Breakfast Special: LeBrons N’ Roses

Derrick Rose has become one of the most curious stories in sports, a fallen hero who very obviously still knows how to play basketball, but his body simply will not allow him to do it at a high level consistently for 82 games.

Meanwhile, LeBron James is what happens when you take someone of (beyond) Rose’s talent and put them in a nearly indestructible body.

Which is how the Lakers beat the Timberwolves 114-110 on Wednesday night. Rose had 31 points on 11-of-17 shooting and 7-of-9 from three, putting up a +11 in 37 minutes…oh, Tom Thibodeau, don’t ever change. Run Rose into the ground until he goes full Bluesmobile, it’ll be great.

(someone trade for Jimmy Butler. He’s too good for that stinkin’ outfit in Minny.)

LeBron, meanwhile, came an assist shy of a triple double, with 24 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists, one of four (!) Lakers with at least 20 points.

And one of those 20-point-scoring Lakers was Josh Hart, who had 21 points on 5-of-7 shooting, all from three, and 6-of-6 from the line. Hart’s +11 in his 21 minutes was the best plus/minus figure on the team.

Meanwhile…

Rajon Rondo: 2 points, 1-of-7, 6 rebounds, 10 assists, +10 in 27 minutes.
Lonzo Ball: 3 points, 1-of-6, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, -8 in 21 minutes.

Oh well…I mean, maybe Lonzo had a chance to be good, but turns out he still sucks. And he’s one ugly SOB too. Ugliest player in the league.

And one other thought, but how do the Timberwolves shoot 20-of-40 from three…and lose? What brave new world, that has such three-point shooting in it!

But here’s your Brons N’ Roses to whet your appetite for destruction:

Joel Embiid, Shane’s Pumpkin

OK, this one’s going to take a bit of explaining.

“Shane’s Pumpkin” is a player or team so good on both offense and defense that they rocket off the top right-hand corner of the chart. It’s named after at-large NBA writer Shane Young, who routinely shares such charts and who had a cheeky Halloween edition…

All of his readers pointed out that the Jack O’ Lanterns were the best team ever.

So now that we know what Shane’s Pumpkin is…

And yeah, I know Embiid’s not all the way up in the stratosphere where the jack o’lantern is, but shhh…don’t ruin my fun. You must be new here.

Now, speaking of Shane’s Pumpkins, how about Victor Oladipo, or should I say OladiMVPo:

All this is by way of saying that despite 32 points from Oladipo and another fantastic effort from Domantas Sabonis, the 76ers beat the Pacers 100-94 Wednesday night, casting a pall over the office here at Mystery Ship Studios.

Indiana shot 39.4 percent from the game, because when you keep trying to take it inside against Embiid, who is a stellar rim protector, for every one of these Saboners…

…you get a bunch of Tyreke Evans missed layups, where the Sixers, because they are a great defensive team (seriously, I look like an idiot for saying yesterday I wasn’t sold on them despite their ninth-in-the-league Defensive Rating), box out Sabonis and deny him the follow-up dunks that have been downright Harlem Globetrotters in their regularity between Sabonis and Evans this season.

Meanwhile, Ben Simmons had 16 points on 0-of-0 from three-point land and put up 10 rebounds and eight assists, Embiid added 10 boards and three blocks to his 20 points, and Philly overcame a 16-10 turnover disadvantage to pull out the win.

Simmons is your man of the match because Embiid can’t receive the award posthumously after Sabonis murdered him in cold blood.

We The North

Toronto had one big question mark before the season started. How would going from DeMar DeRozan to Kawhi Leonard affect their flow on offense and defense, especially with Dwane Casey having been given his walking papers?

In hindsight…what a stupid, stupid question.

Kawhi had 25 on 7-of-17 shooting, going 9-of-9 from the line as part of a 21-of-23 shooting night for the Raptors at the stripe, league leader in assists Kyle Lowry had eight of them to go with 16 points, and while the Raps were horribly turnover-prone (losing that battle 21-16), absolutely monstrous rebounding (a 53-31 differential) and those free throws got the job done in a 114-105 win at Sacramento against the Kings.

