Breakfast Special: The South Bay Lakers are the Best Lakers

For the first time, we’re leading the NBA highlight show with G-League highlights, because the South Bay Lakers put up such a fantastic performance against the Texas Legends, winning 155-114, And because I’m a man of my word…

South Bay shot an amazing 61-of-101 (60.4 percent) from the field, 17-of-38 (44.7 percent) from three, out-rebounded Texas 60-36, led by 26 from Travis Wear, 25 from DeMarcus Holland, 22 from Alex Caruso, and 21 from Gary Payton II. Seven Lakers scored in double figures; all ten who suited up scored at least six points.

The listed attendance? 626 fans on a Monday night.

C’mon, basketball fans. Get yourselves down to El Segundo. It’s not that far from where you lot used to go watch Magic Johnson in Inglewood, after all. The G-League puts some great entertainment on the floor.

Don’t believe me? Here, watch the highlights for yourselves:

Steve Kerr Is Redundant

Back to the NBA, Steve Kerr pulled the brilliant move of letting his Warriors players coach themselves in a 129-83 drubbing of the Phoenix Suns.

It was a great way to get the players engaged after they’ve hit that rut common to championship teams that so often submarines regular seasons, and it even forced his players to really think about the game in terms of internalizing strategy and understanding what leadership is.

This is why Kerr is the greatest coach in the league today—yes, even beyond the likes of Popovich and Stevens.

Over a long grind, tempers can flare, chemistry can get volatile, players can forget what they’re playing for.

But give them a vested interest in the outcome against a weak Phoenix team? Well, you saw the result.

Stephen Curry led the way with 22 points on 8-of-17, the Warriors shot 58.4 percent overall, and the defense was locked in, players not wanting to let down their teammates after the efforts they made to draw up a good way to stop the enemy.

Phoenix, facing the teeth of that defense, shot just 34.7 percent from the field and a comically bad 3-of-23 (13 percent) from three.

Golden State even won the turnover battle, coughing it up just 11 times; their Achilles heel this season has been ball control.

Just look at the way the ball moved on this three-point montage. When the players plan the plays, making the passes becomes an even bigger priority:

#TakeNote

The Utah Jazz just ran the winning streak to 10, pulling within 1.5 games of eighth-place New Orleans at 29-28, and they did it against a Rodeo Road Tripping San Antonio Spurs team that stands a dreadful 13-17 away from home.

Donovan Mitchell was atrocious in this one. Yes, he scored 25 points. But he shot 9-of-28 to do it, dragging his team’s shooting down with him so badly that they were 41.7 percent total…and 46.4 percent if Mitchell’s shooting is removed.

Yet someone’s going to point to his counting stats like he’s the equal of Ben Simmons or Jayson Tatum. No. Just shut up. That was a Dark Ages performance, and it almost cost his team the game.

Then again, the defense stepped up and held San Antonio to just 6-of-25 from three-point land, so who needs good offense?

Then again, if San Antonio had shot even 28 percent (7-of-25) from long range, they’d have won.

Utah blew a 10-point halftime lead, trailed by 13 late, and won anyway:

Lightning Round!

Speaking of Simmons, he had β€œonly” 13 points, but did it on 6-of-8 shooting, adding six rebounds and six assists as the Sixers beat the Knicks 108-92.

But it was T.J. McConnell who was the man of the match, notching his first career triple-double while swiping six steals:

Anthony Davis had 38, Jrue Holiday and Nikola Mirotic added 21 apiece, and it looks like the decline and fall of the Detroit Pistons has begun in earnest as New Orleans thumped them at Hot N’ Ready Arena 118-103:

The Clippers had a Total Team Effort led by Lou Williams‘ 20 off the bench, while the continued burial of HERO OF SERBIA Boban Marjanovic continues where it left off in Detroit.

LA beat Brooklyn 114-101 at Barclays Center, shooting 56.5 percent as a team while holding the Nets to just ten free throw attempts (Brooklyn made seven) with clean defense.

Sweet Lou is an indefensible All-Star snub, and he’s also your man of the match:

And finally, Chicago beat Orlando at home 105-101 because every game on the schedule gets played.

Zach LaVine decided he wanted to be John Havlicek on a late inbounds pass, and the fastbreak and slam iced the victory:

The bit on pace planned for yesterday has been scrapped; any way I pulled it together, it read like a spreadsheet, and I’m not going to bore you lot with a wall of numbers like that (and yes, I mean that even by Pace and Space standards.)

I’m going to be reworking the way I present those stat-heavy articles; few of you are reading them, and I’d like to make them more engaging.

Meanwhile, if you like what you see here, please do share it on your social media; it does a world of good for the site to have new people coming in and having a look.

And in the meantime, thanks for reading!