Breakfast Special: The Rockets Die by the Sword

The Houston Rockets lived by the three-point shot all season long, putting up three-point attempt rates so high that in plenty of games, they shot more threes than twos. Trouble was, their shooting went cold on them at exactly the wrong time, and they ended up losing Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals to the Golden State Warriors, 101-92. It wasn’t just that their shooting went cold. It’s that it went from pretty good, as they made six of their first 14 shots from long range (42.9 percent) to utterly putrid, as they then missed 27 three-pointers in a …

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Breakfast Special: LeBron James is the GOAT. Discussion Over.

Michael Jordan‘s run as the Greatest of All Time began on June 14, 1998, when he hit The Last Shot against the Utah Jazz, retired, and officially got past the “no player can be evaluated for his place in history until he is no longer playing the game” rule of historical comparison (we do not talk about the Jordan-era Wizards. They are a figment of the NBA Dark Ages.) And calling Jordan the GOAT was not something to be taken lightly; after all, the previous nine years had seen Kareem Abdul-Jabbar reign in that capacity, and to be better than …

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Image via Bob Evans Restaurants

Breakfast Special: Is Stephen Curry a Choke Artist?

Six times in the ultimate clutch situation, Stephen Curry has had a shot in the last 24 seconds of a playoff game that would have given Golden State the lead. All six times, he’s missed. That was Stephen Curry's 6th shot to take the lead in the last 0:24 of a playoff game He's missed all 6 pic.twitter.com/Hm8xTGp2f4 — Basketball Reference (@bball_ref) May 25, 2018 Chris Paul is injured, a busted hamstring likely keeping him either out or in extremely limited minutes in two games the Warriors must win in order to survive and advance to their fourth straight NBA …

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Breakfast Special: Semi Ojeleye Beats LeBron James By Himself

We have just seen a new low in the coaching career of Tyronn Lue, and possibly the moment that ensures that Lue never again coaches in the NBA after he is fired upon the departure of LeBron James from Cleveland following the Cavaliers’ defeat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Specifically, Lue’s failure to put Kyle Korver into Game 5, a game Cleveland lost 96-83 to the Boston Celtics. Lue’s reason: He was waiting for the Celtics to put Semi Ojeleye, Korver’s “matchup”, to check into the game. No, really. Ty Lue says that the Celtics "threw us (the Cavs) for …

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Breakfast Special: Andre Iguodala’s Veteran Leadership

You know we don’t go in much for eye test here at Pace and Space, and we especially don’t go in much for fuzzy “intangible” narratives that don’t have hard numbers to back them up. But how do you explain the Warriors’ repeated lapses of concentration when they had the chance to put the Rockets away both early and late? After all, the team led 12-0 almost before the Rockets got their warmups off. They led 82-70 in the fourth quarter. And in both cases, the Rockets erased the double-digit lead; in the latter case, they made Stephen Curry and …

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Breakfast Special: The Warriors-Cavaliers Inevitability

There are two ways you can interpret the Cleveland Cavaliers’ completing their defense of their home court in Games 3 and 4, including Monday’s 111-102 win to draw the series level at two games apiece. Either the Celtics, who have been outstanding at home but utterly putrid on the road in these playoffs (they are now just 1-6 away from Boston in the postseason while they’re 9-0 at home), are headed toward a seven-game series win in which the home team wins all seven games, and therefore there is no reason to panic or even to find anything we’ve seen …

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Breakfast Special: The Conference Finals Have Been Terrible

Over the weekend, our reward as fans for patiently awaiting the return of the NBA conference finals was…two anticlimactic blowouts, one that kept the narrative alive for two titans of the East trading blows as they defend their home floors, the other a reinforcement of the idea that Mike D’Antoni is the Marty Schottenheimer of basketball coaches and Daryl Morey, like Billy Beane in baseball, has a secret system that doesn’t work in the playoffs. Beginning in the East, Saturday featured Cleveland just plain kicking the crap out of Boston 116-86. The game got out of hand almost from the …

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Breakfast Special: Warriors In 6. Not Warriors In 4.

By definition, in a six-game series, the losing team wins two games. More importantly, the losing team, usually the favorite in the series who starts at home, wins those two games at home. Either they take the first two games, lose two on the road, come back home, and everything goes sideways in Game 5, or they lose one of the first two games at home, fall down 3-1 on the road, pull one back, then ultimately succumb to the enemy’s fans going bonkers and the atmosphere of a team knowing they’re toast if the series gets pushed to seven …

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Breakfast Special: LeBron James Isn’t Making the Finals Himself

Before this series, I predicted that the Cavs would win in six, and that the road game that proved decisive would be Game 5; Cleveland, losing the first two on the road, figuring it out at home, and then having LeBron James drop a LeBron Game on the Boston faithful before the Cavs completed their unusual—in the sense that LeBron is on a G-League team yet manages to power them by himself—Finals run, whereupon they’d get stomped in five by Golden State again, the way they were last year and might well have been in 2016 had the league not …

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Breakfast Special: Time to Panic, Rockets Fans

It is one thing to read too much into a Game 1 when it doesn’t tell us anything about the relative strengths of the teams, with one team winning big, but on its home floor against a player notorious for treating a seven-game series as a boxing match, feeling out the opponent in the early rounds. It is another thing for a team to go into an opponent’s house, punch them square in the mouth, knock out a couple of teeth, and then dare them to bite back against a title defense by the champion. And that’s why the Houston …

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