Jason Collins and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Season

Jason Collins was one of the greatest defensive players ever to take the floor in an NBA game, a perpetual stay-away shutdown guy who wasn’t a great rebounder, wasn’t a great shotblocker, and put up cover-your-eyes box score stats but who continually altered opposing game plans by going full “you shall not pass” Gandalf on walling off the restricted area. In that sense, he was like a great NFL defensive back who doesn’t get a lot of pass deflections or interceptions for the sole reason that quarterbacks are terrified to throw the ball to his side of the field; guys …

Read More

Breakfast Special: Golden State Bluesmobile

The Golden State Warriors always prided themselves on “strength in numbers”, but the only numbers anyone’s counting in Oakland as the team prepares to depart across the Bay next season are the ones on the potential lost free agent contracts for Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. Durant suffered what history says will be a career-ending injury to his Achilles in Game 5, while Thompson, after scoring 30 points, collapsed in a literal sense down the stretch when his ACL finally said “no mas” in his left knee. Although, to Klay’s credit, holy crap: Klay walking back onto the court WITH …

Read More

Kevin Durant’s Career Is Over

Sometimes, a player can get injured, even catastrophically, sit out a season, come back, and return to the form they enjoyed before they got hurt, noticing no dropoff in performance that anyone is able to measure statistically. An Achilles tendon rupture, which Kevin Durant suffered during Game 5 of the NBA Finals, is not one of those injuries that players typically come back from. Here’s a list of the All-Stars besides Durant who have torn Achilles tendons, according to collected sources from a Google search that all seemed to be working from the same data set: Elton Brand, Dominique Wilkins, …

Read More

Breakfast Special: 12 Minutes of Kevin Durant

I am, in my heart of hearts, a deeply religious man. I believe in the gods, and I believe that the gods are the arbiters of probability, the referees who decide whether Schrodinger’s Cat lives or dies, and in their various guises made manifest at sporting events. And not in the performative Christianity “thank God for this championship” sort of way. Just once I’d like to hear a player on the losing side say “well, we’d have won, but you heard the other team. God wanted them to win, clearly.” No, I’m talking about the kind of divine intervention that …

Read More

The Pacers’ Point Guard Options Are All Terrible

The Indiana Pacers have so many trade and free agency rumors swirling around who is going to start at point guard when the 2019-20 season tips off that you could plug any name from the entire NBA into a Mad Libs and send it off for editing and readers would tweet it far and wide with no regard for its credibility. Part of this is because every offseason for every team at every position of need is like this and part of it is the simple fact that the Pacers, by virtue of Darren Collison being about to turn 32 …

Read More

The Pacers—And Everyone Else—Should Avoid DeMar DeRozan

The San Antonio Spurs are, unsurprisingly, rumored to be interested in moving on from DeMar DeRozan, figuring out a year too late that having a guy who relies heavily on low-efficiency midrange jump shots probably isn’t a guy you want taking a high volume of shots in your offense in 2019. What’s more, DeRozan and Kawhi Leonard, by virtue of being swapped for each other, provided a perfect test case for just how grotesquely overrated DeRozan is, as 60 regular-season games of Kawhi Leonard was (as this goes to press, it’s the day before Game 5, so if you’re reading …

Read More

Breakfast Special: Will the Raptors Blow a 3-1 Lead?

The Golden State Warriors finally failed to hit 109 points in a Finals game, a score they’d posted like clockwork in each of the first three games of this championship series despite losing two of them. Too bad for them, because 109 would’ve been enough to win this one. As it stands they lost 105-92 to the Toronto Raptors and look an awful lot like a team that’s going to be forced to surrender when the battle shifts back to Canada for Game 5. In some small way, this is validation for Kevin Durant. Stephen Curry looked completely spent in …

Read More

Breakfast Special: Now Steph Knows How LeBron Feels

Granted, Shaun Livingston is not J.R. Smith, but for Stephen Curry, his 47-point, 14-of-31 shooting, 6-of-14 from three and 13-of-14 from the line, eight-rebound, seven-assist gem of a game, one of the greatest performances in defeat in NBA Finals history, was wasted in a listless 123-109 loss in Game 3 as the Toronto Raptors grabbed back home-court advantage. Not since LeBron James‘ 51-point, 8-rebound, 8-assist performance last year, which was ruined when Smith lost track of the clock and launched a thousand Internet memes has one player done so much with his teammates just standing around watching. Although on the …

Read More

Breakfast Special: Until the Road Team Wins a Game

The Golden State Warriors scored 109 points in each of the first two games of the NBA Finals. Trouble for Toronto came when they scored 118 in the first game and just 104 in the second, leaving the series tied at 1, home court advantage for now having evaporated, and the series on its way back to Oakland for Games 3 and 4 as the Dubs send off Oracle Arena in potential in-six championship fashion before heading into the new fancy digs in San Francisco next season. Game 2 was made possible by one of Golden State’s patented third quarters, …

Read More

The Indiana Pacers Should Trade the 18th Pick in 2019

The Indiana Pacers are, as of this writing and pending any Woj bombs or Shams scoops, picking 18th in the 2019 NBA draft. It is the fourth time in a row they’ve picked between 18th and 23rd, that late-first-round ghetto where the best talent is off the board and for every Gary Harris (19th in 2014 to Chicago) or Caris LeVert (20th in 2016 to Brooklyn via Indiana), there are seemingly dozens of guys like Fab Melo (22nd in 2012 to Boston, played six NBA games) or Malachi Richardson (22nd in 2016 to Memphis, posted negative Win Shares in 70 …

Read More