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Rants, References and Revelations

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- David Stern took incredible heat at the beginning of this week for how the league handled the Chris Paul trade offers. The prescience of this take that Stern handled the situation with a ton of savvy from a negotiations standpoint was remarkable. When the dust settled and the deal went down, the Hornets ended up with a haul of a different sort. Kevin Martin, Luis Scola and Lamar Odom would have meant fighting to get into the playoffs. Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu and that unprotected first round pick gives them a huge jumpstart on the rebuilding process.

- How closely will the Chris Paul the Clippers get resemble the Chris Paul of the past few seasons?

- Regardless of health or age-related decline, Paul obviously has a ton to offer the Clippers. Zach Lowe offers some specifics.

- It feels like we’ve seen an unprecedented amount of top-tier player movement over the past year and a half. I took a look at the top 100 players in Win Shares for the 2009-2010 season. From that group, from then to now 46 players and 328.7 Win Shares have either changed teams or left the league.

- If you don’t know EvanZ, it’s time to get introduced. Evan writes about the Warriors for Golden State of Mind and at his own blog The City. He spends as much time thinking and writing about basketball statistics as just about anyone. Pair that up with a gift to explain complex concepts in simple terms and you’ve got something special. Check out his Advanced Statistics Primer and follow him on Twitter – @TheCity2.

- President Prokhorov?

- Rob Mahoney, of The Two Man Game, posits that the Dallas Mavericks may be about to open a new front in the positional revolution.

Henry Abbott reviewed a new study looking for the “hot hand.” Spoiler alert: It’s as real as BigFoot.

- NBA off-the court style changed quite a bit over the past decade. Wesley Morris of Grantland, discusses the new nerdish tendencies.

- Gregg Popovich, discussing Gary Neal’s appendix surgery, is obviously trying out some new material for his halftime interviews:

“They took out his appendix,” Popovich said. “He didn’t come to practice.

“Remember when we got our appendixes taken out? Next day, we were out shoveling snow. He gets his appendix out, he’s lying in bed: ‘It hurts, Coach. I can’t do anything.’

“I sent him a little card. It had a doe on it, a little deer. It smelled of flowers and everything. I wanted him to know we were thinking about him. If I was worth anything, I would have thought of sending ice cream with it, just to make him happier.”

The team’s medical staff won’t allow Neal to get back on the court until Monday.

“He’s probably going to miss three or four games, I’m thinking, something like that,” Popovich said. “Then he’ll be ready to go. He’s not going to forget how to shoot, but he was working really hard at the defensive end of the court, trying to improve the all-around part of his game, so that’s a tough break for him.”

Aaron McGuire of Gothic Ginobili brought a ton of depth to his Brandon Roy retrospective. Emma Carmichael joined him with this heartfelt send-off.

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