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 Bryant patrolled the floor, teams would often adopt a strategy of “he’s going to get his points, let’s take the other four guys out ftom under him.”

Giannis Antetokounmpo has entered this discussion.

Greekazoid had 33 points on 13-of-22 shooting and even added 11 rebounds, but he managed just two assists, the rest of Milwaukee’s starting lineup shot just 16-of-41 (39 percent), and the Celtics won 117-113 in Boston.

Kyrie Irving had 28 points to lead the Celtics, Gordon Hayward finally had a game worthy of his contract with 18 points on 6-of-11 and 3-of-5 from deep, and Brad Stevens just out-Budenholzer’d Mike Budenholzer, drawing up an offense in which the Celtics made 24-of-55 from three-point land and 17-of-37 from two.

Bombs away, Boston. Bombs away.

Moda Operandi

The Blazers beat New Orleans at home, and while part of that was a DNP-Rest for Anthony Davis, the bulk of the 132-119 win was just team basketball (nine guys with at least eight points) and making shots.

Portland hit 18-of-35 (51.4 percent) from three, 26-of-31 (83.9 percent) from the line, and they held the Pelicans to just 8-of-29 beyond the arc.

Damian Lillard led the way with 26 points on 7-of-16 shooting, bailed out by 4-of-7 on threes and 8-of-8 from the line; he also added seven rebounds and six assists.

Jusuf Nurkic was brutally efficient, shooting 7-of-9 on his way to 20 points.

But it was Lillard’s night:

Sacramento Proud…of My Namesake

De’Aaron Fox went off for 31 points on just 9-of-13 shooting on his way to his first career triple-double (15 assists, 10 rebounds), Buddy Hield had 27 on 10-of-17, and the Sacramento Kings had 146 on 98 shots (!) to thump the Atlanta Hawks 146-115 mainly on the strength of a 46-23 third quarter that put the game out of reach.

And I for one love this new NBA that puts up bowling scores.

Marvin Bagley III put up 18 on 7-of-10 off the bench. Nemanja Bjelica had 19 on 7-of-11. And Willie Cauley-Stein had 12 on 6-of-8.

By the gods in Asgard, what fresh monstrosity is this that has the Kings 6-3, 4-2 on the road, and looking like the hottest young team in all of basketball?

YOU DONE GOOD, NAMESAKE.

LIGHTNING ROUND!

The Nuggets went into Cleveland and beat the Cavaliers 110-91 because let’s face it, getting your first win against Atlanta at home doesn’t make you the ’86 Celtics.

Juan Hernangomez led the way with 23 points off the bench, Nikola Jokic had just four points in 22 minutes because why not give him an unofficial DNP-Rest against the Cadavers, and the Cavs are hot garbage badly coached.

Seriously, someone tell Larry Drew that 65 twos and 18 threes, few of the threes particularly well-lined-up (they made five of them), is no way to beat anyone.

I kind of like having a Central Division where the Pacers get four games a year against that.

You Juancho highlights? You got’cho highlights:

Philadelphia is 5-0 at home after beating the Clippers 122-113 at Wells Fargo Center.

Joel Embiid had 41 points on 32 shots (!) and Ben Simmons was 0-of-0 from three-point land in the win.

Which wouldn’t be so bad, but Simmons can’t draw contact and get to the line if you put a gun to his head.

And of course you can’t stop HERO OF SERBIA; Boban Marjanovic had 15 points on 5-of-7 from the field and 5-of-6 from the line to go with 11 rebounds and three blocks in just 23 minutes. For Boban is love and Boban is life and Serbia is glorious.

I mean…

Wait, highlights, yes, those.

And finally, Russell Westbrook had 29 points on 12-of-24 shooting because he is the greatest Dark Ages player in today’s NBA.

Oh, and he also had 10 assists and eight rebounds and maybe it’s my imagination, but at what point do we stop hailing Steven Adams as a great offensive rebounder (he had seven of his 12 boards at that end of the floor) and start accepting that his numbers are great because his team can’t shoot for beans?

Oh, and the Thunder beat Charlotte 111-107. Yay.

Turn the clocks back Sunday. Buy Adrienne a beer so she can drown her sorrows because her team sucks. And thanks for reading!