Breakfast Special: P Is For Powerless

Some days, you watch basketball and wonder if perhaps your time wouldn’t be better taken up by just changing hobbies. Like becoming a grizzly bear wrangler. Or an “experience collector” in North Korean labor camps.

OK, so life isn’t THAT bad for Pacers fans, not when if you really want to experience the frozen wastes of Jotunheim in this mortal life, you need only step outside in Indianapolis this morning.

But without Victor Oladipo, and with Myles Turner still not quite wholly sure how to be the focal point of an offense while maintaining his defensive intensity, and with Tyreke Evans out as well, forcing Edmond Sumner to start…

…yeah, let’s just talk about the Golden State Warriors, who won 132-100, beating Indiana from pillar to post all night.

Stephen Curry had 26 points on 10-of-13 overall and 6-of-8 from long range, DeMarcus Cousins did the disco Boogie all over Turner and Domantas Sabonis for 22 points, Kevon Looney (!) had 15 points on 6-of-7 off the bench, and the Warriors shot a combined 54.1 percent as a team, scoring whenever, wherever, and however they wanted in an absolute humiliation.

Don’t worry, Pacers fans, there will be plenty of grotesque overreaction because it’s Tuesday, that’s coming later, but for now, watch Boogie score two points per win in the Warriors’ current 11-game streak:

The Grizzlies Are A Dumpster Fire

Memphis gave up 95 points…and lost.

Memphis held a team to just 60 points through three quarters, took a 17-point lead into the fourth quarter, led 70-45 midway through the third…and lost.

The Grizzlies are a Dumpster fire.

The winners? The Denver Nuggets, who played at an 80-point pace for three quarters and a 140-point pace in the fourth quarter, winning the final frame 35-15 to complete the comeback in what was looking a lot like a Dark Ages Derby for 36 minutes.

Nikola Jokic led the way with 24 points on 10-of-20, Will Barton scored 20, Malik Beasley came off the bench to add 18 on 7-of-14, and the Grizzlies gave the game away with 19 turnovers.

Memphis also blew things at the free throw line; both teams made 13 free throws but Memphis shot five more (19-14).

You know you’re watching a true awful team when they find ways to lose.

Beasley powering the big fourth-quarter comeback gives him a little love in the highlights:

The Difference Between 5 And 6

The fifth-seeded Celtics mark the border between the East’s contenders and the Easy First-Round Outs tier (well…if the season ended today, Indiana would play Brooklyn…ahem.)

Anyway, the Celtics shut down the Nets and built a wall to keep Brooklyn out of that top five tier, winning 112-104.

D’Angelo Russell had 25 for the Nets, and as time goes on it becomes more and more evident that maybe the Lakers are just garbage at developing No. 2 overall draft picks (will Lonzo Ball find career salvation if they trade him away too?)

On the Celtics side, the defense held Brooklyn to 37.9 percent shooting, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown led a balanced scoring attack (six C’s in double figures) with 21 points each, and Al Horford took the Nets to school in the trenches with 11 rebounds and six blocked shots.

Aron Baynes joined the block party with three of his own in just 21 minutes, adding six boards and 16 points.

Stopping the other team from scoring is great, but you have to score points yourself, and that’s where our men of the match come in:

The Future Is Now, John Collins and Trae Young

Trae Young, throughout his rookie year, has had “2020 Most Improved Player” written all over him, but he’s in danger of losing that status by being too good now to be “most improved” next year.

Young had 26 points on 10-of-18 shooting, John Collins (who is a future All-Star, and not in the distant future either) had 22 on 7-of-10 and 3-of-5 from long range, the Hawks shot 50.6 percent as a team, and all of the above led to a 123-118 win on the road over the Clippers.

Atlanta is 16-33. They’re on pace to win just 27 games. But they look like a team that’s going to win a lot more than 27 next year.

Do it to it, Trae:

And Finally…

The Hornets beat the Knicks 101-92 at home, dropping the Knicks to 10-39 in the fields of Prokorovka that mark the panzer battle for Zion Williamson.

Jeremy Lamb and Tony Parker had 15 each to lead the Hornets, Kemba Walker had 14, and Charlotte managed to win despite shooting a horrid 41.1 percent, control of the offensive glass (14-7 advantage) deciding the game by providing a few extra chances.

Well, that, and the fact that the Knicks were even more of a nightmare shooting the ball, making just 40 percent of their field goals.

Sometimes the only correct course of action when the NBA is on is to change the channel. Even the most ardent basketball fan suffered for want of entertainment Monday night…the Celtics and Nets played a great battle, the Hawks were pure fun, but there were three disasters mixed in, two for awful play, one for a one-sided beatdown.

“Highlights”:

Pacers Tuesday coming later, and…oh boy. I love my job, but these are the times that try men’s souls.

On the other hand, that satirical Anthony Davis piece did such great numbers that we hit the second biggest traffic day since the relaunch yesterday and we’re on pace for the biggest traffic month in site history (again, post-relaunch), beating out last year’s NBA Finals.

That’s all thanks to you folks, so thanks for reading!