Breakfast Special: Jayson Tatum, Playoff Rookie of the Year

Sure, the Rookie of the Year in the regular season, the one they actually hand out a trophy for, came down to a two-horse race between Ben Simmons, aka the Second Coming of Magic Johnson, and Donovan Mitchell, whose case rested on Simmons having spent a year around NBA practice facilities with NBA team doctors and an NBA environment and therefore wasn’t a real rookie because even though it was his first year playing, it was his second year in the league. Meanwhile, Jayson Tatum gets the last laugh, as he was probably the consensus third-best rookie in basketball when …

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Breakfast Special: James Harden Stinks Out the Joint (plus Dubs)

Let’s just say Alvin Gentry isn’t about to surpass his mentor Steve Kerr anytime soon. The Golden State Warriors closed out their five-game series with the New Orleans Pelicans Tuesday night, winning 113-104 behind a 36-19 third quarter that extended their lead to 20 with one quarter remaining. And even though the Pellies gave a good account of themselves to close the final margin down to nine, the fact remains this one was never in real doubt. Anthony Davis had 36 points and Jrue Holiday had a triple-double, scoring 27 points, pulling 10 rebounds, and dishing 11 assists. Trouble was, …

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Breakfast Special: DeMar DeRozan Is Not A Star

Can we officially put to bed the idea that DeMar DeRozan is a genuine All-Star caliber shooting guard? Like, once and for all, please? If the disgrace that was the Raptors getting clobbered by LeBron James and friends on the Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t make it abundantly clear, DeRozan is not a player for the modern league. He shoots midrange jumpers, can’t guard elite players, and disappears when it matters most. Which, come to think of it, the same could be said for Kyle Lowry, minus the midrange jumpers part. He’s perfectly content to miss threes like a proper 2018 overrated …

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Breakfast Special: Heroes. Kevin Durant, LeBron James…Al Horford?

Saturday’s Eastern Conference Game 3 action was off the charts for excitement. The Boston Celtics eked out an overtime win in Philadelphia to take a commanding 3-0 series lead; it’s hard to imagine this series going past Game 5, and that’s if the Celtics don’t just sweep the Processors out of the playoffs entirely. Plus, LeBron James tossed up one of those shots that we call a desperation effort…unless it goes in, in which case it’s proof that LeBron is the greatest of all time. In fact, let’s start with the Cavs’ extending their series lead to 3-0 at home …

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Breakfast Special: Rondo Alla Draymond Verdi

On Star Wars Day, balance was restored to the Force in the NBA Western Conference semifinals. In New Orleans, “the losing team in a five-game series wins Game 3” was in full effect as the Pelicans beat the Golden State Warriors 119-100. And in Utah, the Houston Rockets just up and decided to remind the Jazz that winning one game on the road does not automatically mean you then go on to win the series in six. Don’t believe me? Ask us Pacers fans. We begin in the Big Easy, where Rajon Rondo and Draymond Green got a little chippy …

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Breakfast Special: The Celtics Play Smart Basketball

It’s a brave new NBA world we live in, where no 20-point lead is safe. You think your team is on its way to a blowout, the kind of game where the starters sit the fourth quarter, and then next thing you know, it’s halftime, you’re up by five, and you might as well not have played the first 24 minutes at all. And then there’s “you lost sight of Marcus Smart and he buried you beneath a barrage of three-pointers.” Such was the fate of the Philadelphia 76ers in Boston, as they fell down two games to nil against …

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David Fizdale is the new Knicks coach. So much for entertainment value.

David Fizdale was announced Thursday as the new head coach of the New York Knicks, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN: https://twitter.com/wojespn/status/992157390706442240 The Knicks get an excellent game coach, a strategist of the first rank, and a guy who gives them instant credibility as they try to get back into the Eastern Conference playoff hunt after a five-year absence. They also get a graduate with honors of the Fratello-McMillan College Of Boring Basketball. Fizdale took over a Memphis Grizzlies team with a “Grit N’ Grind” ethos that stretches back to Lionel Hollins‘ last year coaching the team, when they went 56-26 …

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File via Wikimedia Commons

The NBA slows down in the playoffs…but by how much?

It is a widely-held maxim in NBA circles that “the game slows down in the playoffs” and that teams that look to run in the regular season tend to underperform when they’re forced into the halfcourt. But is that really true? After all, the Golden State Warriors have won two of the last three titles, and they and the New Orleans Pelicans are playing at a breakneck pace. And the Showtime Lakers ran plenty of fast breaks in May and June back in the day. So let’s start with the modern era, since Erik Spoelstra coined the term for the …

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The NBA Greatest of All Time Championship Belt

Let’s go back to 1946, the foundation of the greatest sports league in the history of competitive athletic endeavor, as the Basketball Association of America. We can argue all day about who the greatest of all time is. Was it Michael Jordan? Magic? Larry? Dr. J? Wilt? Russell? Big O? There are so many greats to choose from, but here’s one man’s view of who, on the day they retired, were the greatest of all time up to that day, going all the way back to 1946: March 22, 1950: Bob Feerick The first guy to shoot over 40 percent …

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Breakfast Special: Praise the Basketball Gods, Utah

A heresy is brewing in Mormon country, as apostates embrace the deities of the hardwood. No, not Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and LeBron James. Not even John Stockton and Karl Malone. I’m talking the Basketball Gods, those divine purveyors of plot device for many a beleaguered sportswriter in need of a miracle to come up with some way to explain just what on this mortal plane happened in Houston Wednesday night. Because holy hell, the Utah Jazz just shot 60 percent from the free throw line, lost the turnover battle 16-7, watched Donovan Mitchell shoot like he was blindfolded (6-of-21, …

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