The Last Glory of LeBron James

Once upon a time, I used to be a boxing writer. I covered the sweet science both as a journalist, with ESPN’s old Friday Night Fights show as my beat—a great gig that got me ringside seats in Reno, where I met Teddy Atlas in one of the coolest total-fanboying moments of my life—and as a romanticist, writing historical fiction in the only sport besides maybe baseball where you can do that for a sports news publication and not be thought terribly unusual. (Unless you’re Jon Bois from SBNation. I am not Jon Bois.) And boxing was at the forefront …

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How the Cavaliers Can Beat the Warriors in the 2018 NBA Finals

The near-universal consensus is that Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and the rest of the Golden State Warriors will win either a sweep or a “gentleman’s sweep” in the NBA Finals. Indeed, the belief is that at best LeBron James and the Cavaliers will grab a Game 3 win in a series they lose in five games, as Bron has that one game where he plays completely out of his mind and the Warriors’ shooting isn’t enough on a team level to overcome the performance. But how can the Cavs make this more like 2016 than 2017 in terms of the …

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It’s Game 7 Time. The 2018 Playoffs Are Redeemed.

Never in the history of basketball have such garbage series produced such great results in a conference finals. In the Eastern Conference, no game has been decided by less than nine points; each individual game has sucked. The home team has won in a relative walk. And the storyline—LeBron James is God, the rest of the Cavaliers are steaming hot dog crap, and the Celtics couldn’t beat the Maine Red Claws on the road. But it’s a Game 7. In Boston. With Kevin Love in concussion protocol and LeBron quite possibly needing a 50-point triple-double just to make the game …

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Tom Thibodeau is a terrible coach and Minnesota should fire him

So a lot of trade rumors involving Karl-Anthony Towns have been floating around the land of the #AllEyesNorth hashtag on Twitter, and this got me thinking about the bigger problems with the franchise. So I went to Basketball Reference looking for answers, and..well… 30th in three-point attempts per game AND in three-point attempt rate (percentage of overall shot attempts which are threes.) Fourth in offensive rebound percentage but 24th in defensive rebound percentage. My gods. Tom Thibodeau has Scott-Hollins Syndrome. Worse still, a coach who built a reputation as a defensive “mastermind” has consistently presided over one of the worst …

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Confessions of a James Harden Hater

I hate watching James Harden play basketball. With every fiber of my basketball aesthetics-loving, flow and pace-worshipping, strong sense of fair play-having NBA fan soul, I hate every single goddamn thing about James Harden’s game. I want Chris Paul to score 40 a game against the Warriors, singlehandedly carry the Rockets to a win in seven games, then when LeBron James does to Harden what Michael Jordan did first to Charles Barkley in 1993 and then again to Karl Malone in 1997, embarrassing him for having the audacity to win the MVP despite not being the best player in the …

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Breakfast Special: Conference Finals Preview and Breakfast Recipes

The conference finals start Sunday in the NBA, with the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers tipping off a seven-game series as the Basketball Gods intended, even if the drama we anticipated before the season went up in a puff of injuries and placate-the-King trades midway through the season. So we don’t get Kyrie Irving playing against his former team, nor do we get Isaiah Thomas playing against his. Nor do we get the frontcourt matchup for the ages we’d hoped to see from Gordon Hayward and LeBron James. Nope. Instead, we get Gordon Who and Kyrie Who, aka Jayson Tatum …

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David Fizdale is the new Knicks coach. So much for entertainment value.

David Fizdale was announced Thursday as the new head coach of the New York Knicks, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN: https://twitter.com/wojespn/status/992157390706442240 The Knicks get an excellent game coach, a strategist of the first rank, and a guy who gives them instant credibility as they try to get back into the Eastern Conference playoff hunt after a five-year absence. They also get a graduate with honors of the Fratello-McMillan College Of Boring Basketball. Fizdale took over a Memphis Grizzlies team with a “Grit N’ Grind” ethos that stretches back to Lionel Hollins‘ last year coaching the team, when they went 56-26 …

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File via Wikimedia Commons

The NBA slows down in the playoffs…but by how much?

It is a widely-held maxim in NBA circles that “the game slows down in the playoffs” and that teams that look to run in the regular season tend to underperform when they’re forced into the halfcourt. But is that really true? After all, the Golden State Warriors have won two of the last three titles, and they and the New Orleans Pelicans are playing at a breakneck pace. And the Showtime Lakers ran plenty of fast breaks in May and June back in the day. So let’s start with the modern era, since Erik Spoelstra coined the term for the …

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The NBA Greatest of All Time Championship Belt

Let’s go back to 1946, the foundation of the greatest sports league in the history of competitive athletic endeavor, as the Basketball Association of America. We can argue all day about who the greatest of all time is. Was it Michael Jordan? Magic? Larry? Dr. J? Wilt? Russell? Big O? There are so many greats to choose from, but here’s one man’s view of who, on the day they retired, were the greatest of all time up to that day, going all the way back to 1946: March 22, 1950: Bob Feerick The first guy to shoot over 40 percent …

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Enough with the Process: The Sixers are NBA InfoWars

by Zach d’Arbeloff Let’s take a journey back to a more innocent time. It was June 2013. President Obama had just started his second term. The Miami Heat won their second NBA Championship thanks to a miraculous shot by Ray Allen. The Boston Bruins lost an excruciating Stanley Cup Finals. Despicable Me 2 was released. Lorde had just dropped “Royals.” People found out who Edward Snowden was. Game of Thrones ended a shocking third season en route to Emmys Galore. CAN YOU GUYS EVEN BELIEVE THE RED WEDDING??!! Alex Jones addressed the annual Bilderberg Conference in England, delivered a searing …

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