Breakfast Special: Sorry Poor People, Y’all Ain’t Got No Chance

Big hat tip to Charles Barkley:

Hey, we try not to get political around here, but when the comedy gods give you one like that, y’all gotta go with it.

On to the highlights:

Are You Actually Kidding, San Antonio

Good: Six players in double figures and a basket shy of a Total Team Effort.

Bad: None of those guys had more than 12 points, so the Spurs lost to the Jazz 100-89.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 11 points on 11 shots, making just four. Bryn Forbes led the team with 12. Those 11 shots by LMA were the most anyone on the Spurs attempted.

And the other team saw Rodney Hood actually do something for a change, scoring 29 in the absence of Donovan Mitchell and powering a Jazz offense that won this game at the free throw line.

Both teams made 34 shots from the field. Utah made 12 from three, beating out San Antonio’s 10.

But the Jazz shot 20-of-24 (83.3 percent) from the line. San Antonio? 11-of-16 (68.8 percent.)

Any questions?

Highlights from the TNT nightcap, as Hood was the man of the match:

Same Memphis Loses Time, Same Memphis Loses Channel

Things have gone bats in Memphis. They’re 2-19 in their last 21 games, both wins were by a single possession, and they went to Phoenix and lost again to a listless Suns squad that can’t score for beans without Devin Booker.

T.J. Warren led the way with 27 on 9-of-15 from the field and 8-of-10 from the line, the lone bright spot in a game where the Suns shot just 40.5 percent overall.

But the Grizzlies find a way to lose basketball games, and they tossed this one 97-95 thanks mainly to shooting just 5-of-26 (19.2 percent) from three. They were also outscored from the free throw line 21-12.

So despite 15 offensive boards, the Grizz fell short.

Dishonorable mention to coach-killer and Stage D12 clubhouse cancer Marc Gasol, who went 6-of-19 from the field, 1-of-7 from three, scored just 13 points, and gets to lie in the bed he made forcing David Fizdale out.

Highlights from the winners in Arizona as Warren took the man of the match honors:

The Valiant In Defeat Chicago Bulls

Look, if you’re going to lose a seven-game winning streak, “by one possession on the road in Cleveland” is about the best way you could hope to do it.

The Cavaliers took advantage of some friendly referees to outshoot the Bulls at the line, making 19 out of 22 shots against the Bulls’ 6-of-8.

That was enough to seal a 115-112 victory in which Chicago shot 55.3 percent and the Cavs shot 51.2.

LeBron James was his usual self, scoring 34 on 12-of-23 shooting, grabbing six boards, and dishing 90 cents’ worth of dimes.

Kevin Love was the capable sidekick, adding 27 on 9-of-15.

The rookie Lauri Markkanen led the way for Chicago, scoring 25 on 11-of-17 from the field.

This game was even on turnovers (12 each) and Cleveland barely won the rebound battle 35-34.

In other words, evenly matched. Except for referee intervention. And that was enough.

Highlights from the King on his court:

Boston Massacre

The Celtics are one well-timed Bojan Bogdanovic turnover from being in current possession of a three-game losing streak.

Somehow, the Celtics went to New York, held Kristaps Porzingis to one point on 0-of-11 shooting…and lost 102-93.

The Celtics couldn’t throw it into the ocean from the pier, making just 38.4 percent of their shots overall and 34.2 percent of their threes. Not content to take Porzingis out of the scoring, their next trick was to pull that on themselves.

Kyrie Irving had 32, but he needed to take 27 shots (making 12) to get there.

Rookie of the Year in potentia Jayson Tatum was the bright spot, scoring 15 on 6-of-10; if the rest of the team followed his lead, this would’ve been a blowout the other way.

The Knicks shot 45.6 percent overall and 57.1 percent from three (8-of-14), made eight more free throws (22-of-26 vs, 14-of-19), and savagely out-rebounded the C’s 49-35. So the extra seven turnovers (17-10) didn’t hurt them that badly.

The C’s have been reeling lately, looking out of sync and out of sorts, struggling when Irving decides he wants to be Allen Iverson, and just generally playing down to and regressing toward their 4.7 point differential; a team with that margin is a 54-win team, not a 60-win powerhouse like the team’s record pointed them toward during the hot streak.

As for the Knicks, it was Michael Beasley who made the night; he had 32 points on 13-of-20, hauled down 12 boards, and…well, because he’s Michael Beasley, had five turnovers and one assist.

Still, he’s the man of the match:

DeMar DeRozan‘s Screw You Mode Game

It’s like DeRozan knows someone doesn’t think he’s the second-best shooting guard in the league, and as if to show up Victor Oladipo, he went for a career-high 45 points on 13-of-21 from the field, 6-of-9 from three (wait, what? DeRozan shoots three-pointers?), and 13-of-15 from the line.

That was enough to power the Raptors to a 114-109 win in Philadelphia, in the “process” dropping the Sixers to 14-17 and effectively removing them for now from the East playoff conversation.

Philly got 20 from Ben Simmons, 19 from Robert Covington, and a near triple-double from Dario Saric (18 points, 10 boards, nine assists), but even though the Sixers made 52.3 percent of their shots, they got savaged by the refs and watched Toronto go 32-of-35 (91.4 percent!) from the line while Philly only went 10-of-14.

Plus, y’know, DeRozan having a Steph Curry game and the Sixers choking away a 22-point lead. It’s like 2015 came back home for Christmas.

Highlights from the hero Canada deserves:

And Finally…

It’s Friday, so here’s your weekly dose of trips, travels, and bad passes. It’s Shaqtin’ a Fool:

Happy weekend, folks. Sunday, we’re going to talk about rebounds. So put your Big Baller Brand shoes on and make like Lonzo, because this weekend, Statistical Tests has a Christmas Eve early present that’s all about missed shots.

Stay tuned and thanks for reading!