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The Starting 5: New year, same ol’ Clippers

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers speaks with guard Austin Rivers during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)
AP Photo/Steve Dykes

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

1. There’s Still No Suspense For The Clockwork Clippers – Jonathan Tjarks, The Ringer

The Los Angeles Clippers are the very definition of a pseudo-contender. They’re going to win a ton of regular-season games. They’re going to get home-court advantage in the first round. They’re going to make waves. But wouldn’t it be shocking if they won a title? The Clippers have had the same strengths for years now to lead them to a successful season. They also have the same flaws that will prevent them from being champions.

2. Dallas Mavericks: Harrison Barnes Has Found The Perfect Environment – Maxwell Ogden, Hoops Habit

One of the most criticized moves of the offseason was the Dallas Mavericks signing Harrison Barnes to a four-year max deal worth nearly $95 million. The criticism was valid. Barnes hadn’t done enough to become a max player, especially on the heels of an atrocious NBA Finals. The Mavericks may have been turned into the punchline of a joke, but early returns on Barnes show that they might be the ones laughing in the end.

3. A Season of Change With NBA Rules – Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel

When you think of the NBA offseason, chances are high that rule changes aren’t the first thing that pops into your head. Luckily, Winderman does a masterful job glossing over new rules, edits to existing rules and possible rule changes in the future. You can’t criticize the referees if you don’t know the rules, right?

4. The Switching Hour: How defensive versatility is changing the NBA game – Peter Keating, ESPN.com

It’s of my belief that sportswriters have two jobs with their writing: educate or entertain. If a writer can do both, then that makes a great piece. Keating’s work on the growing trend of valuing defensive versatility provides an in-depth look at how defending multiple positions is already the next trend to take the NBA by storm and how those in the know can measure it. If you want to stay ahead of the curve on what’s next in the NBA, this is a must read.

5. Damian Lillard ripped the Nuggets’ hearts out with 2 buzzer beaters – Mike Prada, SB Nation

Damian Lillard is not playing around this season. The Denver Nuggets found out the hard way in what was either a heartbreaking loss or an inspiring win, depending on which team you were rooting for. The Nuggets possessed an eight-point lead and the ball with 50 seconds left, but it wasn’t enough to hold back Lillard and the Blazers. Lillard’s heroics on Saturday night are just the latest display of his knack for taking and making shots in the clutch.

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