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The Starting 5: Who’s in Your Top 50?

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

1. “Hoops Critic Hot 50 Intro” — Josh Eberley of Hoops Critic 

NBA writers from around the Internet have joined forces to create a consensus all-time top 50 players list at Hoops Critic, and they’ll be releasing one player each day. The site actually revealed its No. 50 selection on Wednesday, which you can see here.

However, in this intro article, Eberley explains the project’s methodology and sets the stage for what should be a fascinating series. Hearing one person’s opinion on where players rank can be interesting, but an all-time list carries a lot more credibility when a variety of people’s biased opinions are evened out.

2. “Why Anthony Davis’ 145 Million Record Contract Will Be a Monumental Steal” — Josh Martin of Bleacher Report

When you heard about Anthony Davis‘ massive five-year, $145 million contract extension which kicks in in 2016-17, you probably thought, “it’s a lot of money, but he’s totally worth it with the increasing salary cap.”

But did it ever occur to you that this deal was more than worth it? Like, an underpay?

Martin looks into Davis’ tantalizing potential and also at the financial intricacies of the contract at hand, coming to the conclusion that the New Orleans Pelicans got Davis at a great price.

If you ask me, the 22-year-old (!) Davis has potential to be the best big man in NBA history (yes, I went there) if he stays healthy, so I’ll gladly board the “Brow is underpaid” bandwagon.

3. “Why Clippers’ J.J. Redick is Such a Nightmare to Defend” — Tom West of Clipperholics

I’m not sure I’ve heard J.J. Redick specifically referenced by anyone in person or on the Internet since the Clippers were knocked out of the playoffs in May. Granted, I’m not on social media 24/7 and don’t follow any Clippers-specific blogs, but you get my point: he goes under the radar.

Redick is the fourth-best player in Los Angeles’ stacked starting lineup, and it’s a role that fits the 31-year-old shooting guard perfectly. He sprints around screens looking for open shots, and since he’s the fifth-best three-point shooter in the NBA, defenders have to chase him. Redick’s teammates then benefit from the defensive attention he attracts.

West goes in-depth on the former Duke star’s skills and his merits to the Clippers’ offense.

4. “What Jimmy Butler is saying when he says he’s a point guard” — Chris Manning of Hardwood Paroxysm

Wait, so is Derrick Rose coming off the bench now, or…

Jimmy Butler called himself a point guard a few days ago, which caused people to freak out, but he didn’t mean he’d take away all ball-handling duties from Rose. Manning examines Butler’s possible reasoning behind his statement, how this newfound confidence (and skill set?) can manifest itself in the Bulls’ offense and looks at why the proclamation isn’t 100 percent false.

5. “NBA Coaching Hot Seat: Who Needs to Perform?” —Eric Saar of Basketball Insiders

As an NBA head coach, you need to show your team’s upper management you can win. And you need to do it quickly, or else you’ll get the pink slip.

Because of that, there’s always a decently long list of coaches who start the year on the hot seat, where one bad season (or stretch of play, even) is likely to end their tenure. Who are those guys this year? Saar has the scoop, and the group actually represents a pretty healthy chunk of all NBA coaches.

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