The true high-quality performances in Chris Paul's first season with the Clippers came postgame. In the bowels of Staples Center, in the lovely padded press seats, Baxter Holmes, late of the Los Angeles Times, and Kevin Arnovitz, Los Angeles' man about town, both twiddled away at the kind of prose that now finds them at the top of the Professional Basketball Writers Association's awards list for 2014, which was unveiled this past weekend in New Orleans.
Holmes, now of the Boston Globe, finished first in both the "Game Story" and "Features" categories, while Arnovitz, of ESPN.com, placed first in "Columns." Congrats to all.
1. Baxter Holmes, of the Boston Globe, details Doc Rivers' emotional return to the Garden.
2. Ethan Skolnick, then of the Palm Beach Post (now of Bleacher Report), on the Heat's miracle ending to Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
3. Jody Genessy, of the Deseret News, on a couple of Jazz pen pals.
2. Brian Windhorst, of ESPN.com, with an oral history of the 2003 NBA draft lottery.
3. Jonathan Abrams, of Grantland, on Korleone Young, a preps-to-pros player lost among the stars of today.
1. Kevin Arnovitz, of ESPN.com, exploring the impact of Jason Collins' coming out.
2. Ramona Shelburne, for ESPN Los Angeles, on how Kobe Bryant's injury affects the future of the Lakers franchise.
3. Jason Lloyd, of the Akron Beacon Journal, with the death knell of Byron Scott's tenure with the Cavaliers.