By Rob Mahoney
• Ethan Sherwood Strauss, in digging into the tape of the 1993 playoff series between the Houston Rockets and Seattle Supersonics, found something incredible. In a crucial sequence during overtime of a winner-take-all Game 7, a sixth Houston player darted off the bench and into the action while play was still in progress. It was an (unseen) blunder born of exuberance alone; Strauss analyzed this amazingly overlooked moment of NBA history at TrueHoop, complete with a priceless reaction from the mysterious "sixth man" himself.
• The Point Forward alumnus Zach Lowe offers a must-read list of predictions -- including hope for the Hawks, a hard truth for Phoenix, a handful of trade scenarios and plenty more -- over at Grantland.
• Andrew McNeill takes a good look at the post-up potential of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson for HoopChalk -- a new blog that's already proven to be well worth a daily read. Also from HoopChalk today (courtesy of Jared Dubin): how to best use Kobe Bryant off the ball.
• Mike Miller is apparently marketing a new energy drink? Certainly not the first name that comes to mind when I think of a beverage-induced caffeine buzz, but considering the way Miller fought through some pretty severe injuries to be an impact player in the NBA Finals, maybe it ought to be.
• The Basketball Jones is back for the second installment of its massive season preview podcast. Come for J.D.'s utterly perfect introductory segment, stay for over an hour of fun, cogent analysis.
• A fascinating look at the rankings of both ESPN.com's #NBARank project and the internal player ratings of NBA 2k13, with a focus on the discrepancies between them. One of Steve McPherson's many discoveries:
Looked at broadly, these curves and averages say something about not only the methodology of these ratings, but about what they’re for. Although both systems agree that LeBron James is the best player (a 98 in 2K13 and a 99.9 in adjusted NBARank), NBARank puts a much bigger gap between the elite players and everyone else, placing the average player further back in the curve. NBA2K13 is more generous, and I believe this is to make the game playable. On any given night, James might have a middling game while a random journeyman might step up and drop 50. But truth is stranger than fiction, and the fiction in this case is that the journeymen are evened out a little in the game to ensure they can play reasonably well all the time.