Breakfast Special: Jamal Murray’s A Mile High

You know the analytics people have gotten maaaaaybe a bit afield of the plot when there are Celtics fans on Twitter trying to point out that Kyrie Irving‘s 31 points was worth more than Jamal Murray‘ 48 because Murray took 30 shots while Irving took only 17.

Meanwhile, Irving remains a little punk, one of my least favorite NBA players:

Murray went for the shot to try to get to 50 on the last play of the game, with the 115-107 victory already well in hand, and even though he missed it, the fact that he wanted to join the two-quarters club in front of his home crowd on a career night should be celebrated. He’s having fun…something the Celtics seem blissfully ignorant of this year.

And it’s a shame, since their coach has been the unofficial mascot of Pace and Space since we launched.

Meanwhile, what on Earth is with Nikola Jokic lately? He had eight points, ten rebounds, and eight assists, nearly notching a triple-double, all while attempting only three shots. Seriously. Look it up. He was 2-of-3.

The Nuggets torched the Celtics on the glass 47-40 thanks to 15 offensive rebounds, Boston honked out from three (only 9-of-31 for the game), and between that and a huge free throw differential (20-of-28 for Denver, 10-of-12 for Boston), that was enough.

But let’s celebrate Murray’s monster of a show and ignore for a minute that he was -4 during his time on the floor:

A Suprising Paucity of Triples In Oakland

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson shot a combined 6-of-13 from three-point land in the Warriors’ 117-101 effortless smackdown of the Memphis Grizzlies Monday night, and let’s face it, that should be a stat line for one of those guys, not the two combined.

Golden State as a team shot 13-of-24 from long range (54.2 percent), Kevon Looney (!) was plus-26 off the bench in 20 minutes, and just to rub salt in the wound, the Warriors were even 22-of-23 at the line.

Oh, and the Dubs out-rebounded the Grizz 46-30.

And Marc Gasol? He had the same number of makes as he did against the Suns the other night, but he did it on 11 fewer attempts. He had a Jokic-like 2-of-2, 8-point, 10-rebound, 9-assist night.

But let’s give this game ball to the whole Warriors squad:

Panic Time in Utah?

All the ink’s getting spilled over the Pelicans losing six in a row and “whither Anthony Davis” and all that, but meanwhile, the Jazz, who were supposed to be building off last year’s second-round appearance, are off to a rocky 4-6 start and have still yet to win a game at home in four tries.

The Jazz’s point guard woes are at the root of this, as Kyle Lowry torched them for 17 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds, and a game-high plus-29 in 29 minutes, all while shooting just 5-of-9 from the field.

Fred VanVleet came off the bench, played 28 minutes of his own, and went plus-10 with 17 points, six assists, and four rebounds in a Lowry Lite mirror performance.

The 124-111 win shows just why last year’s Jazz weren’t any good until Donovan Mitchell showed up; they were without Mitchell last night and Ricky Rubio went 1-of-10 to go with Joe Ingles going 3-of-13. That’s not gonna hack it, guys.

Give it up for the league leader in assists:

Lightning Round!

I’m like Bart Simpson at the chalkboard “I WILL NOT SLAG MYLES TURNER’S REBOUNDING”…

The Rockets beat the Pacers 98-94, as James Harden‘s ability to draw phantom fouls and the Pacers’ inability to make free throws when it’s their turn at the line combined to sink the boys from Naptown.

And meanwhile, Domantas Sabonis joins Jonas Valanciunas in continually proving that the most dangerous weapon an NBA team can have is a Lithuanian big man.

You all know I hate posting highlights of Pacers losses, but…

Why is it that when you get 58 minutes of basketball in the world, it’s never 58 minutes you want to actually watch?

The Bulls beat the Knicks 116-115 in double overtime behind 41 points (on 13-of-25) from Zach LaVine, while New York now drops to 3-8 and at least still looks better than the 15 wins I gave them in the season preview.

The Knicks couldn’t shoot for beans out there, hitting just 38.9 percent of their shots and blowing a winnable one in their own building.

But let’s give LaVine his props:

Speaking of overtime, Miami grabbed a 120-115 win over Detroit in the extra frame, getting a little help from Josh Richardson‘s 27 on 11-of-21 and a clutch buzzer beater from Tyler Johnson that ultimately proved the one moment that swung the game.

And despite 25 points and 24 rebounds from Andre Drummond, the Pistons still can’t beat anyone, in part because more than one of the good folks on Twitter to whom I posed the question pointed out that Drummond gets counting stats but they don’t come in any kind of broader offensive goal for the Pistons.

Drummond had 11 offensive boards thanks mainly to playing volleyball with himself. If he were a competent finisher at the rim, his numbers would be somehow lower and better at the same time.

But hey look, it’s Dwyane Wade getting the highlight reel off the bench for his 18 points!

George Hill was 10-of-12 from the field. Tristan Thompson was 9-of-12.

The Cleveland Cavaliers lost anyway, 102-100, at Orlando.

Your man of the match? Aaron Gordon, he of the 23 points and nine rebounds, because he’s somehow morphing himself into a solid star-caliber player after being an oft-disappointing guy at anything but being in the dunk contest.

The Magic aren’t good exactly—they’re 4-6—but they’re better.

The Thunder lost Russell Westbrook to a sprained left ankle, but not before he had 17 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds in Oklahoma City’s 122-116 win over the reeling New Orleans Pelicans.

Anthony Davis is in do-too-much mode, as he had 20 points on 7-of-20 shooting, never able to shake the Thunder defense.

As for the Thunder, they’re now a G-League team led by Paul George. So they’re basically the 2015-16 Pacers.

Speaking of PG13, he led the way with 23 points:

And finally, HERO OF SERBIA Boban Marjanovic is now 1-0 as a starter with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Marjanovic played 18 minutes, scored 10 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and assumed his rightful place among the grand maestros of big man supremacy in the 120-109 win over the Timberwolves.

That’s right…HERO OF SERBIA went toe-to-toe with Karl-Anthony Towns and his team came out the better.

You done good, son!

I mean…

But seriously,

Pacers Tuesday later. I’m-a talk about Domas. So get ready for a lot of “who should’ve gotten $72 million again?” stuff. Stay tuned. And thanks for reading!