Breakfast Special: The Education of Lonzo Ball

Are we seeing LeBron James singlehandedly turn Lonzo Ball into a quality NBA player?

Because in Lonzo’s past two starts since Rajon Rondo got suspended, he’s 10-of-19 from the field, 3-of-8 from long range, and even though he’s still one of the worst in the league at willing his way to the line, that’s not terribly surprising for any second-year guard (and he has hit four of his five free throw attempts this season.)

Throw out the Portland game (in which Lonzo went 2-of-7) and he’s averaging 13 points a game on 52.6 percent shooting and 43.5 percent from three-point land.

Lonzo Freaking Ball is doing that.

And yeah, small sample size, and you can’t throw out the Portland game in the actual stats, but so far, Lonzo doesn’t suck.

Maybe learning how to play NBA basketball from the greatest NBA basketball player who ever lived is better than learning how from a huckster idiot father who never made an honest dollar in his life but thinks he’s a god among men.

LeBron, meanwhile, had a triple-double as the Lakers—yes, the 2-3 LOLakers—handed the Denver Nuggets their first loss of the season, 121-114.

Meanwhile, Lance Stephenson has looked nothing like the lunatic he was in Indiana and everything like a competent NBA bench player.

I’m beginning to think I could throw together a rec league team from the YMCA, add LeBron, and he’d drag them to the freaking NBA Finals.

But at the end of the day, it’s LeBron who takes home the man of the match honors with 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists:

Choke-lahoma City

The Boston Celtics played about as bad a half of basketball as you can play in 2018, scoring just 34 points before the major break.

Oklahoma City took a 16-point lead into halftime.

And the laws of regression made that 16-point comeback a forgone conclusion. You just had the feeling that if the Celtics found their shot in the third quarter coming out of the locker room, they were coming all the way back.

Oh, and Brad Stevens is a certified NBA genius who should be getting more love for Coach of the Year, while Billy Donovan needs to get his ass back to college before he hurts someone.

Jayson Tatum led the way with 24 points on 8-of-18 shooting, Marcus Morris added 21 off the bench, and just a thought, but…

What the hell is wrong with Gordon Hayward? He had just five points on 1-of-5 from the field and hasn’t been able to find any kind of flow in Boston’s offense since he came back from injury.

Likewise, Kyrie Irving‘s 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting and five assists against three turnovers? They’re paying him how much for that?

The Celtics make no sense, but at 3-2, they don’t have to make sense. They’re on a 49-win pace despite playing terrible basketball to start the season. Just wait until they get it in gear.

Tatum is your man of the match:

What’chu Talkin’ ‘Bout, Mr. Drummond?

Andre Drummond dropped 26 points and 22 rebounds on the hapless and winless Cleveland Cavaliers Thursday night, Blake Griffin added 26 of his own on 9-of-13 shooting, and the Pistons won 110-103.

The gruesome twosome in the Pistons’ frontcourt also accounted for two-thirds of all of Detroit’s rebounds (32 out of 48) by themselves.

The only reason this game was close? Detroit turned the ball over 20 times against Cleveland’s nine giveaways. Otherwise, this might’ve been a 30-point shellacking.

Oh, and did I mention that Griffin was 4-of-5 from three-point land? Because that was a thing that happened and the idea of Griffin as a stretch 4 who can actually make shots should strike fear in the hearts of the Pistons’ opponents all season long, or until Griffin gets injured, whichever comes first.

This was Drummond’s night:

And Griffin had himself a one-man party as well:

POR-lando

The Blazers, at 3-1, are a curious lot this year. They took a bad loss to the Wizards when C.J. McCollum shot them out of the game, but they have otherwise looked solid.

And in their first away game of the season, they marched into Orlando and thumped the Magic 128-114.

Damian Lillard led the way with 41 points on 13-of-23 shooting, McCollum was much more efficient with 22 points on 7-of-12, Portland shot 55.2 percent overall and 61.7 percent on two-point shots, they won the rebounding, turnover, and free throw battles…

In other words, they just straight-up thumped Orlando.

“Take a look”, says the Blazers’ social media person. OK, don’t mind if I do:

And Finally…

Did you know that tomorrow, October 27, is the third anniversary of Pace and Space? It’s been a wild ride, and not just because we’ve changed blog hosts, had staff writers come and go, saw almost all our Year 1 content lost in a server switch by the old host, and just generally had an up and down wild ride around here.

At least with the WordPress server the content isn’t going anywhere, and we’re dredging up some blasts from the past at times, keeping a good mix of old and new.

We’ve had over 25,000 reads since the relaunch last year, and I’m stoked for the idea that we’ll have another 25,000 and possibly in less time than the first ones.

So stay tuned, and thanks for reading!