Breakfast Special: Cleveland Cadavers

Just when you thought the Cleveland Cavaliers couldn’t get any worse after that ritual slaughter they endured in Minnesota Monday night, they came out and lost 133-99 to the Toronto Raptors.

They’ve lost their previous two games by a combined 260-198, dropping their season-long point differential all the way to plus-1.1 in 96 minutes of basketball.

Put another way, they dropped from a fringe contender to a team that would expect to go 44-38 over the course of a full season.

Meanwhile, Toronto, with the big win, extended their own differential to plus-8.3, the second-best mark in all of basketball (behind Golden State’s 9.1) and significantly ahead of the ostensibly first-place Celtics. We’ll get to Boston in a minute.

LeBron James had 26 for Cleveland, going 9-of-16 from the field and 8-of-10 from the line; the King was a team-worst minus-22, but that’s just because he was on the floor for the most minutes (32) of the slaughter.

The problem was that the rest of Cavs went 25-of-73, a 34.2 percent mark.

Meanwhile, Toronto won not by the backcourt power play you’d expect from them; DeMar DeRozan had just 13 points, while Delon Wright, filling in for Kyle Lowry, had only six.

The Raptors just put up a huge Total Team Effort, with seven players in double figures and 11 players with at least six points. Jonas Valanciunas led the way with 15 points and 18 rebounds, while Toronto out-rebounded Cleveland 63-36 (!) overall, including 18-9 on the offensive glass.

It’s rare for a team to so thoroughly dominate the offensive boards when they shoot so much better than the enemy. Toronto hit 53-of-106 (50 percent!) of their shots against Cleveland’s 34-of-89 (38.2 percent.) The Raps also drained 18 threes. This was just a butt-kicking from top to bottom.

Lowry was out. Serge Ibaka was suspended. Toronto murdered Cleveland on national television. Holy cow.

But the man of the match? Try Fred VanVleet. For real.


What on earth is wrong with the San Antonio Spurs? They’re 10-13 on the road, this time losing at Staples Center to an utterly wretched Lakers team by a 93-81 count.

Plus, there’s the basic test; if a defender makes Lonzo Ball look like Russell Westbrook, that defender sucks.

Ball had 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting and 4-of-7 from three despite not attempting a single free throw. He grabbed 10 rebounds, including four offensive boards, and dished six assists.

Dejounte Murray? I don’t care that you posted a double-double with 14 points and 11 boards. Go take the Walk of Shame for letting Lonzo go Big Baller on you.

Brandon Ingram led the Lakers with 26 on 11-of-21 shooting, and the Spurs obliged the defense with 20 turnovers.

This was a sloppy hot mess of a game. And it was a glaring condemnation of San Antonio away from AT&T Center. The Rodeo Road Trip is going to be a mess this year.

As much as ragging on Lonzo is fun, let’s give the man his due, he had a great game:

Jolly New England In Jolly Old England

The cradle of liberty and the birthplace of the American Revolution sent their basketball teams to London in a Screw You, King George III Game on British soil, and the Boston Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers 114-103.

Jaylen Brown led the way with 21, followed by Kyrie Irving with 20 and Rookie of the Year if you’ve got any sense in your head Jayson Tatum with 16.

Ben Simmons, the other clear ROY candidate, also had 16, but he got his on 8-of-12 without a three or a free throw while going minus-17 on the plus/minus.

Tatum, meanwhile, hit 7-of-13 but added a three and a free throw to his tally, all while committing one turnover to Simmons’ 3.

Oh, and Tatum’s man, Robert Covington, only had five points, compared to Irving ringing up Simmons.

This was a bit of a sloppy game, with 37 turnovers more or less evenly (18 for Boston, 19 for Philly) distributed. The Celtics won this game on the offensive glass (11-3) and on just plain better shooting (13-11 threes made and 48.3-46.3 on percentage.)

Except for the rebounding, neither team dominated; it was just Boston doing everything incrementally better and those little edges adding up to the 11-point win.

The C’s were down 22. They outscored Philly by 33 after that point. No 20-point lead is safe in the Association.


No Letdown For Los Angeles

The Clippers beat the Warriors soundly in their last game, as Lou Williams went for 50.

This time, they got the Kings in a classic Letdown Game…

…except there was no letdown as the Clips won 121-115 on 30 points from Sweet Lou.

LA shot 51.2 percent as a team and 41.9 percent from three, outscoring Sacramento beyond the arc 13 makes to 8.

Montrezl Harrell had 25 on 11-of-12 shooting off the bench, Blake Griffin notched a double-double with 18 points and 12 boards, and that was enough to hold off a feisty Sacramento team.

How about the man of the match with 80 points on a back-to-back? Williams gets the highlight reel:

And Finally…

WHAT?! He’s Shaqtin’ a Fool!

Who makes the best breakfast in sports? That would be Pace and Space, and this wraps up another solid week. We had our 5,000th reader since the relaunch this week, which may make us small-time, but I genuinely appreciate every read from the bottom of my heart.

So stay tuned and thanks for reading!