Breakfast Special: LeBron James Still Owns Lance Stephenson

It looked like Lance Stephenson had finally put one over on LeBron James… LANCE FINALLY GOT LEBRON TO BITE!! pic.twitter.com/i8Iog10KHx — Agent of NBA Chaos (@World_Wide_Wob) April 23, 2018 …until LeBron explained that he just got “caught by the teacher” for getting the little pest off of him. LeBron on the late technical he got when Lance followed him to the bench: pic.twitter.com/LQwkvKQdc4 — Agent of NBA Chaos (@World_Wide_Wob) April 23, 2018 And Lance holding the ball up like the Statue of Liberty’s torch when he got a jump ball on LeBron late in the game… This is it. We …

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In a Five-Game Series, Which Game Does the Losing Team Win?

It’s a rule of thumb when predicting a playoff series, especially in the first round, that the underdog team will lose the first two on the road to the higher seed, win Game 3 at home thanks to a super-energized crowd and a sense of purpose, then order will be restored, the higher seed wins Game 4, and then they close it out in five back in front of their own fans. But how true is that? Why not Game 4, trying to avoid the sweep? Or stealing one on the road then melting down at home and blowing the …

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Breakfast Special: Bojan Bogdanovic, Indiana Hero

April 20 may be associated with getting high, but nobody was higher than Pacers fans after Indiana pulled off yet another comeback from down 15 or more, this time trailing by as many as 17 at halftime before beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 92-90 to take a 2-1 series lead. In the process, they became the first team all season to beat the Cavs when Cleveland was ahead or tied after three quarters; Cleveland went 42-0 in the regular season and won Game 2 under those circumstances. Since the NBA started keeping track in 2000-01, only this year’s Cavs went undefeated …

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Breakfast Special: The Phantom of the Process Lives Inside Miami’s Mind

Well, it was fun speculating about Miami in 6, but with Joel Embiid back, the 76ers restored balance to the playoff Force, erased their horrid Game 2 home loss by seizing back home court advantage, and won 128-108, their second blowout victory in three games and a heck of a pointer toward the idea that this might be Sixers in five. The Sixers shot 18-of-34 (52.9 percent) from long range, drew enough fouls to shoot 37 free throws (making 28, a 75.7 percent clip), and won the rebound (41-35) and turnover (15-10) battles. In other words, they were Rockets East. …

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Breakfast Special: Cavs Win By Three Referees

LeBron James scored 46 points. Victor Oladipo committed two quick fouls early, ended up with six turnovers, and yet managed to be plus-11 in a game Indiana lost 100-97. Cleveland attempted 22 free throws to Indiana’s 12. From where you’re kneeling, must look like an 18-karat run of bad luck. Truth is? The game was rigged from the start. But seriously, what a monster game from LeBron, calling back to Game 6 in Boston in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals. 46 points on 17-of-24 shooting, more made (10) and attempted (13) free throws than the entire Pacers team (9-of-12), 12 …

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The Cleveland Cavaliers Panic At Being Deader Than Disco

The Pacers and Cavaliers tip off Game 2 in Cleveland tonight, and after Indiana went into the land of the burning river and smoked the Cavs 98-80 in Game 1, there are a lot of reasons for the Cavs to be in full-on pants-soiling terror mode. O how do I love thee, Indiana, let me count the ways… Problem 1: It Wasn’t LeBron James Who Had the Bad Game LeBron wasn’t exactly a superhero in Game 1. He was 7-of-17. But he had a triple-double (24 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists), playing 44 minutes with a respectable if not great …

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Breakfast Specials: Two Truths and a Portland Lie

Consider the Western Conference. Below the Rockets and Warriors, who were beyond shadow of doubt the best two teams in the group, and above the Clippers, who were clearly tenth-best and had five wretched teams below them in the tankosphere, there were seven teams who were separated by three games in the standings, including five teams that had just a single game between them; fourth went 48-34, eighth went 47-35. Now consider that one of those teams, the Pelicans, had a major change of identity midway through the season when DeMarcus Cousins went down, took time to adjust, and emerged …

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Breakfast Special: Heat In Six

Another playoff series started for real on Monday, as the Miami Heat solved the Embiid-less Sixers and dealt them their first loss since the Pacers beat Philadelphia on March 13, a span of 17 straight wins. They did this by partying like it was 2006, with Dwyane Wade scoring 28 points off the bench, making his first seven shots before finishing 11-of-16, and doing all of the above in just 26 minutes. Meanwhile, James Johnson threw an efficiency party of his own, scoring his 18 points on 7-of-7 from the field including a pair of three-pointers; his only miss was …

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Breakfast Special: Weekend Game 1 Roundup

It was a busy weekend in the NBA as the playoffs got up and running, and if the saying holds true that “a series doesn’t start until the road team wins a game”, well, a couple of series just got started, including one blowout… Pacers 1, LeBron’s Impenetrable First-Round Reputation 0 LeBron James is supposed to be this magical superman who can singlehandedly will a terrible team to somehow not be terrible even though he was on and played all 82 games for that team. And with the Pacers winning 98-80 in Cleveland on Sunday, the biggest margin of the …

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Grading My 2018 Preseason Picks: Eastern Conference

Looking back on the preseason previews, I covered the Western Conference and went 8-4 on my picks where I set a specific “over or under” bet in the article. Sure, I got two other picks wrong without saying a number, and the 15th case was simply saying the Warriors were good without providing context, so I gave myself an 8-6-1 record. Did I do as well in the East? Besides being one of the legion of people who didn’t see the Pacers coming, I mean (more on that later.) In order of publication: MIAMI HEAT Over/Under: 43 Pick: “But a …

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