Bojan Bogdanovic Is Better Than J.J. Redick

The national NBA media (Zach Lowe at ESPN, looking at you) loves to make the case that the Philadelphia 76ers are better than they in fact are, and on some level, it’s hard to blame them. There are only so many hours in a day, and while League Pass opens up the full slate of NBA games every night, the teams that get national attention on ESPN and TNT are the teams that national writers tend to notice the most. Regular readers of this publication notice this trend at breakfast; if Twitter’s talking about it, any writer who has even …

Read More

Breakfast Special: The Quest for 3,000 Points

In the entire history of NBA basketball, only two men have scored 3,000 points in a season. One is Wilt Chamberlain (who scored a ludicrous and unbreakable 4,029 points in 1961-62 and topped the 3,000 mark three years in a row from 1961 to ’63). The other is Michael Jordan (3,041 points, 1986-87.) And while it is vanishingly unlikely that James Harden will get there (you’d have to average 36.6 points a game and play all 82), he might get as close as anyone has since Kobe Bryant scored 2,832 points in 2005-06, seventh all-time and the most by anyone …

Read More

Is Luka Doncic Really an All-Star Candidate?

Dallas Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic is currently second in the fan vote, behind only LeBron James, for the Western Conference All-Star starting forwards. Lukamania has seized the nation, as he has seized the mantle from Goran Dragic as America’s Best Slovenian. But what do NBA fans know? These are the same dingbats who have Derrick Rose second among guards in the same balloting. At least Dwyane Wade‘s vote total in the East is understandable given a lot of fans don’t care about his stats, they just want to see a Farewell Tour stop that involves sharing a court (albeit as …

Read More

Breakfast Special: James Harden, LVP

Allow me a moment of gleeful bias in an otherwise objective statistical and visual roundup of NBA action. Because James Harden shot 1-of-17 from three-point land, making one more three-pointer than Ben Simmons did yesterday, as the Rockets lost to the Magic 116-109. But here is why Harden is fundamentally absurd. He had 38 points, 12 assists, and nine rebounds, shot 11-of-32 from the field overall, and made 15-of-16 from the line, and every nitwit who’s willing to ignore his blatant manipulation of the referees and horrible shooting when they’re not giving him the calls (and the turnovers; he’s averaging …

Read More

Nikola Vucevic: Is He Any Good?

This week, we’re taking a look at Nikola Vucevic, a guy who’s getting some All-Star buzz in the East even as he flies under the radar as the center of an Orlando Magic team firmly planted in that Mediocrity Hell between the Easy First-Round Outs (Miami, Brooklyn, and Charlotte, of whom only the Heat are even so much as at .500; the other two squads are below it through games of January 10) and the Panzer Battalion that is the Hawks, Bulls, Knicks, and Cavaliers. The Magic are in 10th place in the East, 2.5 games out of eighth place …

Read More

Breakfast Special: LaMarcus Chamberlain

The San Antonio Spurs, using the three-pointer like a sniper rifle, made 16 such baskets on only 19 tries, an 84.2 percent clip. They shot 56.6 percent from the field overall. Made 56 field goals in the game. Scored 130 points in regulation. Even shot 89.7 percent from the free throw line. And LaMarcus Aldridge scored 56 (!) points on 20-of-33 shooting without even so much as attempting a three like he was latter-day Wilt Chamberlain. And yet somehow the Oklahoma City Thunder forced them to play 10 extra minutes of basketball before finally falling against the overwhelming assault of …

Read More

Breakfast Special: Kyle Kuzma Goes Beast Mode

Kyle Kuzma, after shooting an atrocious 4-of-20 in his last outing, bounced back in spectacular fashion at Staples Center, scoring 41 points on 16-of-24 shooting in just three quarters of action as the Los Angeles Lakers clobbered the Detroit Pistons 113-100. For Detroit, they helpfully provided an atrocious shooting night of their own (44.8/31.8/57.1), got to the line only 14 times all game (making eight, against 13-of-18 for the Lakers), and played horrific defense overall, allowing the Lakers to shoot 56.1 percent overall. Someone clearly turned up Kuzma’s “recover from slump” slider in the video game of life. Lonzo Ball …

Read More

Breakfast Special: Down With 34-Minute Basketball Games

Indiana Pacers fans were uncomfortably reminded of the bad old days Tuesday night, as a 26-point lead nearly evaporated against the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers, before the Pacers—the last team Cleveland beat before the Cavs’ current 10-game losing streak—avoided bookending the streak in question and finished off the 123-115 win. And the Pacers defense was so hideous that it only serves to remind us all why Myles Turner deserves to be Defensive Player of the Year; the team is a completely different squad without him anchoring the defense and protecting the rim. All due respect to Domantas Sabonis, who is a …

Read More

“The Pacers Haven’t Beaten Anyone,” They Say

The Indiana Pacers, coming into Tuesday’s matchup (which as this goes to press Indiana leads 63-43 at the half in Cleveland), are riding a 13-3 record in their last 16 games, a two-game losing streak in mid-December and a loss to Toronto punctuating a 7-game and 6-game winning streak for the 13 victories. Standing at 26-13, the Pacers own the third-best record in the East and the fourth-best (Denver is third overall) in the entire league, trailing Toronto and Milwaukee. Halfway through the season, they’re on pace (if the Cleveland score holds) for 55 wins. As if that weren’t enough, …

Read More

Anthony Bennett: Is He Any Good?

(Ed. note: This piece originally ran on December 1, 2016. I’m re-posting it because with Bennett’s name in the news after a recent star turn in the G-League, NBA teams are seriously considering signing him to a 10-day contract and seeing what he can do. Enjoy!) “Jesus, Fox, Anthony Bennett? Are you changing your column to Is This NBA Player Even Still in the League?” I hear some of you saying. Hardly. I’m just taking the title of my column literally this week, as in is this NBA player any good, like, at all? More specifically, let’s define the myth …

Read More