Breakfast Special: NBA Underdogs Put It On A T-Shirt

Five of the six worst teams in the NBA won games last night. Of those, four beat teams that either would make the playoffs if the season ended today or, in the fifth case, would’ve been had they beaten the bad team. Meanwhile, the Chicago Bulls continue to charge ahead, winners of eight of their last ten and, at 11-22, just one game back of the 11th-seeded Nets. And sure, the Bulls aren’t exactly threatening the playoff field—they’re 6.5 games back of the eighth-seeded Heat, who are nearly as close to first place (7.5 back of Boston) as they are …

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The Pace and Space Lexicon

Ever wonder what I’m talking about when I bring up certain concepts that are fairly unique to this site? Most of them are terms that have just evolved from an approach to the sport of basketball that tries to come up with names for certain statistical concepts or other things that have just sprung up over the course of writing about the NBA. You see these a lot in the Breakfast Special columns; when I’m doing game recaps, I’m trying to notice patterns for later statistical testing. Terms like Total Team Effort and Triple 20 came from there. The former …

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Breakfast Special: The Downside of NBA Christmas

Go ahead and find me a worse day for basketball than the day after Christmas. The NBA schedules no games on Christmas Eve to make sure that their marquee teams don’t have a back-to-back on the holidsy, and that also means that on December 26, those same teams, spared the need to play a SEGABABA, are all resting up and at home with their families. Which can only mean one thing…a Bad Team Bonanza that leaves all but the hardest core League Pass junkies playing video games instead. Seriously, I’m still playing 2K12 on a MyPlayer save I’ve had since …

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Breakfast Special: There’s No Win At Home For the Holidays

It was a bad Christmas to host a basketball game. Of the five games that made up the Christmas bonanza, three were won by the road team; only the Warriors and Thunder got the job done. We begin with the Rockets who, with only a single loss with Chris Paul in the lineup, dropped to 11-5 without him. They did this despite a Triple 20; 29 points from James Harden and 20 each from Eric Gordon and Trevor Ariza. The Thunder, meanwhile, had a Triple 20 of their own, as Carmelo Anthony finally seems to be learning how to play …

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Why Are Great Rebounders On Bad Teams?

This may be a question that has an obvious answer. After all, if we ask “why are so many great rebounders on bad teams”, the knee-jerk answer is “because bad teams miss lots of shots, so there are more rebounds to be had.” Except that can’t be it…offensive rebounding percentage is at the lowest it’s been in history and it’s declining every year. The guys who lead the league are averaging a bunch of defensive rebounds. Let’s take a look at the league’s best rebounders, the teams they’re on, and try to draw a connection that ties them together. And …

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Breakfast Special: Sorry Poor People, Y’all Ain’t Got No Chance

Big hat tip to Charles Barkley: Charles Barkley’s thoughts on America’s new tax bill: pic.twitter.com/39P0yW91Dd — Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) December 22, 2017 Hey, we try not to get political around here, but when the comedy gods give you one like that, y’all gotta go with it. On to the highlights: Are You Actually Kidding, San Antonio Good: Six players in double figures and a basket shy of a Total Team Effort. Bad: None of those guys had more than 12 points, so the Spurs lost to the Jazz 100-89. LaMarcus Aldridge had 11 points on 11 shots, making just four. …

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J.R. Smith: Is He Any Good?

There’s a certain class of NBA player—Lance Stephenson, Robert Covington, Shane Battier—whose role as the “glue guy” is more important to the team’s winning ways than anything they actually do on the court. Sometimes those guys are good players in their own right; Covington is firmly in that fringe starter tier of guys who justify the minutes they’re given (14.5 PER, .113 WS/48, and 1.0 VORP, that last being on the edge of the second tier of NBA shooting guards we talked about yesterday.) Other times, those guys are more trouble than they’re worth, shooting teams out of games and …

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Breakfast Special: Harden Your Heart Kuzma Mind Is Blown

We begin this most blessed Solstice with tribute to the gods…the Basketball Gods, who saw fit to bless mortalkind with the ultimate setup for a terrible pun in the headline. James Harden scored 51 points, but the Houston Rockets fell in defeat for only the fifth time this season. Chris Paul left the game with an apparent injury, Clint Capela missed the game with a left heel bruise, and a hotshot highly-touted Lakers rookie scored 38 points and powered his team to a 122-116 win. Seriously, how about Kyle Kuzma inserting himself into the Rookie of the Year conversation over …

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Who’s The NBA’s Second-Best Shooting Guard?

It goes without saying that James Harden is the best shooting guard in the NBA; even if you left aside the fact that he’s the runaway favorite for MVP, through games of Dec. 19, he’s leading the league in scoring, shooting the highest percentage (39.2) of his career from three-point range, dishing out nine assists a game, and guiding Houston to the league’s best record. But who’s second? Victor Oladipo? Klay Thompson? Bradley Beal? DeMar DeRozan? Jimmy Butler? The rookie Donovan Mitchell? Let’s consider the candidates… One Quick Elimination For starters, let’s just drop Mitchell. He’s good. Very good. Making …

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NBA Breakfast Special: LeBron And The Canton Charge

As complete wastes of a great night went, LeBron James scoring 39 points for the Cleveland Cavaliers but watching his team play like a G-League outfit in losing to the Milwaukee Bucks 119-116 Tuesday night has got to rank right up there. Sure, LeBron had seven turnovers, and sure, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Eric Bledsoe went for 27 and 26 respectively and shot a combined 60 percent (18-of-30) to average 1.77 points per shot while between them having fewer turnovers (six) in 72 minutes than LeBron had in 34, but the simple fact remains that when the GOAT goes for 39, …

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