Breakfast Special: The Long, Dark Night Begins

Indiana Pacers fans have been dreading this moment ever since Victor Oladipo got hurt.

A stretch of 11 games in which Indiana plays 10 playoff teams, eight of them on the road, and gets only the woeful Knicks at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to break up the potential 11-game losing streak started on national television…

…and the Bucks came out in the third quarter, turned a game that was close at the half into a runaway, and won 117-98.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 29 points on 10-of-17 shooting and added 12 rebounds. The Bucks hit half of their shots and 40 percent of their threes, and between Milwaukee’s defense and Indiana’s bad habit of disappearing on national television, the Pacers shot just 38.9 and 37.8 percent overall and from three, respectively.

On the bright side, a Nate McMillan-coached team just attempted more threes (37 vs. 35) than a Mike Budenholzer-coached team. This is a very, very good thing.

Speaking of, Myles Turner had a 22-point, 17-rebound night, attempted 11 (!!) three-pointers and made four of them, and got mistakenly identified as Elston by a creaky Marv Albert on TNT:

Oh, and Chris Webber is, to use Charles Barkley‘s word, “turrible”, and I for one can’t wait for the next time I get to hear the dulcet tones of Chris Denari and Quinn Buckner on Fox Sports Indiana again.

Highlights? How about the MVP:

Speaking of MVP Candidates…

How about Paul George, who has seized the mantle from Russell Westbrook as the best player on the Thunder while simultaneously sitting just behind Giannis in the race for MVP of the entire league?

…shut up, James Harden stans. We can talk when your guy gets stats through means other than uncalled travels and cheap fouls.

Then again, PG13 had a Harden-esque stat line, overcoming an atrocious (7-of-23) shooting night by making 17-of-20 from the line to end up with 32 points (good for 1.39 points per FGA), 14 rebounds, and six assists.

And Westbrook, when he shoots the ball efficiently, is a Scottie Pippen-level sidekick in terms of having two guys on your team in 2K who deserve 90+ player ratings.

Russ had 37 points on 14-of-28 and pulled down seven rebounds, but his performance was marred somewhat by a 3:8 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Then again, he did shoot 5-of-8 from three, something that almost seems like it should be mathematically impossible given Westbrook’s inability to hit threes. That seems as unlikely as Ben Simmons hitting two of them.

Oh, and the Thunder beat the Trail Blazers in Portland in overtime, 129-121.

Portland had every opportunity to seize this game, but shooting 9-of-41 from three was a fine way to waste a 51-point explosion (on 15-of-28 from the field and 18-of-20 from the line) from Damian Lillard.

Each team had just 14 assists in this one despite the teams combining to hit 85 shots; only 29.2 percent of the Thunder’s makes were assisted. That is simply plug-awful ball movement, but who cares when the shots go in?

When you’ve got two superstars you can go far in this world…

Yeah, I know, Is He Any Good got delayed. Are you even surprised at this point? Regulars know it gets there on Friday as often as on Thursday. (but in my defense, “Pacers Tuesday” has been a lot less of a misnomer lately, and you did get a feature yesterday. What, you haven’t read it? Go read it!)

Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!