The 10-man rotation, starring how Lionel Hollins’ Brooklyn Nets might look

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: The Brooklyn Game, twice. Ryan Carbain looks at how Lionel Hollins’ offensive and defensive systems line up with the personnel he inherits with the Brooklyn Nets, and how things might need to change as Hollins gets comfortable in Barclays Center.

PF: Nylon Calculus. Jacob Rosen makes the statistical argument for Kevin Garnett being one of the more transformative offensive players in recent NBA history.

SF: The Cauldron. Jim Cavan looks at the lack of interest in Greg Monroe in restricted free agency — similar to the quiet surrounding fellow RFA Eric Bledsoe — and sees a deep and depressing connection with the Detroit Pistons’ big man’s adopted city: “Like the broken gray Gotham he represents, Greg Monroe’s game was built to last, until somehow it suddenly wasn’t.”

SG: Bucksketball. The Milwaukee Bucks could have thrown a big-time offer sheet at Bledsoe, but it appears they won’t. Should they have, though? Jeremy Schmidt and K.L. Chouinard consider what kind of difference the explosive two-way guard might have made for new head coach Jason Kidd.

PG: Sports Illustrated. With Kevin Love trade talk continuing to percolate, Rob Mahoney revisits a handful of recent trades involving superstars to remind us all of the inescapable risk that comes along with engineering the exit of an elite talent.

6th: Upside and Motor. It seems unlikely that Harrison Barnes will ever live up to the “next LeBron James” or “next Kobe Bryant” hype that attended him going out of high school and briefy at North Carolina. But Sam Vecenie wonders: Could he become the next Joe Johnson?

7th: Memphis Commercial Appeal. Chris Herrington’s always great Pick-and-Pop column takes a look at which teams in the West are trending up, trending down or standing pat (which, in a conference this brutal, tends to mean you’re trending down).

8th: NBA.com. David Aldridge looks at how Canada Basketball has grown over the years, and how the rise of talents like back-to-back No. 1 draft picks Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins have Canada expecting big things in upcoming international competitions.

9th: Wall Street Journal. Ben Cohen and Andrew Beaton on how the relationship between LeBron James and David Blatt might be just as beneficial for the four-time MVP as it is for the new Cleveland Cavaliers head coach: “Everything he learned overseas, his former players and colleagues say, gives Blatt an edge in today’s NBA and fits James’s game in particular.”

10th: Salt City Hoops. Clint Johnson poses an interesting question: With all the talk about how the Utah Jazz want to emulate the San Antonio Spurs’ roster-building and management model, doesn’t maxing out to max Gordon Hayward’s offer sheet mark a fairly significantly divergence from that path?

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

Stay connected with Ball Don’t Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL, “Like” BDL on Facebook and follow BDL’s Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.

VOD: Florida State freshmen release ridiculous music video

What would the college football offseason be without some players trying to rap?

Four Florida State freshmen – Demarcus Christmas, Derrick Nnadi, Jacob Pugh and Lorezno Featherston – put their rap skills on display and dropped a track called “Gotta Make it to the Top” on Tuesday, and it’s, well, interesting.

Apparently it’s a parody of this viral YouTube video that I did not know existed until about four minutes ago. The song is jam-packed with mumbled lyrics, out-of-tune singing and the video has lots of shiny lights and slow-motion and sunglasses. I suggest you watch it if you’re into those things.

If you take it for what it is – a joke – you’ll enjoy it. But I’m sure there will be some fans out there who take issue with these kids having a bit of fun during the offseason.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be doing everything I can to get the song out of my head.

For more Florida State news, visit Warchant.com.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

Bulls’ Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose urge Chicago residents to ‘stand up’ in anti-violence PSA (Video)

That’s the first in a series of 60-second public service announcements produced by Joakim Noah’s charitable organization imploring Chicago residents to come together and stem the rising tide of violence that has swept away dozens of lives this summer.

The Chicago Bulls center introduced the “Chicago, Stand Up” campaign at a youth-focused event at a community center in the city’s Near West Side section held Friday, the day before his Noah’s Arc Foundation hosted a basketball tournament for 18- to 24-year-old men from different parts of Chicago aimed at emphasizing messages of peace, unity, competition and togetherness. (The Friday event also included Noah playfully swatting young fans’ shots, as befits his status as the NBA’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year.)

“This Peace Tournament at the United Center is very, very special to me,” Noah said, according to Blake Schuster of the Chicago Tribune. “Sports are something that unites people. To be able to do that where we play and compete every day is special.”

While the tournament was a one-day event, the PSAs — which are narrated by rapper/actor Common and feature Noah alongside his Bulls teammate Derrick Rose, young people from the city and a variety of community activists — will continue to air. Noah hoping that with enough passionate repetition and substantive action, the message — to turn away from violence and retribution, and to turn toward more positive pursuits, whether they be athletic, artistic, professional or otherwise — will be heard.

“The summer months bring a lot of violence, and we felt it was urgent to get this PSA out now in order to bring some hope, change and support to the community,” Noah said, according to Maudlyne Ihejirika of the Chicago Sun-Times.

