Breakfast Special: Lonzo Ball, Ace Sixth Man

Ladies and gentlemen, Lonzo Ball—yes, THAT Lonzo Ball—had a perfect shooting night.

OK, so he did it off the bench and only attempted four shots and two free throws, but 4-4 FG/3-3 3PT/2-2 FT is still 13 points.

Plus, the Lakers beat the tanking Hawks 123-104 in Atlanta, sending Hawks fans into paroxysms of joy as they entrench their position at “We’re Number 30! We’re Number 30!”

Since Dallas beat the Pacers (we’ll get to that in the Lightning Round, as it is unworthy of feature consideration), today was a good day for #TrueToAtlanta.

The Lakers ran ten guys out on the floor. Nine scored in double figures. That is a Total Team Effort worthy of songs by bards in taverns.

Oh, and that 19-point win? It actually represented an underachievement, as the Lakers committed 23 turnovers to the Hawks’ 11. They should’ve won by 40.

Brandon Ingram is your man of the match, with 21 points and a team-best plus-19:

Anthony Davis, Super-Sized Stat Line Man

Nobody had, before last night, scored 50 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, and blocked five shots in a single game, at least not since the NBA started counting blocks as a stat. Wilt Chamberlain probably did it every night in 1961, but we can’t confirm.

The Pellies were savage in going after those of us in the media who point out that Davis is a great-stats-bad-team guy:

Devin Booker had 40 in this one, but since the Suns suck, New Orleans erased a halftime deficit and won 125-116.

New Orleans shot 47.3 percent from the field and 28.6 beyond the arc; Phoenix shot 43.3 and 29.2. So it was a brick-filled mess, but that didn’t matter when Davis had the ball.

The NBA’s official Twitter extended the highlight show for the man of the match:

Dinosaur Beaten By Dinosaurs

Are we sure Stan Van Gundy is really a good coach? I mean, like double-dog sure?

Because consider the following:


Meanwhile, Dwane Casey has had his case of Scott-Hollins Syndrome completely cured. The Worst Shot In Basketball is completely absent from the Raptors’ game plan.

Even DeMar DeRozan, who went 5-of-9, missed his only triple, and still got 20 points because he forced his way to the line and went 10-of-11 from there. He’s shooting just 19 percent of his shots between 16 feet and the 3-point arc (statistically the lowest-value shot on the court.)

Ten Raptors players had at least seven points in this one, as everyone got minutes thanks to the 123-94 thrashing Toronto gave Detroit.

DeRozan and Kyle Lowry split the man of the match honors:

Lightning Round!

The Pacers, fifth in the East and overachieving by miles this year, became the only team currently in the playoffs to lose to a non-playoff team on Monday. There were eight such games; the good team beat the bad team in seven.

But hey, Myles Turner went 10-of-14 for 24 points and 11 rebounds.

Harrison Barnes led Dallas with 21 points.


Brooklyn beat Chicago behind 21 points from Allen Crabbe, who shot a respectable 7-of-13.

The Nets’ small-ball lineup was atrocious again, as D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie can’t shoot a lick, but Chicago was even worse, hitting 35.5 percent from the field as a team.

You know what? This game doesn’t deserve the dignity of a highlight reel. It was Drazen Petrovic Night at Barclays Center. Let’s throw it to that reel instead:

Boston lost the second half 57-42, but they won the first half 67-41, so they ended up winning 109-98 over a Grizzlies team so atrocious that you only need to play hard for 24 minutes to beat them.

Kyrie Irving led the way with 25 points, claiming man of the match honors:

Klay Thompson (26), Kevin Durant (21), and Stephen Curry (20) combined for a Triple 20, the Warriors shot 51.8 percent from the field and 48.4 from long range, and the Knicks are terrible, so what you got there was a 125-111 Dub Nation win.

The Big Three share the highlights on this one:

How bad has Russell Westbrook‘s shooting been lately? Try 31.8 percent in his last five games.

He was so bad Monday despite a Thunder win over the Magic 112-105 that he failed to reach a triple-double; he had eight points on 3-of-12 shooting to go with his 12 rebounds and 11 assists.

Luckily, Paul George was there to bail his teammate out, scoring 26 points on 9-of-20 to lead all scorers in the win:

James Harden had 26 points as number 13 saw his Rockets get consecutive win number 13 in Utah.

The Jazz committed 22 turnovers in the 96-85 loss, which should’ve been a winnable game; any game where the Rockets only make nine three-pointers, you can beat them, but not if you yourself keep giving the ball away while shooting only 7-of-29 (24.1 percent) from out there.

Let’s just marvel at Harden’s Jordan-like finishing and Magic-like court vision, shall we?

And finally, Minnesota went into Sacramento and beat the Kings 118-100 because Karl-Anthony Towns (26 points, 9-of-10 from the field, 8-of-8 on free throws, to go with 17 rebounds) is great and any time a team shoots 33-of-36 from the free throw line like the Timberwolves did, good things will happen.

Andrew Wiggins had 22 points and Jeff Teague had 20 to complete the Triple 20 for the win:

It’s Tuesday, and that means tacos and Pacers talk. This week: Glenn Robinson III, what his return means for the team, and a Big Question asked about GR3 and Bojan Bogdanovic. Stay tuned for that, and thanks for reading!