Good morning. The score for today's newsletter is a 30-minute loop of Phil Collins' drum fill from "In the Air Tonight," via Metafilter. Please continue once you have begun the loop.
Got it? Alright, let's basketball.
PRESS PAUSE: The NBA took Monday off, so the breather gave us an opportunity to reflect. I looked at some factors causing the Spurs' long, long stretch of excellence. One of the things that stands out: San Antonio manages to stay young in the aggregate despite the graying of Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.
J. Gomez at Pounding The Rock also did a marvelous job documenting the evolution of Gregg Popovich's offense from a post-heavy attack to the gorgeous motion system we see today.
INNOCUOUS RIFT: Dion Waiters might have won Quote of the Year by acclamation on Monday. Via the AP's Tom Withers, Waiters commenting on Kyrie Irving while standing next to Kyrie Irving: "I don't hate this guy. I'm pretty sure he don't hate me. I know he don't hate me. I hope he don't hate me." Here's a roundup of Kyrie's awful week.
Speaking of Kyrie, a fabulous piece by Chris Ryan on Irving being destroyed by that which created him.
SURPRISE! Marcus Smart is in the draft. He might have been the No. 2 pick last season. We'll see how much another year in Stillwater cost him. He's definitely not going No. 2 this year.
HILARIOUS TANGENT: Former Kentucky star Rex Chapman lit up Twitter on Monday night by declaring that John Calipari was heading to the Lakers. After the Wildcats lost, Cal denied the suggestion. Then we all wondered why we listened to Rex Chapman in the first place.
FEELS: A good look at P.J. Tucker's fiery role in pushing the Suns to new heights.
DEATH QUIZ: How many of the 28 players who have appeared on the Sixers' 15-man roster this season can you name? Via Liberty Ballers. I got 22. I will be checking myself into rehab shortly.
FINISH HIM: Former UConn players reacted to the Huskies' championship win in various ways. Rudy Gay was the king, though, ragging on Kentucky fanboy Drake: "Just hold on UK is goin home!" FATALITY.
HALL OF YAY: Alonzo Mourning and Mitch Richmond lead the 2014 Basketball Hall of Fame class. Suffice it to say I'll be writing more about The Rock as the September induction approaches. College coaches Nolan Richardson and Gary Williams are also in.
AS OPPOSED TO FAKE PLUS-MINUS: Our friends over at ESPN are exploring a refined version of regularized adjusted plus-minus, which they call Real Plus-Minus. It's good to see the stat legitimized a bit more and some clean, reliable data available. I especially enjoy Kevin Pelton's RPM All-Stars.
POWER RANKINGS! Just how far did the Pacers fall?
IN MEMORIAM: The Starters remember those memes we have lost this NBA season. Is there anything Tas Melas can't do?
badum badum badum badum bum bum
Happy Tuesday. See you next time.