Breakfast Special: Weekend Game 1 Roundup

It was a busy weekend in the NBA as the playoffs got up and running, and if the saying holds true that “a series doesn’t start until the road team wins a game”, well, a couple of series just got started, including one blowout… Pacers 1, LeBron’s Impenetrable First-Round Reputation 0 LeBron James is supposed to be this magical superman who can singlehandedly will a terrible team to somehow not be terrible even though he was on and played all 82 games for that team. And with the Pacers winning 98-80 in Cleveland on Sunday, the biggest margin of the …

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Grading My 2018 Preseason Picks: Eastern Conference

Looking back on the preseason previews, I covered the Western Conference and went 8-4 on my picks where I set a specific “over or under” bet in the article. Sure, I got two other picks wrong without saying a number, and the 15th case was simply saying the Warriors were good without providing context, so I gave myself an 8-6-1 record. Did I do as well in the East? Besides being one of the legion of people who didn’t see the Pacers coming, I mean (more on that later.) In order of publication: MIAMI HEAT Over/Under: 43 Pick: “But a …

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Grading My 2018 Preseason Picks: Western Conference

Before the season, I stuck my neck out and made 30 predictions for 30 teams, trying to decide whether they would go over or under their Vegas expectations. Of course, there’s plenty of stuff I got right. But there’s also a lot of stuff I got hilariously wrong, so let’s go through real quick and see how I did, in order of posting date for the previews, and starting with the West (East coming later this morning): DALLAS MAVERICKS Over/Under: 35.5 Pick: “Expect about 30 wins.” (Under) Actual: 24-58 So I overrated them. I did, however, predict Harrison Barnes would …

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2018 NBA Western Conference Playoff Preview and Finals Pick

We’ve done the East, now it’s time for the West. As per usual, these are much more gut-instinct heavy than the usual fare around here, because if history has taught me anything, it’s that you can do a bunch of extra work, crunch a bunch of numbers, and be just as wrong, because the playoffs are just a completely different beast from the regular season. Round 1 HOUSTON vs. MINNESOTA – Rockets in 5 I’d have said sweep here, but reportedly Chris Paul is battling some injuries sustained late in the season, which means that the unbeatable triumvirate of CP3, …

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2018 NBA Eastern Conference Playoff Predictions

The playoffs are upon us, and things tip off Saturday. Which means it’s time to make wild guesses that are almost assuredly going to be wrong, but at least there’s no Maryland-Baltimore County around to render the entire thing utterly silly. In a seven-game series, that just would’ve meant Virginia in five. We’ll start today with the Eastern Conference, do the West later this morning, then go ahead and stick the Finals pick at the end of that West article, so please do stay tuned. This is also going to be a lot more free-flowing and gut-based than your usual …

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All-Everything Postseason 2018 NBA Team Awards

Most of what I’ve had to say about these guys, I said in my companion piece about the end-of-season awards. I will say this: Picking All-Defense is so subjective and I can only watch so many games, so there is a lot of shot-in-the-dark and a lot of “in case of argument, let Basketball Reference be the final arbiter” that I’m convinced there’s no way to try and rank defenders on anything other than reputation, fan bias, or woefully inadequate counting stats like steals and blocks. Defensive Rating tends to overweight players on good defensive teams. Steals and blocks are …

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Official Pace and Space 2018 NBA Awards

We, sadly, do not get an official NBA media ballot here at Mystery Ship Studios, but if we did, you can bet we wouldn’t make head-up-the-rear-end decisions on who to give the major NBA awards to. Which, besides being a “shut up about Donovan Mitchell” argument, informs the philosophy behind this not-at-all-slapped-together completely personal-bias-laden seriously I’m a Pacers fan and if you haven’t figured that out by now you will before we’re done here list of the 2018 NBA awards. Where applicable, these will be as they are presented on NBA.com/official. Meaning top 5 for the MVP and top 3 …

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Image via Bob Evans Restaurants

Breakfast Special: Saved the Best for Last

OK, so maybe only one of the three winner-take all games for playoff position was an instant classic. The Spurs seemed perfectly content to punt the Pelicans game so they could finish seventh and get a Stephen Curry-less Golden State team in the first round and the Portland/Utah winner in the second. Meanwhile, in Rip City, Donovan Mitchell was so utterly putrid that I don’t care how many seasons Ben Simmons did or didn’t sit on the bench for, Mitchell fluffed his chance to make his Rookie of the Year case on national television. But the Nuggets, man…talk about dying …

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Breakfast Special: Andre Ingram, This Is Your Time

Wednesday is a day filled with games that will decide the course of the 2018 NBA Playoffs, potentially setting matchups that could determine, especially in the Western Conference, who gets into the Finals. Tuesday? Tuesday is the day a 10-year veteran of the G-League got a night in Los Angeles to play for the Lakers, a childhood dream realized, a story to tell his grandkids. Tuesday…belongs to Andre Ingram. The Lakers lost to the Rockets 105-99. They’re 34-47, another pathetic lost season, a joke of a franchise ever since Kobe Bryant got hurt and limped through the last four years …

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2018 NBA Playoff Tiebreak Scenarios: Last Day of the Season!

Wednesday night, the NBA tips off a slate of games to close out the regular season. The playoffs are finally upon us. And the standings, especially in the Western Conference? They’re still a hot mess, with every slot from 3 through 9 up for grabs. Only the Rockets and Warriors are locked into their seed; everyone else is fighting for position. Meanwhile, things are a bit quieter in the East, where the Raptors (1), Celtics (2), and Pacers (5) are locked into their seeds, while Philly and Cleveland are fighting for 3 and 4 and the Wizards, Heat, and Bucks …

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