NBA Breakfast Special: For Boban So Loved Us That He Gave Us 13 Minutes

To begin today, we point out that Boban Marjanovic has a 25.8 PER, which if he were qualified for the title in such things, would put him seventh in the entire league.

HERO OF SERBIA had 14 points in 13 minutes on 4-of-6 shooting and 6-of-8 from the line, pulled down five rebounds, dished two assists, and did not turn the ball over even once.

That 14 points was second-best on the Pistons, trailing only Langston Galloway‘s 18, as Detroit…

…well, OK. They got their tails handed to them 103-84 by the Denver Nuggets, their freefall toward oblivion having gone from a slip to a tactical retreat to a full rout.

Jamal Murray had 28 points for Denver, Will Barton had a weird-as-hell stat line of four points on 2-of-5 shooting, six rebounds, and 10 assists, Mason Plumlee added 10 points and 13 rebounds, Wilson Chandler scored 18 points and put up a plus-34, and Denver outscored Detroit in the 35 minutes Boban was not on the floor by 27 points.

Highlights? Well, for starters…

Serbian Heritage Night! And here, some HERO OF SERBIA highlights:

Your man of the match, Jamal Murray:

Lithuanian Basketball Don King

LaVar Ball was in New York, sticking it to Spike Lee when he could. Please, please, PLEASE get this clown to Lithuania as soon as possible and let him bring his clown-ass kids with him.

Meanwhile, Jarrett Jack got inducted into a club that includes Eric Bledsoe, Jamal Murray, and Emmanuel Mudiay, the Trash Point Guards Club. How do you join? Simple. Play defense so bad that you make Lonzo Ball look like Magic Johnson.

Flea Market Westbrook had 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting, 3-of-6 from long range, and 2-of-3 from the line. He grabbed eight rebounds, dished six assists, and…

…oh. Team-worst minus-11 plus/minus in a game the Lakers lost 113-109 to the Knicks in overtime? Womp womp.

Kristaps Porzingis went for 37 points on 14-of-26, hauled in 11 rebounds, and blocked five shots. Enes Kanter also had a double-double with 11 boards, scoring 14 points on 7-of-10.

And the Lakers as a whole? They shot 41.2 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from Westchester, where the Knicks’ G-League team plays and where Lonzo should be traveling with the South Bay Lakers if the team has any sense about actually developing him into a competent shooter.

The Knicks shot 47.5 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from the cheap seats. If they hadn’t allowed the Lakers 20 offensive boards, this one might’ve just ended in regulation.

Highlights? Well, the man of the match was from the next country over from where the Ball boys will be benchwarming…

It Is LeBron James‘ World. Do Not Forget This.

Man, LeBron James is on a mission. Behind 25 points on 11-of-13 shooting and a mind-blowing 17 assists, the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Atlanta Hawks 123-114 at home.

Kevin Love added 17 points and 12 rebounds, the Cavs shot 55.8 percent from the field and a wild 20-of-38 (52.6 percent) from Cuyahoga Falls, and Cleveland held off a feisty Hawks squad that shot 44.4 percent from three (16-of-36) themselves.

Not only did LeBron dish $1.70 worth of dimes, Cleveland overall assisted on 37 of their 48 baskets, a sweet 77.1 percent clip. That’s Warrior-like ball movement.

Taurean Prince was valiant in defeat, leading the Hawks with 24 points on 8-of-10 shooting, grabbing seven boards, and dishing six assists.

Highlights of a bombing run that demolished the nets:

Joel Embiid Is Overpowered

Embiid had 28 points and 12 rebounds, finishing two assists shy of a triple-double while sinking 11-of-12 free throws to prop up his 8-of-16 night from the field.

J.J. Redick went absolutely bonkers, hitting 11-of-11 free throws and adding 26 points on 6-of-15 shooting.

Philly overall hit half their shots (40-of-80), dropped 11-of-26 from three, and beat the Minnesota Timberwolves on the road in overtime 118-112.

Despite 16 points and 12 assists from Karl-Anthony Towns and a monster 38-point night for Jimmy Butler, Minny still fell short.

Also, can we have a conversation about Tom Thibodeau, specifically how he needs to play more than eight guys in a regular-season overtime game? Towns played 48 minutes. Butler played 46. Jeff Teague, at 38, had the most rest in the 53-minute game out of all the starters.