My namesake De’Aaron Fox had 20 on 8-of-15 shooting, and I’m going to continue to act like a proud parent whenever he does well. Dude’s got my name and wears my lucky number out there. Plus I went out on a limb and said he’d have a better career than Lonzo. I’m a fan of the kid.

But let’s give this highlight reel to Lowry. He’s looking like the best point guard in the East (muzzle it, Kyrie Irving fans. Here’s a ball you can throw into the stands if you don’t like it.)

Lightning Round!

The Nuggets fell to a Grizzlies team that is now 6-4 and unbeaten in four tries at home.

Nikola Jokic attempted just one shot (and missed it), Jamal Murray came crashing back down to Kyrie’s flat Earth with a 15-point, 6-of-21 horror show, and at the other end, Memphis managed an 89-87 victory in which only three players scored in double figures.

Marc Gasol led the way with 20 points and 12 rebounds in this ugly contest, and Jaren Jackson Jr. gets the spotlight with 20 of his own:

Detroit stopped their losing skid at Orlando, because all you need to do in order to arrest a bad run of games is to march into central Florida and beat up the local whipping boys.

Andre Drummond had 23 points, 19 rebounds, and a -8 plus/minus because he’s Andre Drummond.

Langston Galloway had 12 on 4-of-8, all from three, and a team-best +20 in 26 minutes.

Crazy old world this, but Detroit beat Orlando 103-96 to go to 5-5 and stop a five-game losing skid.

Dennis Schroder had a no-Westbrook-no-problem night for Oklahoma City, as he scored 28 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and…dished zero assists? Oh, what strange times are these for the Thunder offense!

Oklahoma City assisted on just ten of their 35 made field goals against Cleveland but still beat the Cavaliers 95-86.

I do not know what to make of this. Nothing good, I’m sure, as we’ll see when OKC starts playing teams that don’t suck.

Man, what a Roland Emmerich movie the Cavs are, right?

The Knicks are 4-8. The Hawks are 3-8. Don’t watch these highlights if you just 8.

Cheeky puns aside, Tim Hardaway Jr. had 34 points, making 16-of-20 (!) from the line, Noah Vonleh added 11 points and 13 rebounds, and New York beat Atlanta in Georgia by a 112-107 count.

Ready for a conspiracy theory?

San Antonio finishes ninth in the West, misses the playoffs, and the NBA rigs the draft lottery to get them Zion Williamson.

Sounds good, huh?

Anyway, the Spurs lost at Miami 95-88, Hassan Whiteside had eight blocks in the first half but ended up one block shy of a triple-double, but Whiteside did end up with 29 points and 20 rebounds:

Play against a bad enough team and it doesn’t matter if you’ve only got one superstar carrying a G-League squad.

Or so it seems, as the New Orleans Pelicans beat the 3-9 Chicago Bulls (wow, the East is a dumpster fire) at home behind 22 first-half points and 32 overall from Anthony Davis.

Chicago shot a horrific 39.6 percent from the field, three Pelicans hit double digits in rebounds, and the whole thing ended up a monumental horror show for the Bulls in a not-as-close-as-the-score 107-98 win for the Pellies.

Hail the mighty Brow:

And finally, I don’t care how good Luka Doncic is (and he is amazing; Super Saiyan Goran Dragic deserves to be Rookie of the Year), he wasn’t enough, not even in a Total Team Effort, to push the Dallas Mavericks past the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City.

Utah won 117-102 thanks mainly to a combination of Rudy Gobert (17 points on 7-of-9 shooting plus 10 rebounds), Ricky Rubio (10 points, 12 assists, 3 steals), and Donovan Mitchell (23 points) getting the job done.

One spider, coming right up:

Wow…11 games. That was fun! Hope you enjoy reading these as much as I enjoy writing them. Stay tuned for more Pace and Space fun all week long, and thanks for reading!