Are the Charlotte Hornets the Best Bad Team in the NBA?

There are two interrelated maxims in basketball that tend to determine whether or not teams win games over the course of an 82-game season. One is “great teams win big and lose close.” If a team’s regularly getting blown out, chances are good that they suck. But if it seems the only way to beat them is to win by one or two possessions and survive their best player missing a potential game-tying or game-winning shot at the buzzer as fans go wild that “we knocked off the mighty (whoever)”? Well, that “whoever” sounds an awful lot like the Golden …

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Breakfast Special: Don’t Blame Me, I Voted For McCollum

Oh, thank the gods the midterm election season is over. That’s one less distraction on Twitter when I have a deadline on this column. (Initiative 1631 went down in Washington. 1634 passed. And Dino Rossi is a slime mold masquerading as a human being. That’s all the politics you’re ever getting from me in this space. Move the Orlando Magic to Seattle. Now then. On with the show.) CJ McCollum had 40 points on 17-of-26 shooting and 5-of-10 from deep, Evan Turner (!) had 16 points and 11 rebounds off the bench, and the Bucks got absolutely nothing out of …

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The Star Turn of Domantas Sabonis

The Indiana Pacers are a little too prone to putting their money in the wrong place in trying to find an explanation for their breakout into the NBA’s upper echelon since Paul George left. First it was a four-year extension for Nate McMillan, the second-worst case in the league (behind Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota) of a team that should’ve made a coaching change instead rewarding the guy who took them to the playoffs. Indiana going 48-34 is why they didn’t blow up the sideline and hire Mike Budenholzer (go ahead, imagine a team that’s been as good from beyond the …

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Breakfast Special: Jamal Murray’s A Mile High

You know the analytics people have gotten maaaaaybe a bit afield of the plot when there are Celtics fans on Twitter trying to point out that Kyrie Irving‘s 31 points was worth more than Jamal Murray‘ 48 because Murray took 30 shots while Irving took only 17. Meanwhile, Irving remains a little punk, one of my least favorite NBA players: Kyrie threw the ball into the crowd after Jamal Murray's attempt to make 50-points as the game ended pic.twitter.com/Vbx3oNxmaf — Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) November 6, 2018 Murray went for the shot to try to get to 50 …

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Breakfast Special: LeBron’s Gonna Sprewell Luke Walton

Can I talk to you for a minute about our Lord and Savior Serge Ibaka? The Toronto Raptors, without Kawhi Leonard in the lineup, went into Los Angeles and absolutely humiliated LeBron James and the Lakers Sunday night, winning 121-107 in a game they led by 31 points…in the first quarter. Seriously, it was 41 to 10 at one point. Ibaka was 15-of-17 with 10 rebounds on his way to 34 points, Kyle Lowry dished 15 assists to go with his 21 points, and Danny Green hit 5-of-8, all from three-point land, for a tidy 15 points of his own. …

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Breakfast Special: Bucks Fall in Eastern Conference Finals Preview

The NBA raised so many questions Thursday night. Between the Celtics handing the Bucks their first loss of the season in the cause of going to 6-2, the Trail Blazers leaving a lot of people wondering if they’re a dark horse in the West after their nationally-televised win over New Orleans, and Sacramento doing what good teams do and thumping a bad team on the road, the NBA sure seems bent on raising more questions than it answers these days. But we begin with… The Lamb of Greekazoid Back during the old days, when titans like Michael Jordan and Kobe …

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Breakfast Special: Derrick Rose’s Ghost Scares Utah

What strange times are these in Minnesota, where Derrick Rose can be his 2012 self for a night, possessed on Halloween by the ghost of his own talent. Because Jimmy Butler has gone AWOL for the Timberwolves, Rose ended up starting at the point, Josh Okogie‘s 10.06 PER started in Butler’s spot…and Minnesota beat Utah 128-125 behind 50 points from Rose. The game was about as typical a Tom Thibodeau coaching performance as you’ll see. The heavy-minutes rotation went seven deep, and only nine guys played even one minute of the game. Rose played 41 minutes. Karl-Anthony Towns, who had …

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Breakfast Special: Houston, You Have A Problem

The ghost of Carmelo Anthony‘s career has cast a specter of evil over the Rockets’ locker room after an exorcism in Oklahoma City went horribly wrong. Indeed, both franchises are haunted now. The Rockets got spanked at home, 104-85, by a Portland Trail Blazers team that was on a road SEGABABA after having disposed of the Pacers Monday night. Which means either the 5-2 Blazers are for real…or the 1-5 Rockets are really that bad. Damian Lillard (8-of-10) and CJ McCollum (7-of-13) combined for 41 points, Jusuf Nurkic added 22 on 7-of-10, and Portland made just two fewer (10-8) three-pointers …

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The People Vs. Myles Turner

Myles Turner got a 4-year, $72 million contract extension from the Indiana Pacers ahead of this season, with incentives that could push him up to $80 million over the four years if he hits them. All that for a center who can’t rebound, takes too many midrange jump shots, and has never posted a positive offensive Box Plus-Minus in his career. At this point, you may be sensibly asking yourself why the Pacers just paid $18 million a year for Roy Hibbert when they could’ve traded Turner for assets and rolled with Domantas Sabonis as the starter and Kyle O’Quinn …

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Breakfast Special: Klay Thompson Just Made Another 3

We’re getting confirmed reports, yes, confirmed reports of three-point detonations in Chicago. We’ve lost contact with our affiliate stations… Klay Thompson set an NBA record, hitting 14 three-pointers in a game on 24 (!) attempts, and what this mostly means is that Warriors coach Steve Kerr set a precedent whereby the next time Stephen Curry has eight or nine threes in the first half, even if it’s a blowout, Kerr’s going to have to let him try and go for 15 lest he be accused of playing favorites between his two sharpshooters. I mean, we knew Klay was going to …

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