Breakfast Special: A Near-Choke In Cleveland

The Cleveland Cavaliers needed a win to snap the funk they’ve been in lately, but a 104-103 win over the Orlando Magic at home in a game where the Cavs nearly choked away a 20-point halftime lead despite their opponent making only five three-pointers the whole game? That’s bad. Like almost as bad as if they’d lost bad. LeBron James had 16 points on 7-of-16 shooting, a dreadfully inefficient performance for the King, and Isaiah Thomas, while leading the team with 21 points, shot 40 percent from the field and 30 percent behind the three-point line. Kevin Love got his …

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Tobias Harris: Is He Any Good?

Tobias Harris, when he shoots the ball well, is a massive addition to a Detroit Pistons offense that is perpetually in dire need of the guys who make four-out basketball possible. Andre Drummond cannot win games by himself, and spacing the floor is how his dominance down low is able to be such a huge factor in Detroit’s wins. But on the other hand, when Harris shoots the ball poorly, he’s like Josh Smith out there; a guy who can go 4-for-13, as Harris did against Toronto in a 96-91 loss on Jan. 17, puts your team at a grave …

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Breakfast Special: Steph Curry Eats the Basketball

Stephen Curry is very good at basketball, but when Lauri Markkanen up and decides to serve him the ball for breakfast, all Chef can do is take a big bite and then get the next one: Lauri Markkanen just spiked the ball on Steph Curry’s dome lmao pic.twitter.com/Yr7EQs3Kfh — Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) January 18, 2018 Mmm, delicious basketball. The Golden State Warriors won 119-112 at United Center, and the Bulls continue to make no sense whatsoever; in going 14-8 since their 3-20 start, they have looked every bit the kind of team that goes 14-8 in 22-game stretches (that is …

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Breakfast Special: Stirring The Western Conference Up

It began with the New Orleans Pelicans, who rode into Boston, turned Anthony Davis loose, and sicced him on the Celtics to the tune of 45 points in a 116-113 overtime win. Davis had an astonishing eight offensive rebounds and 16 overall, going full Beast Mode alongside DeMarcus Cousins, who added 19 points and 15 boards of his own. The Celtics gave the game away. They played something resembling Rockets-style basketball, hitting 19 of 50 from beyond the arc out of a total of 101 field goal attempts, but they hit only 41.1 percent of their two-pointers to land at …

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The Denver Nuggets: The NBA Friday Champions

Statistical anomalies are as much a part of data as anything else. Just because something has a tiny chance of actually happening doesn’t mean it never happens; just ask anyone who’s ever won the lottery. But a lottery is, ultimately, a large sample size. Hundreds of millions of people buy tickets, so something that has a hundreds-of-millions-to-one chance must happen eventually, sometimes after a dry spell that pumps the jackpot up over a billion dollars. And indeed, when you hear that there were three winners splitting one of those billion-dollar jackpots, it’s little more than a small piece of statistical …

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Breakfast Special: A King Gets Deposed on a King’s Day

With the exception of Christmas, no day of the year is a bigger hoops bonanza than Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and if you were lucky enough to have the day off, you could wake up at 9:30 on the West Coast, turn on League Pass, and have games until almost midnight. And like Christmas, you even got the biggest marquee matchup in the league… Warriors 2, Cavaliers 0, I Don’t Think This Is the Finals, Guys LeBron James had 32 points, but this Cavs team just isn’t very good. Isaiah Thomas is back to being the high-volume shooter and …

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Breakfast Special: HEAT Culture

Four games on Sunday marked a bit of a breather for the NBA before its big 11-game slate on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. All four had some flavor of playoff implications for the teams involved, even if a bit indirectly in two cases. We begin in Miami, where the Heat smacked the Bucks 97-79 in a defensive showcase that included holding Milwaukee to 31.6 percent (25-of-79) from the field and an astounding 4-of-28 (14.3 percent!) from three. You really don’t even need to play well on offense to beat that, but Miami nonetheless shot 46.1 percent (35-of-76) and 11-of-29 …

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Breakfast Special: Cleveland Cadavers

Just when you thought the Cleveland Cavaliers couldn’t get any worse after that ritual slaughter they endured in Minnesota Monday night, they came out and lost 133-99 to the Toronto Raptors. They’ve lost their previous two games by a combined 260-198, dropping their season-long point differential all the way to plus-1.1 in 96 minutes of basketball. Put another way, they dropped from a fringe contender to a team that would expect to go 44-38 over the course of a full season. Meanwhile, Toronto, with the big win, extended their own differential to plus-8.3, the second-best mark in all of basketball …

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Goran Dragic: Is He Any Good?

Goran Dragic, America’s Best Slovenian, has been a factor in the Miami Heat’s surprising run to the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference this season. With 17 points and just under five assists a game, he’s been the anchor at the point guard spot, and with Dion Waiters just having suffered what may be a season-ending injury, it’s going to be down to the Dragon’s leadership to keep the Heat in the driver’s seat as they look to continue the momentum that put them at 30-11 in the last 41 games of the 2017 season, falling short of the playoffs …

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Breakfast Special: Russell Westbrook’s G-League Spectacular!

The Oklahoma City Thunder have been soundly thwacked by the Minnesota Timberwolves, a team they might well see in the first round of the playoffs. The 104-88 loss was Oklahoma City’s third straight, all by double digits. The funny thing about all this is Russell Westbrook, who has come alive recently, put up a monster performance; he had 38 points on 15-of-23 shooting, grabbed 10 rebounds to up his season average to 9.6, and dished five assists even though nobody else on his team could make a shot. Westbrook is averaging 25.1 points, 9.6 boards, and 10.0 assists per contest, …

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