Eric Bledsoe: Is He Any Good?

As this goes to press, Lonzo Ball just had another Flea Market Westbrook game, going for 10 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists, continuing to be a player who even on a good day is mediocre at best. But then, Ball had two of the best games of his career against Phoenix and Milwaukee. The common thread between those two matchups? Eric Bledsoe, traded from the Suns to the Bucks in the interim. Ball torched Phoenix for 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists in only his second career game as a pro. He followed that up with his first …

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NBA Breakfast Special: Victor Oladipo’s Heimlich Maneuver

The Indiana Pacers did their level best to choke away the game against the Chicago Bulls Wednesday night, perhaps guilty of looking ahead to Cleveland on Friday and not focusing on the task at hand. Whatever the motivation, they trailed nearly the entire game, but the part they led? Try the last 31.1 seconds, rendering the previous 47 minutes, 28.9 seconds moot. Oladipo saved the night for Indiana: Victor Oladipo go-ahead game-winning 3. Pacers come all the way back again. pic.twitter.com/V9SkGBdHFq — Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) December 7, 2017 Indiana trailed by 16 at the half and 14 after three quarters. …

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NBA Breakfast Special: Bradley Beal Eats All the Voodoo Donuts

The Washington Wizards recovered nicely from the pure embarrassment of getting smacked by the Utah Jazz on Monday, and on a SEGABABA in Portland, Bradley Beal went for 51 points, nearly half the output of the 106-92 win over the Trail Blazers. Also, I don’t want to hear a word out of you Oregonians, because there is no UGH in donut. Even if it says so on the sign. You can put golden arches on a Jack in the Box, it’s still a Jack in the Box, and you can put three unnecessary letters in donut, it’s still dunkable for …

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The Indiana Pacers Are Golden State Lite

It is a maxim here at Pace and Space that “great teams win big and lose close.” Basic point differential theory dictates that a team that “guts out close wins” isn’t a good team, nor are they particularly better per se than a team that goes 72-10 but goes 5-3 in games decided by three points (IE one possession or less). After all, the 2016 Grizzlies went 8-3 in one-possession games. Were they “grittier” than the ’96 Bulls? Of course not! And part of that is the fact that Chicago was blown out exactly once in that greatest-of-all-time season, a …

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NBA Breakfast Special: Greek Freakout In Boston

Giannis Antetokounmpo may as well be the Breakfast Special MVP for all the highlights he’s put on this show, and that was on display in a 111-100 losing effort for the Milwaukee Bucks in Boston Monday night. The Greek Freak had 40 points on 14-of-24 from the field, adding nine rebounds, but the Bucks got otherwise outplayed by Kyrie Irving‘s 32 points and Jayson Tatum‘s continuing “hey, what about me” Rookie of the Year campaign. OK, so rookies aren’t subject to quite the same pressure to be on good teams as, say, the MVP, but go ahead and tell me …

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NBA Breakfast Special: James Harden Clowns Lonzo Ball

For the Houston Rockets, showing Lonzo Ball what a real NBA star looks like was always going to be on the menu. For James Harden to play the best defense anyone has yet played on Flea Market Westbrook all season? Wait…did Mike D’Antoni really just get Harden to buy in so completely that now he’s emerging as a legit NBA defender, in gross contravention of his reputation? Was that just a thing that happened? Ball was 0-of-4 from the field. His only two points came on his sole trip to the free throw line. And Harden, with Ball trying to …

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NBA Statistical Test: Can Team Basketball Be Measured?

There are two prevailing schools of thought among NBA commentators in today’s game. One holds that “you can’t win without a superstar”, pointing at guys like LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant as guys who put (admittedly very good) supporting casts on their shoulders and lifted them to championships. The other holds that “team basketball” is king and points to teams like the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs with a side order of teams like the 2004 Pistons and 2008 Celtics, less star-driven by one guy and more driven by a top-to-bottom team concept that wins with …

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NBA Breakfast Special: LeBron James Vs. The World

LeBron James is still savage after all these years… .@KingJames is out here trying to end careers… 😳 pic.twitter.com/dqWGXpaT8I — NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) December 1, 2017 And as if that weren’t enough, he’s doing Dikembe’s finger wave in front of Hawks fans in Atlanta… .@KingJames gives Atlanta the finger-wave after another HUGE block! ☝️ pic.twitter.com/DDqzLZVg9D — NBA TV (@NBATV) December 1, 2017 Bron had 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting, Kevin Love added 25 points and 16 rebounds, and the Cleveland Cavaliers, behind a 40-29 rebounding advantage and 18 three-pointers made in 39 tries (46.2 percent!), beat Atlanta 121-114 to …

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Dennis Schroder: Is He Any Good?

The Atlanta Hawks are genuinely terrible. After getting the royal smackdown from King James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, they’re now 4-17. The roster is a combination of castoffs, injuries, and injured castoffs, coach Mike Budenholzer is out there like “what, you gave me a G-League team, did you want playoffs?”, and the question of whether the players are any good almost seems a wasted question since, well, they’re 4-17. But the question must be asked, if only because it becomes a referendum on the guys Atlanta tried to keep in their great roster purge and subsequent tank job. So we’ll …

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NBA Breakfast Special: Stephen Curry Is Broken

Stephen Curry just joined Eric Bledsoe in a very dubious NBA club. Specifically, guys whose defense is bad enough as to make Lonzo Ball look good. The Golden State Warriors very nearly dropped their second straight game, barely beating the Los Angeles Lakers on the road in overtime 127-123, and Ball ended up with 15 points and 10 assists while shooting 5-of-12 from the field, 3-of-7 from San Pedro, and even 2-of-2 from the line. And, of course, since the game went to overtime, there was all the statistical weirdness you could handle. Golden State had the Triple 20 you’d …

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