Butler is second in the league in minutes per game (behind Giannis Antetokounmpo.) Wiggins is sixth. And Towns is 15th. Something has got to give here.

The Wolves are 16-12 despite playing two All-Stars plus Wiggins like Thibs is trying to drive them like the Bluesmobile. Defensively, Minnesota is one of the worst teams in the league. You get the feeling that a better coach would have these guys playing reasonable loads without sacrificing too much from their eventual playoff run.

Highlights from Embiid’s monster night:

RETURN OF THE KAWHI

Kawhi Leonard is back, although a minutes restriction kept him from having too much of an impact in the San Antonio Spurs’ 95-89 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

Sure, Leonard had 13 points in 16 minutes, pulling down six rebounds and posting a team-best plus-8 plus/minus, but that was in 16 minutes.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 23 points on 9-of-23 shooting, and of all the players on the Spurs, only Leonard, Rudy Gay (21 points on 8-of-11), and Joffrey Lauvergne (4 on 2-of-2) had more points than shot attempts.

Overall, the Spurs totaled 89 points on 87 shots.

Meanwhile, it’s not like Dallas shot the lights out; Harrison Barnes led the way with 17 on 8-of-17, Dennis Smith Jr. had 16 on 7-of-14, Wesley Matthews had 16 on 7-of-15, and the Mavs overall shot only 42.7 percent.

The difference in the game came from that 42.7 figure beating San Antonio’s 40.3, while Dallas hit 9-of-24 from long range against the Spurs’ 8-of-32, good for a 37.5-25.0 percent advantage.

Highlights? Well, if you want to call them that. J.J. Barea was actually the man of the match; his 16 came on 6-of-11, while he grabbed six rebounds and dished six assists.

Garbage In, Garbage Out

Bradley Beal scored 28 points on 11-of-33 shooting, missing all seven of his three-point tries. The Wizards overall shot 4-of-22 (18.2 percent) from New Jersey.

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets weren’t much better; they were 10-of-43 (23.3 percent) in sort of a Bizarro World version of what pace-and-space offense can be.

Still, they got a Total Team Effort, if only because if you shoot enough shots, enough will go in to push you to 10 points.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson led the way with 16 on 5-of-9, Caris LeVert got his 16 on 4-of-8, and while Hollis-Jefferson got his extra points from the line (6-of-8), The Green spread his bonus points around with a combination of free throws (5-of-6) and threes (3-of-4.)

So far, so efficient, but how’d Brooklyn get from LeVert’s performance all the way down to the rest of the team shooting a combined 7-of-39?

Simple. Spencer Dinwiddie was 1-of-11 from three, while Allen Crabbe was 3-of-14. That’s a combined 16 percent on 25 attempts.

Dinwiddie did end up with 12 assists, and DeMarre Carroll had a team-high plus-15 while scoring 15 points on 5-of-11, but this whole game was cover-your-eyes awful. Brooklyn mainly won this one at the free throw line; their 25-of-33 beat Washington’s 18-of-22.

Highlights from a 103-98 hot mess of a game, as Dinwiddie managed to be the man of the match because someone had to:

And some team highlights because why not, eh?

And Finally…

The Phoenix Suns played the Kings in Sacramento. The Kings won 99-92. The Suns shot 21.9 percent (7-of-32) from three. George Hill led the Kings with 18 points, while T.J. Warren matched that number for the Suns.

Hill’s 18 came on 6-of-9 shooting as he posted a team-best plus-12, while De’Aaron Fox, who is allegedly a point guard, had zero assists, proving a total non-factor with seven points and two rebounds.

Phoenix is 9-20. Sacramento is 9-18. And with the sweet deadline-induced whispers of sleep overtaking me, I’ll post some highlights to complete the journey to dreamland.

Actually, you know what? Screw highlights. This is the best moment from tonight’s game:

Soldiers reuniting with their kids. Child molesters losing elections. Hold on to hope, folks. The dark times will pass. We’ll wake up from the long national nightmare eventually.

Enjoy some Wednesday basketball, come back tomorrow for highlights and this week’s edition of Is He Any Good, and thanks for reading!