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Cute pic, you guys!!! Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

As the league's top teams move away from a "Big Three" structure to one defined by "Big Twos," they're faced with a decision.

The choice: Stagger the two stars' minutes to maximize the amount of time at least one of them is on the floor — or play them together as much as possible to maximize the amount of time they're both on the floor.

How it's playing out:

  • The staggerers: Through last weekend, the Rockets hadn't played a single non-garbage-time minute without one of Russell Westbrook or James Harden on the floor, and the Lakers had played 96% of their non-garbage-time possessions with at least one of LeBron James or Anthony Davis, per The Ringer.
  • The non-staggerers: Through last weekend, Portland's Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum had shared 83.9% of their minutes, and San Antonio's DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge (if you consider them a true "Big Two") were even higher at 86.9%.

The backdrop: "Staggering is a strikingly new approach," writes The Ringer's Zach Kram. On average, the highest-scoring duos this century played 83% of their minutes together, and Westbrook and Kevin Durant were up near 90% in Oklahoma City.

What to watch: We'll get our first glimpse of the Clippers' "Big Two" tonight, with Paul George expected to make his long-awaited debut against the Pelicans.

  • Oh wait, never mind: The Clippers played the Rockets last night, so Kawhi Leonard (load management) probably won't suit up tonight. (I get it, but come on man, this stinks).

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Technology

Twitter sues Texas AG Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton at February's Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Twitter on Monday filed a lawsuit against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), saying that his office launched an investigation into the social media giant because it banned former President Trump from its platform.

Driving the news: Twitter is seeking to halt an investigation launched by Paxton into moderation practices by Big Tech firms including Twitter for what he called "the seemingly coordinated de-platforming of the President," days after they banned him following the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate retirements could attract GOP troublemakers

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt's retirement highlights the twin challenge facing Senate Republicans: finding good replacement candidates and avoiding a pathway for potential troublemakers to join their ranks.

Why it matters: While the midterm elections are supposed to be a boon to the party out of power, the recent run of retirements — which may not be over — is upending that assumption for the GOP in 2022.

Congressional diversity growing - slowly

Data: Brookings Institution and Pew Research Center; Note: No data on Native Americans in Congress before the 107th Congress; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The number of non-white senators and House members in the 535-seat Congress has been growing steadily in the past several decades — but representation largely lags behind the overall U.S. population.

Why it matters: Non-whites find it harder to break into the power system because of structural barriers such as the need to quit a job to campaign full time for office, as Axios reported in its latest Hard Truths Deep Dive.