Breakfast Special: Andre Iguodala’s Veteran Leadership

You know we don’t go in much for eye test here at Pace and Space, and we especially don’t go in much for fuzzy “intangible” narratives that don’t have hard numbers to back them up. But how do you explain the Warriors’ repeated lapses of concentration when they had the chance to put the Rockets away both early and late? After all, the team led 12-0 almost before the Rockets got their warmups off. They led 82-70 in the fourth quarter. And in both cases, the Rockets erased the double-digit lead; in the latter case, they made Stephen Curry and …

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Breakfast Special: The Warriors-Cavaliers Inevitability

There are two ways you can interpret the Cleveland Cavaliers’ completing their defense of their home court in Games 3 and 4, including Monday’s 111-102 win to draw the series level at two games apiece. Either the Celtics, who have been outstanding at home but utterly putrid on the road in these playoffs (they are now just 1-6 away from Boston in the postseason while they’re 9-0 at home), are headed toward a seven-game series win in which the home team wins all seven games, and therefore there is no reason to panic or even to find anything we’ve seen …

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November 7, 1991: Remembering the Day Magic Johnson Made HIV Real

Earvin “Magic” Johnson did not invent HIV awareness. If Gaetan Dugas and Rock Hudson and the Ronald Reagan administration’s blatant failures and Ryan White and Freddie Mercury and MTV hadn’t made you HIV/AIDS-aware by November 7, 1991, when Magic announced to the world that he had contracted the virus, you either had your head in a hole or you possessed extraordinary powers of “that only happens to other people.” Ed. note: This article originally appeared on November 7, 2016. What made Magic Johnson special wasn’t that some celebrity got HIV. What made Magic Johnson special was that he was a …

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Breakfast Special: The Conference Finals Have Been Terrible

Over the weekend, our reward as fans for patiently awaiting the return of the NBA conference finals was…two anticlimactic blowouts, one that kept the narrative alive for two titans of the East trading blows as they defend their home floors, the other a reinforcement of the idea that Mike D’Antoni is the Marty Schottenheimer of basketball coaches and Daryl Morey, like Billy Beane in baseball, has a secret system that doesn’t work in the playoffs. Beginning in the East, Saturday featured Cleveland just plain kicking the crap out of Boston 116-86. The game got out of hand almost from the …

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Tom Thibodeau is a terrible coach and Minnesota should fire him

So a lot of trade rumors involving Karl-Anthony Towns have been floating around the land of the #AllEyesNorth hashtag on Twitter, and this got me thinking about the bigger problems with the franchise. So I went to Basketball Reference looking for answers, and..well… 30th in three-point attempts per game AND in three-point attempt rate (percentage of overall shot attempts which are threes.) Fourth in offensive rebound percentage but 24th in defensive rebound percentage. My gods. Tom Thibodeau has Scott-Hollins Syndrome. Worse still, a coach who built a reputation as a defensive “mastermind” has consistently presided over one of the worst …

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Breakfast Special: Warriors In 6. Not Warriors In 4.

By definition, in a six-game series, the losing team wins two games. More importantly, the losing team, usually the favorite in the series who starts at home, wins those two games at home. Either they take the first two games, lose two on the road, come back home, and everything goes sideways in Game 5, or they lose one of the first two games at home, fall down 3-1 on the road, pull one back, then ultimately succumb to the enemy’s fans going bonkers and the atmosphere of a team knowing they’re toast if the series gets pushed to seven …

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Breakfast Special: LeBron James Isn’t Making the Finals Himself

Before this series, I predicted that the Cavs would win in six, and that the road game that proved decisive would be Game 5; Cleveland, losing the first two on the road, figuring it out at home, and then having LeBron James drop a LeBron Game on the Boston faithful before the Cavs completed their unusual—in the sense that LeBron is on a G-League team yet manages to power them by himself—Finals run, whereupon they’d get stomped in five by Golden State again, the way they were last year and might well have been in 2016 had the league not …

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Breakfast Special: Time to Panic, Rockets Fans

It is one thing to read too much into a Game 1 when it doesn’t tell us anything about the relative strengths of the teams, with one team winning big, but on its home floor against a player notorious for treating a seven-game series as a boxing match, feeling out the opponent in the early rounds. It is another thing for a team to go into an opponent’s house, punch them square in the mouth, knock out a couple of teeth, and then dare them to bite back against a title defense by the champion. And that’s why the Houston …

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Breakfast Special: Celtics 1, LeBron James 0

OK, Cleveland, everybody panic, the series is over, the Celtics punked LeBron James so hard that 15 years of his legacy are all wiped off the board and he’s now worse than Smush Parker on the all-time list. Or, y’know, let’s try and keep this in perspective as the Boston Celtics won Game 1 at home, doing what they were supposed to do in a seven-game series while simultaneously casting just the first die in a dance that LeBron’s been doing for seven straight and nearly an eighth straight Finals appearance. LeBron himself even said that Game 1’s about feeling …

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Confessions of a James Harden Hater

I hate watching James Harden play basketball. With every fiber of my basketball aesthetics-loving, flow and pace-worshipping, strong sense of fair play-having NBA fan soul, I hate every single goddamn thing about James Harden’s game. I want Chris Paul to score 40 a game against the Warriors, singlehandedly carry the Rockets to a win in seven games, then when LeBron James does to Harden what Michael Jordan did first to Charles Barkley in 1993 and then again to Karl Malone in 1997, embarrassing him for having the audacity to win the MVP despite not being the best player in the …

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