Breakfast Special: Danny Ainge Makes LeBron His…

To say that the Celtics won the Kyrie Irving-for-Isaiah Thomas and the Nets 2018 pick trade is to have a grasp on the obvious so glaring that you’re probably dressed up in a silly outfit and introducing Shaqtin’ A Fool.

Thomas and LeBron James got into a scuffle after the Cavaliers’ disastrous offensive performance against the Miami Heat, where James called out his teammate’s poor (2-of-15) shooting as the Cavs…

…wait, Cleveland won? What the actual…?

Yep. The Cavs beat the Heat 91-89, their atrocious offense matched by a display of defense so surprising that even the Browns, looking up from their 31st-in-the-NFL defense in their 0-16 season, just had to “good on ya, mate” at the Cavs holding Miami to 3-of-28 from three-point land.

This is, without question, the worst game I will lead the Breakfast Special with all season unless the playoffs come around and the ghosts of 2002 come out and bring back the Celtics’ 66-64 win over the Pistons that year.

LeBron had 24 points on 8-of-21 shooting, turned the ball over seven times, missed four free throws in 11 tries (whatever else he could say to Thomas, at least Isaiah was 9-of-9 from the stripe), shot 1-of-6 from three, and played like Dark Ages garbage on a Cavs team that shot 35 percent from the field…

…but at least Cleveland got a massive gift from the refs, shooting 38 free throws to Miami’s 25, and a similarly massive gift from the Heat, who choked at the line as badly as they choked from the arc and hit just 14 of those 25 shots (56 percent.)

This game was atrocious. And normally I’d show highlights here, but you know what? Screw that. I do not want to be seen as encouraging this sort of thing, so here’s Kyrie Irving, in a Celtics uniform, clowning the NBA while Cleveland’s stuck with LeBron and Isaiah bickering:

Speaking of the Celtics

Terry Rozier dropped a triple-double on the New York Knicks as Boston won 103-73, delivering an emphatic kick in the nuts to the Knicks fans, who can pretty much abandon all hope for the playoffs as the team drops to 23-29, miles away from contention.

Rozier had 17 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, and just for fun added two steals and two blocks, replacing Irving, who’s nursing a quad injury.

The Knicks actually made this a competitive game in the first half, trailing only 50-45 at the major break, but then shot 7-of-25 (28 percent) in the third quarter and just 3-of-20 (15 percent) in the fourth quarter, scoring 28 points and getting utterly thrashed.

There was no facet of the game in which the Knicks played well unless you count Enes Kanter’s 17-point, 17-rebound performance; indeed, if you take Kanter’s 7-of-10 shooting out of it, the Knicks’ team shooting percentage for the game drops from 32.3 all the way down to 27.3. This could have been even worse.

Rozier is your man of the match:

C.J. McCollum Goes Nuts In Rip City

The Portland Trail Blazers beat the Chicago Bulls 124-108 at home, which is not surprising.

McCollum went for a career-high 50 points, doing it on a hyper-efficient 18-of-25 shooting, 6-of-9 from three, and nailing all eight free throws, and doing it in only 29 minutes.

He was also plus-29.

Sure, it wasn’t James Harden ripping off 60 points in a triple-double, but when the Blazers’ often-prone-to-Dark-Ages scorer dials up the efficiency? Well…the team shot 56.1 percent in aggregate, held the enemy to 41.4, and if they hadn’t turned the ball over 17 times against only six for Chicago, this might have been even more lopsided than it turned out.

But really, let’s just talk about a franchise-record 28 points in a quarter, which McCollum put up in the first:

Lightning Round!

The Pacers had a perfectly cromulent 105-101 win over Memphis despite Victor Oladipo only going for 13 points. It was a Total Team Effort, with seven Indiana players in double figures, as the team remains unbeaten when hitting at least half of their shots.

But let’s salute the defense, which burglarized the Grizzlies for 16 steals:

Orlando joined the Total Team Effort bandwagon, getting seven of their guys into double figures against the Lakers and smacking LA 127-105 at home, shooting 54.3 percent from the field and a mind-blowing 18-of-32 from three, all while taking advantage of the Lakers shooting just 4-of-20 from long range:

Philadelphia got 29 from Joel Embiid, 24 from Ben Simmons, and 20 from J.J. Redick. They still lost 116-108 in Brooklyn, as the Nets muscled in 50.6 percent of their shots, 40.6 percent of their threes, and 89.3 percent of their free throws…and let’s face it, when your opponent puts up nearly a 50/40/90 as a team, it doesn’t matter what your stars do.

Spencer Dinwiddie led the way for the Nets with 27, but how about the kid Jarrett Allen, just 19 years old, making a statement in this one with 16 points on just 5-of-6 shooting:

Charlotte beat Atlanta 123-110 in the Hawks’ own building, as Kemba Walker flat-out exploded for 38 points on 12-of-20 shooting, making 9-of-13 from long range in the process. Charlotte shot 51.1 percent overall and 53.1 from long range in this one:

And finally, Phoenix smoked Dallas 102-88, picking up a rare win in which Devin Booker played poorly.

Booker had just 15 points on 5-of-14, but Josh Jackson had 21, T.J. Warren added 20, and the Suns watched Dallas hand them the game in a better-living-through-masonry scoring night in which the Mavs shot a horrible 36.4 percent from the field, 27.8 from long range, and downright atrocious 53.8 from the line.

Jackson gets the love for tying his career high and leading his team to victory:

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