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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In a Five-Game Series, Which Game Does the Losing Team Win?

It’s a rule of thumb when predicting a playoff series, especially in the first round, that the underdog team will lose the first two on the road to the higher seed, win Game 3 at home thanks to a super-energized crowd and a sense of purpose, then order will be restored, the higher seed wins Game 4, and then they close it out in five back in front of their own fans. But how true is that? Why not Game 4, trying to avoid the sweep? Or stealing one on the road then melting down at home and blowing the …

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Grading My 2018 Preseason Picks: Eastern Conference

Looking back on the preseason previews, I covered the Western Conference and went 8-4 on my picks where I set a specific “over or under” bet in the article. Sure, I got two other picks wrong without saying a number, and the 15th case was simply saying the Warriors were good without providing context, so I gave myself an 8-6-1 record. Did I do as well in the East? Besides being one of the legion of people who didn’t see the Pacers coming, I mean (more on that later.) In order of publication: MIAMI HEAT Over/Under: 43 Pick: “But a …

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Grading My 2018 Preseason Picks: Western Conference

Before the season, I stuck my neck out and made 30 predictions for 30 teams, trying to decide whether they would go over or under their Vegas expectations. Of course, there’s plenty of stuff I got right. But there’s also a lot of stuff I got hilariously wrong, so let’s go through real quick and see how I did, in order of posting date for the previews, and starting with the West (East coming later this morning): DALLAS MAVERICKS Over/Under: 35.5 Pick: “Expect about 30 wins.” (Under) Actual: 24-58 So I overrated them. I did, however, predict Harrison Barnes would …

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2018 NBA Western Conference Playoff Preview and Finals Pick

We’ve done the East, now it’s time for the West. As per usual, these are much more gut-instinct heavy than the usual fare around here, because if history has taught me anything, it’s that you can do a bunch of extra work, crunch a bunch of numbers, and be just as wrong, because the playoffs are just a completely different beast from the regular season. Round 1 HOUSTON vs. MINNESOTA – Rockets in 5 I’d have said sweep here, but reportedly Chris Paul is battling some injuries sustained late in the season, which means that the unbeatable triumvirate of CP3, …

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2018 NBA Eastern Conference Playoff Predictions

The playoffs are upon us, and things tip off Saturday. Which means it’s time to make wild guesses that are almost assuredly going to be wrong, but at least there’s no Maryland-Baltimore County around to render the entire thing utterly silly. In a seven-game series, that just would’ve meant Virginia in five. We’ll start today with the Eastern Conference, do the West later this morning, then go ahead and stick the Finals pick at the end of that West article, so please do stay tuned. This is also going to be a lot more free-flowing and gut-based than your usual …

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