Sep 30, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks power forward Al Horford (15) answers questions during media day at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Best of the Week: Al Horford, Bill Simmons and more

Each week, the internet blows up with basketball writing from a number of sources. And each week, Right Down Euclid co-editor Chris Manning will be compiling them for you reading pleasure, starting with the best from Right Down Euclid and moving on to the entire NBA. This week features…. Have a suggestion? Tweet Chris @cwmwrites or e-mail him at [email protected].

The Best From RDE

Marc Spears Interview: Kyrie’s Development, Tristan’s Switch & Jack’s Energy by Zak Kolesar

Our very own Zak Kolesar talked with Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports to talk about Kyrie Irving’s development, what Jarrett Jack brings to the table and more. This is a must read.

Coach Mike Brown changing the culture by Dan Pilar

Dan Pilar takes a look at how Mike Brown is changing the culture in Cleveland, specifically on the defensive end of the ball. Also: come for the insight, stay for the Sam Amico humor.

Team Preview: San Antonio Spurs by Trevor Magnotti

The Spurs came oh so close to winning the NBA title this past June and our very own Trevor Magnotti has strong opinions about this team. Come from the breakdown, stay for the prediction on where the Spurs will finish in the west.

From Around the Web 

In Bhutan, a Bid to Turn Basketball Royal Sport to a National One by Gardiner Harris

Before we get to the NBA part of this week’s best writing, take a look at this piece from the New York Times about basketball in Bhutan, a kingdom in Southeastern Asia. The differences in basketball in America and Bhutan are incredible.

Andrea Bargnani’s Vacant Return to Toronto by James Herbert 

Former number one overall pick Andrea Bargnani returned to the Toronto for the first time this week since being traded to the New York Knicks this offseason. It was a hollow return to say the least.

How the top-5 defenders guard LeBron James by Coach Nick (Video)

This video from SB Nation is well worth your time. Using advanced statistics and game film, it takes a great look out some of the leagues best defenders defend LeBron James. And, for what it’s worth, I would call on Kwahi Leonard or Andre Iguodala to defend the league’s best player. Jimmy Butler comes in at a close third.

Giant Steps: How Pistons center Andre Drummond became the man by Jonathan Abrams

Jonathan Abrams is arguably the best feature writer going and his latest piece is a doozy. Taking a look at Pistons center Andre Drummond, Abrams shines a light on one of the NBA’s most exciting young talents and how got to where he is today.

A Third-Rate Babylon: The Knicks’ Potential Problems This Year & Beyond by Zach Lowe

Zach Lowe takes a hard look at the New York Knicks, not only this year but in the future as well. If he’s correct, the Knicks are destined for very expensive averageness.

Dwight Howard on leaving the Lakers: ‘”I had to do what’s best for Dwight” by Josh Robbins

Dwight Howard will never cease to amaze me. Not only did he talk in third person for a short while, but he also was upset that the Magic did not retire his number 12, instead letting Tobias Harris wear it. Here’s hoping that rumored Howard reality show comes to fruition.

LeBron belongs to history now by Paul Flannery

With a win and another MVP this year, LeBron James will put himself in a class with Bill Russell and Michael Jordan. Those are his stakes, and as SB Nation’s Paul Flannery points out, the Heat star belongs to history now.

Now Dwight Howard proves his worth by Tom Ziller Even if he’s not what he was a few years ago, Dwight Howard is a special talent, and in an NBA that is only playing smaller, has a rare skill set. Still, a lot is riding on his play in Houston this season: If he plays at a high level, Houston could be a contender to watch out for .

Al Horford’s face-up game mastery by Drew Garrison If you didn’t know it already, Al Horford has great value and  is a bargain at 12 million per year. Part of that reason is because his face up is incredible and versatile. Draw Garrison breaks it all down and make sure to watch the embedded videos.

Simmons on Magic Johnson’s departure, NBA Countdown’s future, more by Richard Deitsch

In a Q &A with Sports Illustrated, Bill Simmons was very candid and shot down the reports that he is a shadow president at ESPN and that he caused Magic Johnson to leave the ESPN/ABC Countdown show. This is a must read.

Entering Year Four, John Wall Determined to Deliver Wizards to the Playoffs by Howard Beck

You guys, I swear I won’t do this (linking Bleacher Report articles) often but Howard Beck is amazing and his column on John Wall is as well. Interesting note: Wall had a stress fracture last season when he and the team both denied it.

Celtics hope to get more W’s by catching more Z’s by Baxter Holmes

Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe is already on the best beat writer out there and his latest feature proves it. Talking with new Celtics coach Brad Stevens and a doctor who specializes in sleep disorders, he breaks down how even a few hours loss of sleep can affect your ability to preform greatly.

The Millsap All-Stars by Tom Ziller

SB Nation’s Tom Ziller select his team of Millsap All-Stars in one of his daily columns this week and it’s an interesting group. If you’re like me, there is one name on there that greatly surprised me.

The Annual Grantland League Pass Rankings (Part 1 & Part 2) by Zach Lowe & Bill Simmons

Over at Grantland, Lowe and Simmons ranked all 30 teams in the order they would view them on NBA League Pass. Some are obvious (The Suns are at the bottom, the Warriors are going to be awesome, etc) but there is some good debate in there as well. What they both wrote about the Cavaliers was especially interesting.

20 minutes at Rucker Park by Flinder Boyd

Lastly, in the longest piece of the week, Flinder Boyd tells an incredible story of a young man named TJ Webster who quit his job to travel across the country and test his game at New York’s famed Rucker Park. I’d recommend saving this story for when you a cup of coffee and a little time on your hands to take it all in.

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Tags: Al Horford Andre Drummond Cleveland Cavaliers Lebron James Marc Spears Mike Brown

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