NBA Breakfast Special: Le Morte d’Arthur Memes

Man, the Cleveland Cavaliers just make no sense at all anymore, huh? One night they’re left for dead, the next LeBron James is back in 2007 and singlehandedly willing a G-League team toward the playoffs. But what really mattered in their come-from-23-points-behind win over the Knicks? Arthur memes, that’s what. How many Cavs players posted Arthur memes after they beat the Knicks? Not one, not two, not three… https://t.co/emzJglL4id — Sports Illustrated (@SInow) November 14, 2017 This is the first display of true team unity we’ve seen from Cleveland, and it all started when, early in the third quarter, Tyronn …

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NBA Breakfast Special: Milwaukee’s Eric Bledsoe Problem

So, as would inevitably be the case, Lonzo Ball got himself a triple double, scoring 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting, dishing 13 assists, and pulling down 12 rebounds in a loss to the Bucks on Saturday. He became the youngest in NBA history to do it, at 20 years and 15 days, surpassing LeBron James. But have you noticed that Ball has had exactly two good games this season, and both involved his being guarded by Eric Bledsoe? After making Ball look like Russell Westbrook twice, you have to wonder if Bledsoe isn’t either washed up or else so disengaged …

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Triple 20: Examining The Impact of the NBA’s Big Three Concept

Ever since Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce joined forces ten years ago to win the 2008 title for the Boston Celtics, the maxim in the NBA has become that you need a Big Three (or, in Boston’s case, The Big Three Featuring Rajon Rondo) in order to have a chance of winning a title. While it took awhile for this to truly get off the ground, as the Lakers and Mavericks, who won the next three titles, were very clearly driven by a single superstar/decent cast paradigm with Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki, the idea truly flowered in …

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NBA Breakfast Special: LiAngelo Ball’s Sunglass Hut

Look, I’m just going to leave this here and go eat some breakfast. I’ll be right back. 😎😂 (sound on) pic.twitter.com/KGg8bB1AVi — NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) November 10, 2017 OK, let’s get this show started. Lonzo Ball Is Still Garbage And Everyone Still Knows It OK, you all know how I keep calling Lonzo Ball “Dollar Store Westbrook” around here. Tonight was a prime example of why. Ball had 10 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists. And you’d see that and think “whoa, he almost got a triple-double, that’s great!” Until you realize he shot 3-of-12 from the field, 1-of-7 …

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Is This NBA Player Any Good?: Emmanuel Mudiay

Emmanuel Mudiay has been a bête noire of mine for as long as he’s been in the league. My vicious “he’s a bust” rhetoric in 2015 about Mudiay’s -0.042 WS/48 season as a rookie is the reason Matt Moore of CBS blocked me on Twitter. Speaking of Twitter, everything you’re about to read is written with a big tip of the hat to Nuggets maven Rafael Torres, whose tweet started my brain’s gears moving and decided the subject of this week’s Is He Any Good: Mudiay is playing great so far this season and he’s continued it tonight. — Rafael …

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NBA Breakfast Special: Jeff Van Gundy Is A National Treasure

Jeff Van Gundy, national treasure, got assigned to a game that was competitive for about two quarters before the Golden State Warriors ran away with it in the second half to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 125-101. The game was dull, a mismatch, an exposure of Minnesota’s greatest weakness—their Letter League-quality defense. Luckily, this gave the Notorious JVG a chance to take a good swipe at the Ball family; LiAngelo Ball got busted for petty theft in China, and that…well, see it for yourself: Jeff Van Gundy and Dave Pasch discussing the UCLA incident in China, and also college athletics. pic.twitter.com/llrdhqt1vs …

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Larry Bird vs. LeBron James At Age 30: Who Was Really Better?

This graphic has been making the rounds on Facebook. It’s a collection of cherry-picked counting stats without context about Larry Bird and LeBron James. In case that’s not showing up in detail on your mobile device: Bird: 28.1 pts/9.2 reb/7.6 ast/52.2 FG%/26.4 PER. LeBron: 25.3 pts/6.0 reb/7.4 ast/48.8 FG%/25.8 PER. The moral of the story, such as it seems to be, is that Bird soundly beats LeBron, and if you go by counting stats, at age 30 that’s absolutely the case. Things fall apart in a hurry when you start into Advanced Stats 101. We begin by breaking down those …

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NBA Breakfast Special: Eric Bledsoe’s Sweet Release

Eric Bledsoe finally got what he wanted, and hopefully whichever hair salon in Milwaukee his wife chooses, he won’t have to tweet that he doesn’t want to be there. The former Suns guard got himself traded to Milwaukee in exchange for Greg Monroe and a protected first-round pick, so Phoenix essentially got nothing. The question for the Bucks becomes whether Bledsoe’s volume-shooting game, trouble staying healthy, and need for the ball will fit their offensive needs. It’s an open question. Meanwhile, the Bucks dropped to 4-6 with a 124-119 loss in Cleveland. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 40 points on 16-of-21, Khris …

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For the Indiana Pacers, Losing Is Productive

It’s a funny thing about expectations. When the Indiana Pacers still had Paul George and had designs on a deep playoff run, every loss, especially the kind of blown-fourth-quarter-lead loss endemic to bad teams, was a rage-inducing moment for fans, who got vicious and called for the heads of coaches and front office people. Now that PG13 is in Oklahoma City and the Indiana core is young enough that no small few of them are still on their rookie contracts or the extensions that came from them, those same losses are chalked up to the growing pains of an up-and-coming …

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NBA Breakfast Special: Dub Nation Defense

The Golden State Warriors are good at defense. Everyone always forgets this. Dub Nation got to see a slugfest at the Oracle Arena Monday night, as the Warriors beat Miami 97-80, dominating the boards 51-44 including a 13-7 edge on the offensive glass. They held the Heat to just 36.1 percent shooting from the field and limited Hassan Whiteside to only three points and six rebounds. Nobody on Golden State made more than five shots; all of their Big 4 made that many, but Stephen Curry missed 14 shots, Klay Thompson missed ten, Kevin Durant whiffed on eight, and Draymond …

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