Drazen Petrovic goes to the basket. We miss him. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images)
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 Bergen Record and ESPN. Friday marks 20 years since the death of Drazen Petrovic, the trendsetting, trail-blazing, 3-bombing, heart-racing guard whom Steve Popper remembers as "a Croatian combination of Pete Maravich, Michael Jordan and Manu Ginobili" and whom the New York Times' Harvey Araton tells ESPN contributor Todd Spehr was the first European-born NBA player "to carry himself like a star." If you never got to see Petrovic play, get thee to YouTube. If you did, and just want to remember, click that link or one of the two above, and spend a few moments revisiting one of the brightest-burning lights this game has ever seen.
PF: San Antonio Express-News. Buck Harvey on Tony Parker, the "no fluke" San Antonio Spurs and a Game 1 win that wasn't really an upset is just a delightful read.
SF: SB Nation. This is brilliantly thorough work by Mike Prada in breaking down how Parker has become what he argues is "the NBA's toughest riddle" to solve, a point guard with absolute mastery of his own skills and his team's offensive system, the ability and freedom to ad-lib as needed, and a bottomless gas tank that keeps him pushing and pushing and pushing until the opposition falls backward.
SG: TrueHoop. Coach/analyst David Thorpe tells Henry Abbott why he believes the Miami Heat's biggest problem in Game 1 of the NBA Finals was a general lack of aggression, and why if he was in the Miami locker room, he'd have been lighting his team up on Thursday night.
6th: SB Nation and HoopChalk. Prada and Dylan Murphy dig deep on how San Antonio varied its looks and approaches while maintaining its execution in the pick-and-roll game to be able to beat the Heat's aggressive blitzing/trapping defensive scheme.
8th: Vimeo. Palate-cleansing time. This is a very cool video from Sai Selvarajan about loving basketball and hip-hop.
9th: Peachtree Hoops. I really enjoyed this post from Robby Kalland looking at how new Atlanta Hawks coach/longtime Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer might deploy the awesome and underappreciated Al Horford as the Hawks' version of Tim Duncan next season.
10th: Dr. David J. Leonard. An interesting angle on coverage and praise of San Antonio: Do we talk about the Spurs as "model minorities?"
Got a link or tip for Ball Don't Lie? Give me a shout at devine (at) yahoo-inc.com, or follow me on Twitter.