NBA Breakfast Special: Luke Walton’s Point Guard Dilemma

Another day, another Lakers win that happened in spite of rather than because of sensible point guard play. Lonzo Ball and his 3-of-13 (23.1 percent) shooting, 2-of-8 beyond the arc, and complete lack of free throw attempts got the Lakers only eight points in a game that they came back from the dead to win, grabbing a 103-94 win over the Chicago Bulls in a game they trailed 56-42 at halftime. And of those three makes, one of them was a dunk: This is like Lonzo Ball’s first dunk of his life. pic.twitter.com/TQBWEYPMG3 — Rey-Rey (@TheNoLookPass) November 22, 2017 Coming …

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Bojan Bogdanovic Is Making The Leap

Bojan Bogdanovic, Indiana’s Bosnian small forward, came to the Pacers after having spent the first three seasons of his career as one of the worst starters in the NBA. During his time with Brooklyn, a span of over 200 games and 5,000 minutes, Bogdanovic managed a negative-1.1 VORP, .056 Win Shares per 48 minutes, an 11.7 PER, and a general inability to guard any NBA starter-level forward in the league. He was terrible, and at some point you have to ask yourself if it’s the lousy team he was on or just that the man himself was part of the …

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NBA Breakfast Special: Kyrie Irving’s Pancake World

Flat earth jokes may get old, but breakfast puns are forever, especially when the subject, Kyrie Irving, goes for 47 points, keeping the Boston Celtics from losing for the first time in 16 games against one of the league’s worst teams. Yes, it took overtime to beat the Dallas Mavericks 110-102, but when Kyrie gets a super-efficient 16-of-22 shooting performance, throws in 5-of-7 beyond the arc, then cans 10-of-11 from the free throw line? Boston was not losing that game. Your Rookie of the Year Jayson Tatum went for 15 points on 6-of-11 and a plus-15 while grabbing nine rebounds; …

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NBA Breakfast Special: Lonzo Ball’s Triple Double Problem

Lonzo Ball makes no sense at all. Not for nothing do we call him the dollar-store knockoff version of Russell Westbrook around here, because in many ways, Ball’s game is patterned after the Thunder’s far superior player. Same great nose for the rim, same eye for making the defense pay for overcommitting to him by finding an open teammate, same ability to soak up minutes and keep coming back for more. But on the other hand, even when Ball is good, his complete inability to shoot stares you in the face and won’t let you look away. Ball had 11 …

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Russell Westbrook vs. Magic Johnson: Who Was Better At Age 26?

Magic Johnson is the all-time leader in assists per game, having notched 11.2 per contest over a total of 13 seasons (counting an abortive comeback attempt in 1996.) He flirted with averaging a triple-double in the 1981-82 season, averaging 18.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 9.5 assists a game that year. Indeed, the popularization of the triple-double as a stat worth reporting in the basketball news was thanks largely to the need reporters had to find a way to properly glorify Magic’s versatility. Russell Westbrook will probably not be the all-time leader in anything by the time he retires except possibly …

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NBA Breakfast Special: James Harden’s Excellent Adventure

The Houston Rockets just put up a Total Team Effort in Chris Paul‘s return from injury, and it wasn’t Paul but rather James Harden who got all the headlines in a monster 142-116 win in Phoenix over the Suns. Harden had 48 points on 12-of-22 from the field, 6-of-11 from three, and a perfect 18-of-18 (!) from the line. The shocking display of efficiency was in part powered by CP3’s 10 assists, as Paul had a double-double with 11 points, but mostly it was powered by the Suns being hot garbage on defense. Harden himself added seven dimes and two …

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NBA Breakfast Special: Joel Embiid 46, Lonzo Ball 2

Man, the more Lonzo Ball stinks out the joint, the more the big steaming Number 2 on his uniform looks appropriate to his skill level. Meanwhile, Joel Embiid scored 46 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, dished 7 assists, and swatted 7 blocks, a savage beatdown of the Lakers on the same night that Ben Simmons came a rebound shy of a triple-double and Robert Covington celebrated his new contract extension with 12 points on a deliciously efficient 5-of-9 shooting and 2-of-3 from long range. Dollar Store Westbrook? Two points. It’s one thing to score your uniform number if you’re Kevin Durant …

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NBA Breakfast Special: The Kyrie Irving Show

The Boston Celtics and Kyrie Irving got perhaps a bit more than they wanted in a fun back-and-forth game against the Brooklyn Nets on Military Appreciation Night at Barclays Center. Irving had 25 points to lead a balanced attack from Boston’s starters; no starter had fewer than Jaylen Brown‘s 14 points, and no starter took fewer than nine shots (Brown, plus Jayson Tatum, who had 19 points on 6-of-9 and has emerged as the runaway favorite for Rookie of the Year.) Speaking of Kyrie, here’s a class act move for fans in attendance who served their country: On military appreciation …

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NBA Breakfast Special: Le Morte d’Arthur Memes

Man, the Cleveland Cavaliers just make no sense at all anymore, huh? One night they’re left for dead, the next LeBron James is back in 2007 and singlehandedly willing a G-League team toward the playoffs. But what really mattered in their come-from-23-points-behind win over the Knicks? Arthur memes, that’s what. How many Cavs players posted Arthur memes after they beat the Knicks? Not one, not two, not three… https://t.co/emzJglL4id — Sports Illustrated (@SInow) November 14, 2017 This is the first display of true team unity we’ve seen from Cleveland, and it all started when, early in the third quarter, Tyronn …

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NBA Breakfast Special: Milwaukee’s Eric Bledsoe Problem

So, as would inevitably be the case, Lonzo Ball got himself a triple double, scoring 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting, dishing 13 assists, and pulling down 12 rebounds in a loss to the Bucks on Saturday. He became the youngest in NBA history to do it, at 20 years and 15 days, surpassing LeBron James. But have you noticed that Ball has had exactly two good games this season, and both involved his being guarded by Eric Bledsoe? After making Ball look like Russell Westbrook twice, you have to wonder if Bledsoe isn’t either washed up or else so disengaged …

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