Breakfast Special: LeBron James Stars In “L’Etat, C’est Moi”

LeBron James IS the Cleveland Cavaliers, and if anyone doubted that, the King used an overtime stage against the Minnesota Timberwolves to go right ahead and prove to the world and remind his teammates that he is the guy for whom, to steal a line from Winston Churchill, “never has so much been owed by so many to so few.”

As in one. The GOAT. LeBron Raymone James.

Bron had 37 points, 15 assists, 10 rebounds, a 16-of-22 shooting performance, the Cavaliers finally followed him into the valley of death to the tune of 59.1 percent shooting, 21-of-41 from three…

…and 35 points from Jimmy Butler and 30 from Karl-Anthony Towns, who shot a combined 72.7 percent (24-of-33) while the rest of their team posted a 58.1 percent shooting night, hit 57.6 percent of their threes…

Oh yeah. Forgot. The Cavs suck royally, their defense so utterly atrocious that they choked away a four-point lead in the final minute of regulation to force overtime in the first place, with coach Tyronn Lue calling a timeout to set up a Dark Ages offensive hero ball play right into the teeth of a prepared defense that, of course, didn’t work.

Cleveland won 140-138, but they might as well have been coached by Pyrrhus of Epirus for all the good it did them.

But seriously. LeBron is the only thing keeping this Worst Team Money Can Buy of overpaid crybaby veterans from missing the playoffs entirely.

Any questions?

The Pelicans Disgrace The Sport

Dear New Orleans.

Move your team to Seattle if you can’t keep your arena in suitable repair to keep a basketball game from looking like a baseball game held outdoors in Hong Kong during monsoon season, please. It rains all the time here, and our arenas don’t leak.

Let’s just give the word on this to Chris Denari of Fox Sports Indiana:

The Pelicans should’ve been forced to forfeit. Instead, Indiana might have to play a 4-in-5 or a 5-in-7 as the NBA tries to shoehorn an unplanned game into what was supposed to be a rest day. That’s an unfair disadvantage to an opponent.

And yes, the Pels will face the same problem, but it’s their building. They were the ones who caused this by not maintaining the roof to proper standard.

It’s a disgrace.

Not Their First Rodeo

Any concerns about San Antonio on the road in February have been temporarily put on the back burner, as the Spurs marched into Phoenix and ritually slaughtered the Suns 129-81.

LaMarcus Aldridge led the way with 23 on 10-of-14 shooting, Patty Mills had 18 and a mind-blowing plus-30 off the bench, and the Spurs outrebounded Phoenix 62-44.

The Spurs shot 49.5 percent against Phoenix’s 30.8 percent (and 16-of-32 against 3-of-32 from three, adding up to 39 points, which was still nine short of the final margin. That’s…I don’t have words.)

Phoenix won the turnover battle 12-11…so, hey, great ball control, guys!

Marquese Chriss was minus-46. Josh Jackson was minus-47. Josh Gray shot 4-of-16 off the bench. Are you kidding me?

After the utter thriller on ESPN that was Cavs-Wolves, was watching the Spurs absolutely humiliate their opponent more or less entertaining?

I mean, not to confess my horrible nature to the world here, but Spurs-Suns was like watching Muhammad Ali at his best when he was breaking the will of his opponent, or watching any one-sided beatdown where the entertainment value is not in the contest of strength but in watching spirits broken and demoralized. It is Napoleon at Austerlitz. Caesar at Pharsalus. The Turks at Manzikert. It is savage. And it is beautiful.

Here’s ten minutes of it.

Lightning Round!

Blake Griffin had 25, overcoming a rare good shooting night from Allen Crabbe (34 on 13-of-22), as the Pistons stayed level with Philly for the 8 spot in the East and won their fifth straight game 115-106:

Andre Drummond was Wilt-like in his domination of the boards, with an amazing 27 rebounds. Nobody’s ever going to break Chamberlain’s record for 55 in a game; the pace of the game is slower and the shooting too accurate to even provide that many boards for one guy to yank down in a game anymore, but 27 of the estimated 72 boards (there were 96 rebounds total in the game, two per minute, and Drummond played 36 minutes)?

That is Wilt-like:

The Regression of the Miami Heat continues, with another shameful display against the Houston Rockets.

Miami has lost five straight to drop from fourth to seventh, and they’re even in the loss column with Detroit, who stand ninth.

James Harden erupted for 41, while Chris Paul had 27 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, and just one turnover:

And finally, Ricky Rubio (!) had 29, Rodney Hood added 18 off the bench, and no other Utah player scored in double figures.

That lack of team effort didn’t matter, because this was a slog of a game with only about 94 estimated possessions per team, so 92-88 was the final score for the victorious Jazz, and the Grizzlies remain the most excruciating, unwatchable trash franchise in the NBA.

Seriously, there is nothing wrong with a team that plays slow. The Spurs are 29th in the league in pace.

There is nothing wrong with a bad team that plays fast. The Nets are 6th in pace and fun to watch even though they suck.

It’s when a team plays slow AND plays badly that they’re unwatchable and everything that the NBA has come so far in trying to evolve past, and you should avoid them like one of Antoine Walker‘s investments.

Screw you, Memphis (dead last in pace and 25th in the standings.) And good job Utah.

Highlights from the man of the match:

It’s Thursday, and that means Is He Any Good is coming. Brace yourselves, Pacers fans…I’m going to wade into the Myles Turner debate. You’re going to love and hate me in equal measure for it. In the meantime, thanks for reading!