Breakfast Special: Bojan Bogdanovic, Indiana Hero

April 20 may be associated with getting high, but nobody was higher than Pacers fans after Indiana pulled off yet another comeback from down 15 or more, this time trailing by as many as 17 at halftime before beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 92-90 to take a 2-1 series lead. In the process, they became the first team all season to beat the Cavs when Cleveland was ahead or tied after three quarters; Cleveland went 42-0 in the regular season and won Game 2 under those circumstances. Since the NBA started keeping track in 2000-01, only this year’s Cavs went undefeated …

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Breakfast Special: The Phantom of the Process Lives Inside Miami’s Mind

Well, it was fun speculating about Miami in 6, but with Joel Embiid back, the 76ers restored balance to the playoff Force, erased their horrid Game 2 home loss by seizing back home court advantage, and won 128-108, their second blowout victory in three games and a heck of a pointer toward the idea that this might be Sixers in five. The Sixers shot 18-of-34 (52.9 percent) from long range, drew enough fouls to shoot 37 free throws (making 28, a 75.7 percent clip), and won the rebound (41-35) and turnover (15-10) battles. In other words, they were Rockets East. …

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Breakfast Special: Cavs Win By Three Referees

LeBron James scored 46 points. Victor Oladipo committed two quick fouls early, ended up with six turnovers, and yet managed to be plus-11 in a game Indiana lost 100-97. Cleveland attempted 22 free throws to Indiana’s 12. From where you’re kneeling, must look like an 18-karat run of bad luck. Truth is? The game was rigged from the start. But seriously, what a monster game from LeBron, calling back to Game 6 in Boston in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals. 46 points on 17-of-24 shooting, more made (10) and attempted (13) free throws than the entire Pacers team (9-of-12), 12 …

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Breakfast Specials: Two Truths and a Portland Lie

Consider the Western Conference. Below the Rockets and Warriors, who were beyond shadow of doubt the best two teams in the group, and above the Clippers, who were clearly tenth-best and had five wretched teams below them in the tankosphere, there were seven teams who were separated by three games in the standings, including five teams that had just a single game between them; fourth went 48-34, eighth went 47-35. Now consider that one of those teams, the Pelicans, had a major change of identity midway through the season when DeMarcus Cousins went down, took time to adjust, and emerged …

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Breakfast Special: Heat In Six

Another playoff series started for real on Monday, as the Miami Heat solved the Embiid-less Sixers and dealt them their first loss since the Pacers beat Philadelphia on March 13, a span of 17 straight wins. They did this by partying like it was 2006, with Dwyane Wade scoring 28 points off the bench, making his first seven shots before finishing 11-of-16, and doing all of the above in just 26 minutes. Meanwhile, James Johnson threw an efficiency party of his own, scoring his 18 points on 7-of-7 from the field including a pair of three-pointers; his only miss was …

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Breakfast Special: Weekend Game 1 Roundup

It was a busy weekend in the NBA as the playoffs got up and running, and if the saying holds true that “a series doesn’t start until the road team wins a game”, well, a couple of series just got started, including one blowout… Pacers 1, LeBron’s Impenetrable First-Round Reputation 0 LeBron James is supposed to be this magical superman who can singlehandedly will a terrible team to somehow not be terrible even though he was on and played all 82 games for that team. And with the Pacers winning 98-80 in Cleveland on Sunday, the biggest margin of the …

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Image via Bob Evans Restaurants

Breakfast Special: Saved the Best for Last

OK, so maybe only one of the three winner-take all games for playoff position was an instant classic. The Spurs seemed perfectly content to punt the Pelicans game so they could finish seventh and get a Stephen Curry-less Golden State team in the first round and the Portland/Utah winner in the second. Meanwhile, in Rip City, Donovan Mitchell was so utterly putrid that I don’t care how many seasons Ben Simmons did or didn’t sit on the bench for, Mitchell fluffed his chance to make his Rookie of the Year case on national television. But the Nuggets, man…talk about dying …

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Breakfast Special: Andre Ingram, This Is Your Time

Wednesday is a day filled with games that will decide the course of the 2018 NBA Playoffs, potentially setting matchups that could determine, especially in the Western Conference, who gets into the Finals. Tuesday? Tuesday is the day a 10-year veteran of the G-League got a night in Los Angeles to play for the Lakers, a childhood dream realized, a story to tell his grandkids. Tuesday…belongs to Andre Ingram. The Lakers lost to the Rockets 105-99. They’re 34-47, another pathetic lost season, a joke of a franchise ever since Kobe Bryant got hurt and limped through the last four years …

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Breakfast Special: Prelude to a Masterpiece

Several outcomes had to happen just right on Monday to set up the greatest last day of the regular season in recent NBA history. And all of them happened exactly the way they needed to. Three Western Conference season finales will be winner-take-all contests for playoff seeding; Utah plays Portland with the winner getting the 3 seed and the loser dropping into Tiebreaker Hell. San Antonio plays New Orleans, winner could place as high as fourth, loser as low as eighth. They’ve both clinched playoff berths, but they haven’t clinched playoff seeds. And finally, Denver plays Minnesota, winner gets at …

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Breakfast Special: Playing Out the String

Man, what a day in the NBA Sunday. Games between two teams set to make the playoffs: Zero. Games between a playoff team and a non-playoff team: Six (out of seven) Games in which the playoff team won: Five. So I guess that means our top story is… Nice Upset, Atlanta! The Hawks beat the Maine Red Claws…er, the Boston Celtics, in a game where the Hawks actually had more to gain by losing than by winning. Losing outright would’ve kept them on 23 wins and kept them alive for the second position in the lottery. As it stands, they’ve …

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