Breakfast Special: Rondo Alla Draymond Verdi

On Star Wars Day, balance was restored to the Force in the NBA Western Conference semifinals. In New Orleans, “the losing team in a five-game series wins Game 3” was in full effect as the Pelicans beat the Golden State Warriors 119-100. And in Utah, the Houston Rockets just up and decided to remind the Jazz that winning one game on the road does not automatically mean you then go on to win the series in six. Don’t believe me? Ask us Pacers fans. We begin in the Big Easy, where Rajon Rondo and Draymond Green got a little chippy …

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Breakfast Special: The Celtics Play Smart Basketball

It’s a brave new NBA world we live in, where no 20-point lead is safe. You think your team is on its way to a blowout, the kind of game where the starters sit the fourth quarter, and then next thing you know, it’s halftime, you’re up by five, and you might as well not have played the first 24 minutes at all. And then there’s “you lost sight of Marcus Smart and he buried you beneath a barrage of three-pointers.” Such was the fate of the Philadelphia 76ers in Boston, as they fell down two games to nil against …

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Breakfast Special: Praise the Basketball Gods, Utah

A heresy is brewing in Mormon country, as apostates embrace the deities of the hardwood. No, not Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and LeBron James. Not even John Stockton and Karl Malone. I’m talking the Basketball Gods, those divine purveyors of plot device for many a beleaguered sportswriter in need of a miracle to come up with some way to explain just what on this mortal plane happened in Houston Wednesday night. Because holy hell, the Utah Jazz just shot 60 percent from the free throw line, lost the turnover battle 16-7, watched Donovan Mitchell shoot like he was blindfolded (6-of-21, …

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Image via Bob Evans Restaurants

Breakfast Special: Steph-LeBron IV Coming In June

Stephen Curry is an impact player. We all knew that. But to see him post a plus-26 off the bench in a game his team won by just five points, 121-116 to put Golden State 2-0 up on the New Orleans Pelicans as the series heads out on the road to the Big Easy? Steph played 27 minutes. When he was off the floor, Golden State lost by 21 points. That’s a point a minute sliding away from them without their superstar. OK, so that’s an oversimplification. But the rest of the Dubs except for Draymond Green played like steaming …

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Breakfast Special: Terry Rozier, Kyrie Who?

The Boston Celtics drew first blood in the Eastern Conference semifinals and remained undefeated at home in the playoffs in five games with a 117-101 clobbering of the Philadelphia 76ers Monday night. Besides Terry Rozier, who has been a more than capable replacement for Kyrie Irving, there’s also Jayson Tatum, who replaced Gordon Hayward, and Al Horford, who might just be the Ben Simmons-killer in this series. Because Simmons was, while not a complete non-factor, not his sensational self, especially when Horford was guarding him. He had 18 points on 6-of-11 from the field and 6-of-11 from the line, added …

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Breakfast Special: LeBron James Wins Series, Cavaliers Watch, Amazed

With the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 105-101 win over the Indiana Pacers Sunday, the first round of the NBA playoffs officially came to a close. And while Pacers fans lick our wounds, grouse about how the referees cost us this series with that goaltend non-call in Game 5, and look toward a bright future for the franchise, one thing is clear: LeBron James is the GOAT. How else do you explain a guy who’s been to seven straight Finals, has the worst supporting cast he’s had around him since 2007, yet goes out and singlehandedly wins a series more or less by …

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Breakfast Special: Victor Oladipo’s Excellent Triple-Double Adventure

What on earth happened in Indianapolis? I mean, I’ve been over Game 6. The video footage. The play-by-play. The game flow. Everything. And the Pacers just flat-out destroyed the Cleveland Cavaliers 121-87, shredding them like sensitive documents in a politician’s office in the second half, including a 35-20 third quarter that effectively iced the game. Victor Oladipo had a triple-double, scoring 28 points, pulling 13 rebounds, and dishing 10 assists. The Pacers overall put up a Total Team Effort—in the playoffs!—in which all five starters plus Domantas Sabonis and Lance Stephenson got into double figures. And the Cavaliers…well, LeBron James …

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Breakfast Special: Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. the World

The Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks have played a home-court-advantage series that has still yet to see a side break serve. For the Celtics, that’s the comfort in losing Game 6 97-86 Thursday. They’ve won all three in Boston and get the fourth one, a deciding Game 7, to finish the job in front of an all-eyes-watching weekend audience. For the Bucks, coming up short in overtime in Game 1 looms large and casts a pall on what might have been. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 31 points on 13-of-23 shooting as the Bucks, who trailed by as many as nine in …

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Breakfast Special: LeBron James, the One True GOAT

How do you even stop LeBron James when he’s determined to win a game and indeed a series by himself? LeBron had 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, hit 14-of-24 from the field and 15-of-15 from the line, plus the shot that for all intents and purposes ended this first-round series with the Pacers as the Cavaliers won Game 5 98-95: .@KingJames WINS IT AT THE BUZZER! 🚨👌🚨@cavs win 98-95 and take a 3-2 series lead!#NBAPlayoffs | #AllForOne pic.twitter.com/MhBB5YeoQA — NBA TV (@NBATV) April 26, 2018 Cleveland hit 26-of-27 from the free throw line as a team. There’s your analysis. …

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Breakfast Special: The Process of Elimination for the Heat

The 76ers just pulled off one of those curious rarities in the NBA playoffs; a five-game series in which the higher seed lost a game at home. Indeed, even though the Sixers lost Game 2, sending the series back to Miami with so much promise for the Heat, Philadelphia played like a team that’s been doing this for years, won both road games, then closed out Game 5 in front of their own fans 104-91. J.J. Redick did one thing and did it well; scoring points. He had 27 of them, hitting 6-of-13 from the field including 5-of-10 from three, …

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