the new talent the Clippers added, Griffin will be able to take some of the load off during the season, helping with his endurance during the postseason. Griffin was noticeably tired during the second round against the Rockets, and who could blame him after his epic performance and effort during the first round and the first couple of games in the second round.

3. Finding Minutes For The Unorthodox Game Of T.J. Warren – Jonathan Tjarks, RealGM

I outlined the strengths and weaknesses of the dynamic forward a couple weeks ago, and Tjarks over at RealGM takes a look at how Warren can find minutes in the Suns’ system. While he didn’t play much during his first season, there looks to be more room on the depth chart for him this year. In the hyper-competitive West, Warren may only really have a quarter of the season to prove himself before the coach decides if he’s worthy to garner the minutes he has the potential for.

4. 3 reasons the Pelicans will be better without making any big roster moves – Jesus Gomez, SB Nation 

One reason why the Pelicans will be in the playoffs for the next half-decade is due to the man that trademarked his unibrow. Having one of the top five players in the NBA is a huge boost for any team, and the title of the article is a bit misleading because the Pelicans will need to acquire some more talent if they want to be true contenders. Improving chemistry and individual talent is important, sure, but it’s certainly not “reasons” why a team will improve in a big way.

5. Rewriting History: Loving basketball even after your hoop dreams collapse -Daniel Wilco, Sports Illustrated

A fantastic article that details how one reconstructs their life after a career in basketball is taken away from them. Basketball is such a culture in the world, to the point where people say “Ball is Life.” I can’t imagine what it would be like to have the world of basketball yanked away from you, especially after a promising future.

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