Breakfast Special: Even the Spurs Can’t Lose to Memphis

The San Antonio Spurs bandwagon has been sliding around out of control like a Seattle driver in last Saturday’s snow traffic ever since the team left for the Rodeo Road Trip.

The Spurs, before they beat Memphis 108-107 in the House That 24-Second Violations Built, had lost four in a row.

But when the Grizzlies are running out the likes of Avery Bradley to start at guard (even though Bradley did have 33 points), Mike Conley is a DNP-CD, and Marc Gasol is in Toronto, even the Spurs, crashing back to earth as their antiquated style of basketball and your favorite breakfast columnist said they would, couldn’t lose to them.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points and 11 rebounds, DeMar DeRozan stunk out the joint by shooting just 5-of-19 from the field, the Spurs shot 41.9 percent overall…

…and yet San Antonio, snipers that they are, hit 13-of-21 (61.9 percent) from three-point range as if to flip the middle finger at anyone muttering the words “Scott-Hollins Syndrome” under their breath at Gregg Popovich.

A fine argument could be made that Pop’s just taking advantage of the personnel he has out there, but this team has still lost four of five and beat the woeful Grizzlies, who didn’t have Mike Conley, by just one point.

Speaking of three-point snipers, how about Patty Mills scoring 22 points on 6-of-8 from long range:

LOLakers

LeBron James had a triple-double.

We’re not going to show it because the rules around here require a player’s team to win before they make the highlight reel.

And the Atlanta Hawks (!) beat the Los Angeles Lakers 117-113, staging a nice second-half comeback to erase a deficit and hold on through an ugly fourth quarter to snag the win.

So while the GOAT had 28 points (on 8-of-20), 16 assists, and 11 rebounds, he could not overcome John Collins (22 points, 8-of-15, and eight rebounds) or Trae Young (22 points on 6-of-19 but combined with 14 assists) as the Hawks won despite committing 20 turnovers in the contest.

Alex Len led the Hawks in plus/minus with plus-13 off the bench, scoring 11 points in just 12 minutes on 4-of-5 from the field and 3-of-4 from long range.

LeBron was great. The Lakers are a garbage fire. And losing to Atlanta when they’re trying to make a playoff push, remaining in the process the only team in California with a losing record (the Warriors, Kings, and Clippers are all at least four games on the plus side from the Golden State while the Lakers are 28-29 after losing two in a row), is not a good look.

This is brutal and I love it:

And Trae Young is the man of the match:

The Enigmatic, Incomprehensible, Brilliant Boston Celtics

As a Pacers fan, I know full well that Indiana will drop something like 9 out of 11 games in March when they have to play a bunch of playoff teams on the road.

But for now, the Celtics and 76ers, tied for 4th in the East and careening toward a fantastic first-round playoff matchup if only the season could end at the All-Star break, put on one heck of a show in Philadelphia.

And after the C’s won 112-109, the teams emerged with identical 36-21 records.

Gordon Hayward led Boston with 26 points off the bench, Al Horford had 23, and Jayson Tatum added 20 to pace the Celtics to the big win.

And Ben Simmons is back on his old game, scoring 16 points on 0-of-0 from three-point land (and a comical 2-of-7 from the line), in the loss.

The Celtics committed just six turnovers against 14 for the Sixers, a powerful statement in winning a close game.

The ultimate man of the match, born February 12, 1809…er, 1934:

And here’s a guy who doesn’t get near enough love at breakfast this season:

Lightning Round!

Anthony Davis is back for the Pelicans, but he looked listless and broken in a 118-88 debasement at the hands of the Orlando Magic in New Orleans Tuesday night.

It’s one thing to lose at home. It’s another thing to get pulped into a smoothie and shoot just 1-of-9 from the field on your way to three points total in 24 minutes.

Nikola Vucevic had 25 points and 17 rebounds to lead four (!) Magic players—Evan Fournier (22), Jonathan Isaac (20, plus a game-high +33), and Aaron Gordon (20) were the other three—with at least 20 points.

And all 13 Magic players scored at least two points.

Orlando is 26-32 after their fourth straight win and they’re just three games behind sixth-seeded Brooklyn. What a world the Eastern Conference is; the 38-19 Pacers could lose out and probably still make the playoffs.

Let’s get some highlights up in here:

And finally, stop saying Donovan Mitchell is good when his 25 points against Golden State required a 10-of-29 shooting night to accomplish. (more thoughts on this later.)

Kevin Durant had 28 points, Stephen Curry hit 5-of-14 from three on his way to 24, and Klay Thompson poured in 22 as the high-flying Warriors won 115-108.

The Dubs won the turnover battle 16-6, and that’ll secure a win or 60 (at 40-15, the Warriors are on a 61-21 pace) over the course of a season.

Warriors, come out to play:

You may have noticed that Is He Any Good missed a week last week. It’s coming back Thursday. Normal morning service has resumed around here, as clearly evidenced by my loafing around and getting this column out late.

But seriously, thanks to everyone for bearing with me. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!