NBA Breakfast Special: The Pistons’ Letdown Game

When the Detroit Pistons had a big win over the Golden State Warriors on the road, it was only a matter of time before they suffered one hell of a letdown game.

Sure enough, that deal with the devil came due on Halloween night, as Staples Center became a house of horrors against the Los Angeles Lakers.

LA shredded the Pistons for a .495/.462/.786 slash line, shot 14 free throws to the Pistons’ 3, won the rebound battle 53-44 and the assist battle 30-21, and watched HERO OF SERBIA get a DNP-CD in a 20-point game (free the Boban!)

Avery Bradley shot 4-of-17 from the field and Tobias Harris was 8-of-19 for Detroit, who just looked flat out there, the natural end result when you go into hostile territory at the end of a three-in-four having just beaten the Clippers and Dubs.

In other words, the Lakers just benefited from a schedule loss.

Dollar Store Westbrook had 13 points on 6-of-13 shooting and came nowhere near a triple-double; Lonzo Ball continues to suffer from getting defensive attention like he’s a far better player than he is.

Highlights of a Total Team Effort:

Pacer Madness

Bojan Bogdanovic went up against Bogdan Bogdanovic in the World’s Most Confusing Name Matchup Game Tuesday night. Bojan had 17; Bogdan had seven.

Domantas Sabonis is a hot-and-cold guy of the highest order:

When he missed a shot to go to 5-of-6 on the night, Pacers fans panicked, worried that it was a harbinger of defeat:

OK, not really, but Myles Turner’s backup has been making the most of his time in the sun with Turner in concussion protocol.

Indiana demolished the Kings 53-44 on the boards, held them to 2-of-14 from three-point land, got six points, seven boards, and five assists out of Lance Stephenson (with Lance improving his WS/48 from -.143 to -.089; if he keeps playing like an All-Star he might just avoid G-League Scrub status in three more games), and just generally played a fantastic game of basketball.

Oh, and the reassignment of No. 13 to an end-of-the-bench 13th man was a nice touch, guys:


Thunder UP

Russell Westbrook is up to his old tricks and providing fans with treats, as the Thunder rolled the Bucks 110-91 behind 12 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists from the reigning MVP.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led all scorers with 28, while the Thunder got a no-stars but all-team kind of game; Paul George had 20, Carmelo Anthony had 17, and Steven Adams had 14, as the team overall shot 49.4 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from long range.

Giannis was the only Bucks player in double figures. This was a huge defensive effort for Oklahoma City, as they go to 4-3 in a packed house of an NBA landscape.

Highlights? We got some of those:

And Finally…

Phoenix went to Brooklyn and continued their absolute tear without Earl Watson at the helm. The Suns are 3-1 since dismissing a coach everyone wanted out the door, and this time it was behind an offensive explosion in a 122-114 win.

Devin Booker had 32, Mike James had 24, and TJ Warren had 20, as the star-driven Suns made 22 of 24 shots from the line, outrebounded Brooklyn 66-44, and quite possibly would’ve won by more had they not lost the turnover battle 18-7.

Alex Len had 15 boards in 25 minutes. Tyson Chandler had 13 in 22, covering the center position in rebounding glory. Chandler had two points but posted a plus-26 in his time on the floor. This was just awesome all around.

The spotlight’s on Booker:


Man, you guys really liked that Paul George piece yesterday. I’ll have to keep that in mind. Nice to know that the ol’ features pen still works. This weekend (and I mean it this time), I’ll be launching an examination into the predictive value of team basketball, testing the Total Team Effort and whether it correlates to wins.

But for now, we’ve got plenty of great stuff to sort through and enjoy, so click some of those related links and thanks for reading!