NBA Breakfast Special: Lonzo Can Into Space

by Fox Doucette

Can we talk about Lonzo Ball? And by talk, I mean point and laugh as his NBA debut involved just three points on 1-of-6 shooting and a pair of missed free throws in 29 minutes. For those conoisseurs of Big Baller Hate, this was pretty much a best-case scenario, wasn’t it? Short of breaking his ankle, tearing his ACL, or getting slammed face first into a basket support by a pissed-off DeAndre Jordan, that is.

Yes, he had nine rebounds, and Lonzo does look to have the tools to be a very capable defender (he put up a 97 Defensive Rating for the game even as his Offensive Rating was an anemic 52), but the Lakers didn’t draft Lonzo Ball to be Dennis Rodman 2.0.

Besides, Lonzo can’t be Dennis Rodman. It’s his dad who’s got Rodman’s crazy. Come to think of it, shipping LaVar Ball and the Worm to North Korea might not be such a bad idea…until LaVar starts World War III, that is.

Here’s Lonzo’s one and only make:

It Takes Everything

Of course, the Clippers won 108-92 and led by 30 before garbage time kicked in:

Oh, did we mention that “no Chris Paul, no problem?” Because Milos Teodosic and Lou Williams combined for 12 assists, DeAndre Jordan hauled down 24 rebounds, and Blake Griffin scored 29 in the opener.

Did we also mention that this team has the potential to be one of the best defensive units in the league with Jordan and Patrick Beverley around?

Lonzo got clowned in college. Putting a good defender on him at the NBA level might just kill his career before it gets going.

Welcome to the league, Sinderious Thornwell, you get all the nirnroot:

(yeah, I’m an Elder Scrolls lore nerd. Fight me.)

Thunderstruck

Russell Westbrook is averaging a triple-double so far in the 2017-18 season. 21 points. 16 assists. 10 boards. One 105-84 win. Paul George had 28 points, albeit on 9-of-23 shooting, and Carmelo Anthony had a similarly Dark Ages-inspired 22 points on 8-of-20. The Thunder shot 28.9 percent on 38 attempts beyond the arc, making 11 of them; they shot 43.3 percent (39-of-90) overall.

Meanwhile, Kristaps Porzingis had 31 for the Knicks. Enes Kanter had 10 against his old mates. Nobody else hit double figures. New York turned the ball over an amazing 25 times against only 19 assists.

Get used to this:

If Steven Adams is your second-best player, you’re a mess. If he’s your fourth-best player? Different story:

How to break Indiana’s heart in one photo:

Or a clip:

And Not A Portis to be Found

Bobby Portis was hoping for a Klingon Promotion. What he got was a DNP-Inactive.

The Bulls got smacked 117-100 on the road in Toronto in their opener, as the ongoing saga of Dwane Casey Discovers Modern Basketball led to the Raptors shooting 44.8 percent (13-of-29) from three.

Sure, DeMar DeRozan didn’t do squat, going 2-of-9, all on two-pointers, ending up with 11 points thanks to his ability to get to the line and shoot 7-of-8. But CJ Miles continued the twisting of the knife back in Pacer Nation, opening his Raptors account by shooting 6-of-9 from long range and going for 22 points:

Perimeter ball movement?! Who are you and what have you done with Dwane Casey?

CJ takes the charge:

This is how you razz a defeated enemy:

And Finally…

It’s the best part of the first Thursday episode of Inside the NBA. We’ll have Shaqtin’ all season, but the true fool is Sir Charles:

We’ll have features over the weekend (yes, really!) Some classic Pace and Space favorites are coming back as the season gets underway. Besides the Breakfast Special, we’ll have Pacers coverage, a weekly dose of Is He Any Good, and tests aplenty where we science out any statistical oddity you’d care to name.

Plus, we’ll be highlighting classic stuff from our first two years and bringing it over to the new server. The Google monster doesn’t need to know it’s old wine in new bottles, does it? So watch for our Greatest Hits…and thanks for reading!