Breakfast Special: Russell Westbrook, Guitar Hero

Since their improbable win over the Warriors on Christmas Day, the Los Angeles Lakers have looked like the G-League team they are without LeBron James and Rajon Rondo, both of whom are out with injury. The Oklahoma City Thunder beat them 107-100 at Staples Center Wednesday night on national television, powered by Paul George‘s 37 points on 15-of-29 shooting and Russell Westbrook‘s 14-point, 16-rebound, 10-assist triple-double. Plus, there was this brilliant razz of Lance Stephenson after PG13 drew an and-one: Westbrook so petty 😂🤣 pic.twitter.com/E9MhNJ8jd8 — Sports ReUp (@SportsReUp) January 3, 2019 Never mind that Russ shot 3-of-20 from the …

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Breakfast Special: 3 is More Than 2, 2 is More Than 0

2019 might go down in history as The Year of the Three-Point Backlash, and the Toronto Raptors demonstrated the way forward with a guy who, of course, was coached up from a rookie by Gregg Popovich, the dean of the New Old School in San Antonio. Kawhi Leonard had 45 points on 16-of-22 shooting, but it’s how he did it that makes this a subject deserving of a deeper dive into Pop’s new NBA reality. If you count by twos, you’d say “that’s 32 points”, and you’d be right. But Kawhi also shot 13-of-17 as he was able to fight …

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Breakfast Special: Wait, Are the Spurs Back?

The San Antonio Spurs have come charging back from the dead during the back half of December, and they capped off 2018 with an impressive 120-111 home win over the Celtics that included a monster 46-point third quarter, where the 16-point swing in the scoreboard proved too much for a Boston squad that had to that point played solid defense. It was 23-17 for the visitors after the first quarter, after all. Davis Bertans was 5-of-8 from three, Bryn Forbes was 3-of-7, and Patty Mills was 3-of-6, and while the Spurs’ stars—DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge—continue to be All-Stars only …

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Breakfast Special: The Increasingly Implausible Dallas Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks are 17-18 after beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 105-103 in Dallas Sunday. The win brought the Mavs to 15-3 at home. They are 2-15 on the road. The team is absurd and nothing makes sense in this world and also you have to wonder just what the hell happened to Russell Westbrook, who shot 4-of-22 from the field and 0-of-8 from three and put up one of the ugliest performances in a professional basketball game in recent memory. Even Paul George‘s explosion for 36 points on 12-of-24 (and 3-of-11 from three…whoops) couldn’t save the Thunder. Dallas played …

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Breakfast Special: Too Many F—ing Lakers Fans

I love De’Aaron Fox and wish he were on the Pacers. Or, if I can’t have that, let’s see the Namesake traded to the Clippers or HERO OF SERBIA Boban Marjanovic traded to the Kings so my favorite non-Pacers can be on the same team. Fox went for just 15 points on 6-of-20 shooting against the criminally underrated defensive ability of Lonzo Ball (which is more than Ball could say for himself when Fox ate his lunch in college, but y’all in the NBA now, son) but dished 12 assists and grabbed nine rebounds like “who’s the triple-double machine now?” …

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Breakfast Special: Welcome Home, Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose, take me home, to the court where I belong, West Chicago, United Center, welcome home, Derrick Rose. Now that you’ve got that earworm kicking around your brain, it was a fantastic homecoming for Rose and the Timberwolves, who smashed the Bulls 119-94 to keep the never-ending curious case of the Western Conference lottery teams going. Minnesota’s now won two in a row, moved their point differential to even and their record to 16-18, bounced off the 14 spot (although New Orleans, at 15-20, risks sinking into the inky abyss of a team that’s actually going to fail to …

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Breakfast Special: Santas and Grinches

Gods bless NBA Christmas. We got five matchups, and all five were worth watching in their own way. But the big story, the one everyone’s talking about? That’s the one that came from Oakland. LeBron James suffered a groin injury in the third quarter. His Lakers team was up 14. Questions abounded whether they could hold the lead. The Warriors went on a run to cut it to two faster than you can blink. But the Lakers led by as many as 31 in the fourth quarter and won 127-101. Dear gods, this Lakers team might not actually be hot …

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Breakfast Special: A Night of Festivus Miracles

Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, even Andrew Wiggins…if you stayed up late enough on the East Coast to watch the late games in the NBA on Festivus, you got treated to Feats of Strength and, if you follow fans of the losing teams (or Doncic’s own team) on Twitter, you got Airing of Grievances big-time. There were 11 games in the Association as everyone gets Christmas Eve off before the annual Hoopsmas extravaganza on Tuesday, and like Santa in his sleigh, here come the presents of highlights from all 11: Steph Gonna MVP Warriors, with Curry: 18-5 (64-18 full-season pace) Warriors, …

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Breakfast Special: The James Harden Efficiency Experience

James Harden had one of the weirdest stat lines you’ll see, even by his standards, in Houston’s 101-99 loss at the Miami Heat on Thursday night. The Rockets’ alleged MVP (LeBron James got robbed. I will not be convinced otherwise.) scored 35 points on 7-of-23 shooting and 15-of-18 from the free throw line. This is not the weird part. The weird part is that he was 6-of-14 from three-point land…and 1-of-9 from two. One of my recurring diss tracks on the Brooklyn Nets is “what happens when you play Rockets-style basketball with guys who can’t shoot?” Well, the Rockets are …

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Breakfast Special: 26-of-55 From Three. OK, That’s the NBA Now.

The Houston Rockets had been moving away from the three-point shot a little too much in recent games, as teams defending the perimeter took away their ball movement and their ability to find the good looks from out there that are the team’s bread and butter. Well, you know how you remedy that? You catch the Washington Freaking Wizards on a SEGABABA after they lost to the Hawks the previous night and pound them like cheap steak, exposing their awful defense and hitting an NBA-record 26 three-pointers (on 55 attempts!) in a 136-118 beatdown. My gods, it was a thing …

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