Breakfast Special: Rondo Alla Draymond Verdi

On Star Wars Day, balance was restored to the Force in the NBA Western Conference semifinals. In New Orleans, “the losing team in a five-game series wins Game 3” was in full effect as the Pelicans beat the Golden State Warriors 119-100. And in Utah, the Houston Rockets just up and decided to remind the Jazz that winning one game on the road does not automatically mean you then go on to win the series in six. Don’t believe me? Ask us Pacers fans. We begin in the Big Easy, where Rajon Rondo and Draymond Green got a little chippy …

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Breakfast Special: The Celtics Play Smart Basketball

It’s a brave new NBA world we live in, where no 20-point lead is safe. You think your team is on its way to a blowout, the kind of game where the starters sit the fourth quarter, and then next thing you know, it’s halftime, you’re up by five, and you might as well not have played the first 24 minutes at all. And then there’s “you lost sight of Marcus Smart and he buried you beneath a barrage of three-pointers.” Such was the fate of the Philadelphia 76ers in Boston, as they fell down two games to nil against …

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David Fizdale is the new Knicks coach. So much for entertainment value.

David Fizdale was announced Thursday as the new head coach of the New York Knicks, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN: https://twitter.com/wojespn/status/992157390706442240 The Knicks get an excellent game coach, a strategist of the first rank, and a guy who gives them instant credibility as they try to get back into the Eastern Conference playoff hunt after a five-year absence. They also get a graduate with honors of the Fratello-McMillan College Of Boring Basketball. Fizdale took over a Memphis Grizzlies team with a “Grit N’ Grind” ethos that stretches back to Lionel Hollins‘ last year coaching the team, when they went 56-26 …

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File via Wikimedia Commons

The NBA slows down in the playoffs…but by how much?

It is a widely-held maxim in NBA circles that “the game slows down in the playoffs” and that teams that look to run in the regular season tend to underperform when they’re forced into the halfcourt. But is that really true? After all, the Golden State Warriors have won two of the last three titles, and they and the New Orleans Pelicans are playing at a breakneck pace. And the Showtime Lakers ran plenty of fast breaks in May and June back in the day. So let’s start with the modern era, since Erik Spoelstra coined the term for the …

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The NBA Greatest of All Time Championship Belt

Let’s go back to 1946, the foundation of the greatest sports league in the history of competitive athletic endeavor, as the Basketball Association of America. We can argue all day about who the greatest of all time is. Was it Michael Jordan? Magic? Larry? Dr. J? Wilt? Russell? Big O? There are so many greats to choose from, but here’s one man’s view of who, on the day they retired, were the greatest of all time up to that day, going all the way back to 1946: March 22, 1950: Bob Feerick The first guy to shoot over 40 percent …

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Breakfast Special: Praise the Basketball Gods, Utah

A heresy is brewing in Mormon country, as apostates embrace the deities of the hardwood. No, not Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and LeBron James. Not even John Stockton and Karl Malone. I’m talking the Basketball Gods, those divine purveyors of plot device for many a beleaguered sportswriter in need of a miracle to come up with some way to explain just what on this mortal plane happened in Houston Wednesday night. Because holy hell, the Utah Jazz just shot 60 percent from the free throw line, lost the turnover battle 16-7, watched Donovan Mitchell shoot like he was blindfolded (6-of-21, …

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Image via Bob Evans Restaurants

Breakfast Special: Steph-LeBron IV Coming In June

Stephen Curry is an impact player. We all knew that. But to see him post a plus-26 off the bench in a game his team won by just five points, 121-116 to put Golden State 2-0 up on the New Orleans Pelicans as the series heads out on the road to the Big Easy? Steph played 27 minutes. When he was off the floor, Golden State lost by 21 points. That’s a point a minute sliding away from them without their superstar. OK, so that’s an oversimplification. But the rest of the Dubs except for Draymond Green played like steaming …

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Breakfast Special: Terry Rozier, Kyrie Who?

The Boston Celtics drew first blood in the Eastern Conference semifinals and remained undefeated at home in the playoffs in five games with a 117-101 clobbering of the Philadelphia 76ers Monday night. Besides Terry Rozier, who has been a more than capable replacement for Kyrie Irving, there’s also Jayson Tatum, who replaced Gordon Hayward, and Al Horford, who might just be the Ben Simmons-killer in this series. Because Simmons was, while not a complete non-factor, not his sensational self, especially when Horford was guarding him. He had 18 points on 6-of-11 from the field and 6-of-11 from the line, added …

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Breakfast Special: LeBron James Wins Series, Cavaliers Watch, Amazed

With the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 105-101 win over the Indiana Pacers Sunday, the first round of the NBA playoffs officially came to a close. And while Pacers fans lick our wounds, grouse about how the referees cost us this series with that goaltend non-call in Game 5, and look toward a bright future for the franchise, one thing is clear: LeBron James is the GOAT. How else do you explain a guy who’s been to seven straight Finals, has the worst supporting cast he’s had around him since 2007, yet goes out and singlehandedly wins a series more or less by …

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Breakfast Special: Victor Oladipo’s Excellent Triple-Double Adventure

What on earth happened in Indianapolis? I mean, I’ve been over Game 6. The video footage. The play-by-play. The game flow. Everything. And the Pacers just flat-out destroyed the Cleveland Cavaliers 121-87, shredding them like sensitive documents in a politician’s office in the second half, including a 35-20 third quarter that effectively iced the game. Victor Oladipo had a triple-double, scoring 28 points, pulling 13 rebounds, and dishing 10 assists. The Pacers overall put up a Total Team Effort—in the playoffs!—in which all five starters plus Domantas Sabonis and Lance Stephenson got into double figures. And the Cavaliers…well, LeBron James …

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