More tangible efforts will be needed to quell the violence that has resulted in 222 homicides in the city in 2014 thus far, according to RedEye Chicago. Getting your arms around a problem so daunting, so pervasive, isn’t easy, but Noah remains committed to doing what he can to get the ball rolling. From Jon Greenberg of ESPN Chicago:

“This city has given me so much, it’s hard to know what’s really going on a couple blocks from here,” on the West Side, Noah said. “The South Side is close. This is where I live. I live in Chicago now. I just want to do my best. I don’t know all the answers. At the end of the day, I just want to go out there and help, because this is just as important to me as winning a championship.” [...]

“It’s not about legacy, it’s not about none of that,” Noah said. “I don’t care about that. It’s about helping people. At the end of the day, that, to me, is bigger than basketball.

Here’s more on the PSA unveiling from CBS 2 in Chicago:

Hat-tip to For the Win.

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

Stay connected with Ball Don’t Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL, “Like” BDL on Facebook and follow BDL’s Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.

How long until John Tortorella is back behind an NHL bench?

It’s no secret that John Tortorella’s tenure in Vancouver was a disaster, but here’s one story you may not have heard.

Tortorella never actually lived in Vancouver. Instead, he lived in nearby Point Roberts, which is across the American border, but only about a 45-minute drive from Rogers Arena on a good day. For practice days (which were so rare the players complained) Tortorella would drive in for a brief appearance, and then head home, leaving his assistants to handle everything else.

Mike Gillis got so frustrated with his quick turnarounds that the team eventually built a bed into Tortorella’s office so he could take naps there instead of driving home. You can watch Willie Desjardins react with bemusement to the fold-out bed in this video of the Canucks showing their new coach into his office.

But despite Tortorella’s one-and-done turn in Vancouver, which is destined for infamy and seems like a pretty logical endpoint to his NHL head coaching career, former GM Jay Feaster is confident that Tortorella’s not done.

“I think time heals all wounds,” he said in an exclusive interview with the Fischler Report:

I believe that John will get back. General managers in the league know he’s a good coach, and you take the good with the bad. Part of what makes him a good coach is that he does not have the political correctness gene. He is not worried about what you or me or what anybody else thinks about him – he’s going to do what he thinks is right. I think some time away, so time to decompress, I think that’ll be good for him.

I don’t have any doubt that at some point in time, a team is going to be struggling and a team is going to need some discipline, some structure, and a general manager is going to say, “This is a guy that can provide it.”

Feaster’s probably right. It won’t be too long before some team decides they need discipline, and then makes the puzzling leap that the famously difficult Tortorella is the man to provide it. 

It will be insane, especially when you consider a story Feaster told just prior to vouching for Tortorella, about one of the legendary run-ins between Torts and Larry Brooks of the New York Post.

After a heated game versus the Devils, Feaster was worried Tortorella would blow up if he went out for his postgame presser before calming down:

We were literally nose to nose in each other’s faces. I was between he and the door. He said, “Jay, I’m telling you, I’m fine.” We go back and forth with this song and dance, so off he goes to do the media. It wasn’t three minutes later that somebody came walking by and said, “Guess what your head coach just told [NY Post reporter] Larry Brooks to do on live television?” Of course he dropped another F-bomb and he came back in and I looked at him and I said, “I thought you were fine!” He hanged his head and looked at me and said, “Did I put you in a bad spot?” If I had a dollar for every time I heard him say, “Did I put you in a bad spot?” We had a lot of fun together.

“Did I put you in a bad spot?” is the new “Did I do that?” One assumes he also said this to Mike Gillis after trying to punch his way through the Calgary Flames’ hallway like that one scene in Oldboy.

And yet, Tortorella’s next opportunity — to be a paragon of discipline, ironically enough — will undoubtedly come. I can hardly fathom it. Back in March, I asked aloud if we were living in the end times of Tortorella’s coaching career:

If John Tortorella is let go after this season, he may never coach in the NHL again. There were few that wanted him last season before the Canucks surprised everyone and decided to take a chance, and they were burned for it. Who else is going to look at what’s happened here in Vancouver, and how clearly at fault the coach has been for much of it — how out of control he was that night in the hallway versus Calgary, how badly he mismanaged his goalies at the Winter Classic, how thoroughly he destroyed the Sedinery that made Vancouver so special, how, by the end of one season, nothing worked, and he looked completely out of ideas — and say, ‘he’s our guy’?

Nobody is, I suggested, foolishly, but Feaster’s words are a reminder that I wasn’t being nearly cynical enough about the NHL’s front-office recycling program.

Still, as crazy as it seems to me, I’m looking forward to Tortorella’s return. Hockey needs personalities like him — guys who can’t help but be themselves, regardless of how difficult that is.  

And let me tell you, it is difficult. In the interview, Feaster tells of players coming to his office to complain about Tortorella’s in-your-face approach.

“The guy would come in and say, ‘He hates me.’ I would always tell him, ‘Don’t flatter yourself, he hates all of us.’”

LeBron James has chosen a new uniform number

After some careful, crowd-sourced consideration, it appears as if new Cleveland Cavaliers small forward will choose the No. 23 for his next uniform. James announced as much on Twitter during Sunday afternoon:


I know that two multiplied by three equals six, but I genuinely have no idea what this tweet means. Maybe it’s a code that is only given to people that can get rim on a 10-foot hoop.

Unfamiliar maths aside, James’ choice does call into question the nationally televised statement he made nearly a half-decade ago:

Apparently it’s cool to wear Michael Jordan’s number now because, well, two times three equals six.

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Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!