Wednesday Storylines

Dave Murphy —  June 19, 2013

It seems almost silly to write anything basketball that isn’t purely about last night’s epic Game 6 OT slugfest. In the end, Tim Duncan’s 30/17 front loaded night couldn’t quite outlast LeBron’s 32/10/11 – the latter doing much of his damage late in the game. You could almost hear the collective groan of keypads everywhere – suffice to say there were stories being written in the last few minutes of regulation that did not end up being used.

In an era of quick-bite news feeds, Kevin Arnovitz’s longform article about the San Antonio Spurs stands out. The premise is nothing new – centering on the recalcitrant nature of a team that plays by the fundamentals at the cost of mega popularity. Arnovitz steadily peels back the layers though, getting to some essential truths about choices made and a determination to stick with authenticity.

The Grantland staff put together their NBA Finals Shootaround: Just Like Heaven and there’s not much to say except just read the piece – classic sample observation, “basketball is a drug.”

On to Lakers business. You’d have to be living under a rock not to know of the parade of injuries visited upon the Los Angeles Lakers this past season. Often blared and sensationalized, the subject is illuminated through a terrific Mike Trudell interview of Lakers trainer Gary Vitti.

Somewhere between the polar ends of self-parody and hard cold business lies an essential conflict. Using the framework of the new film comedy “This Is The End”, Andy Kamenetzky from the Land O’Lakers examines the act of Dwight.

This year’s draft is sneaking up fast. With only the 48th pick to play with, the Lakers’ challenge will be to find a player who can actually function at an NBA level. Ben Rosales has been writing cogently about the process for Silver Screen & Roll – here he looks at six prospects who came in for a group pre-draft workout.

Sasha Vujacic made a unusual two-year commitment to Anadolu Efes during the 2011 NBA lockout. This past April, the 2012 Turkish All-Star MVP was suspended for disciplinary reasons in the middle of the Euroleague quarterfinals. The team failed to advance to the next round and has yet to elaborate on how things went so wrong. Last Friday, Vujacic said goodbye to Istanbul on Facebook, adding that “the truth will come out”. The former Machine is hoping to resume his NBA career. Here, Matt Agne for Sports Media 101 hypothesizes about a place for Vujacic with the Knicks.

I know, how can you follow a paragraph about a man who once reigned supreme at the charity stripe? Nonetheless, basketball life does go on. Tomorrow night will bring Game 7 of the NBA Finals in Miami. There will be no lack or predictions between now and then but if the first six games were any indication, this one will be another war. Are you fired up? Ready to go?

Dave Murphy