Breakfast Special: Nuggets-Spurs Has Gone Mad

The Denver Nuggets went 34-7 at home during the regular season. The San Antonio Spurs won 32 of their 41 home contests, losing just nine. If you knew nothing else about the series, you’d predict that it’d be the kind of seven-game series where the home team won every game and it ended in the Mile High City without the series truly starting in the “a series doesn’t start until the road team wins a game” sort of way. Well, hold on to your butts, folks. Denver won 117-103, in San Antonio, and leveled the series at 2-2, with each …

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Breakfast Special: It’s What We Broadly Expected

The NBA playoffs are fundamentally a problem of mathematical certainty given a large enough sample size. When you combine 82 games of regular-season basketball with best-of-seven series, and especially in the first round stir in teams with a high likelihood of a talent disparity due either to the simple fact that there’s a big difference between contender and mid-first-round draft pick team or due to that circumstance being forced by injury… …well, nobody should be surprised that Toronto and Boston both won on the road Friday. The Indiana Pacers, who finished the season 16-19 after Victor Oladipo went out, are …

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Breakfast Special: Kevin Durant’s Better As A Heel

Kevin Durant may be a thin-skinned, easily-riled mercenary with all the moral courage of a toddler threatened with having his screen time taken away, but there aren’t many better players in the league when they’re in full-on Eff You Mode. Durant had 12 points in the first quarter, finished with 38 points on 14-of-23 shooting including 11-of-13 on his two-point shots, posted a game-best plus-32, and led the Golden State Warriors back to control of their first-round series with the Los Angeles Clippers with a 132-105 win. Some games merit deep dives and deeper analysis. Durant and Stephen Curry (21 …

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Breakfast Special: #FearTheDeer Hearts And Gentle People

I am, via a couple of national-media follows, plugged into Pistons Twitter in a way that is matched by few other NBA teams—it’s pretty much the Mavs, Suns, and Pace and Space Emeritus Zach d’Arbeloff’s particular brand of Weird Celtics Twitter (speaking of, follow @embracesmarf)—and as such I got to see a fanbase demoralized by the pure power of Milwaukee Bucks basketball and Dwane Casey’s coaching their own team. I have about one hundred and one questions for Dwane Casey. — Duncan Smith (@DuncanSmithNBA) April 18, 2019 The Bucks won 120-99, bringing the total margin on the first two games …

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Breakfast Special: To Anger A Raptor

There is a classic saying in the right-tool-for-the-job genre that goes “shooting a bear with a .22 will only make it angry.” And taking advantage of a you-saw-it-coming Kyle Lowry playoff disaster in a Game 1 and only winning by three points? That’s shooting a bear—or a dinosaur—with a .22. The Raptors won Game 2 111-82 behind 22 points and a plus-30 from Lowry, who shot 8-of-13 (61.5 percent) and showed the world a thing or two about writing him off after one game. But it was Kawhi Leonard who woke up the echoes of his own past in scoring …

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Breakfast Special: The Sixers Finally Showed Up

Far from the outright embarrassment they were when they lost Game 1, the Philadelphia 76ers showed up in a big way in Game 2 to even their playoff series with the Brooklyn Nets 145-123. This was a case of a Nets team with virtually no playoff experience against the seasoned Sixers who made it to the second round last year, exactly the kind of battle-hardened bounceback game that shows maybe Brett Brown isn’t going to be coaching the Pelicans next year after all. HERO OF SERBIA Boban Marjanovic showed out for the second unit, scoring 16 points in 18 minutes …

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Breakfast Special: Home Court Advantage For Real This Time

Saturday’s games featured a bunch of road upsets, three of them to be exact, and that got the attention of the home teams in Sunday’s games, who came out seeking to avoid the fate that happened the day before. With the reminder to pay attention firmly in hand, not only did the home teams all hold serve, but two of them won the kinds of blowouts that you usually expect from playoff teams playing their starters against the likes of the Suns and Knicks. But first… Ugly with a Capital UGG-LEE. The Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers played a playoff …

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Breakfast Special: Nice Knowin’ Ya, Brett Brown

Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown deserves some kind of lifetime achievement award for seeing the Sixers through the deepest dark of the Process and into the playoffs. But the question needs asked: Is Brown going to be tarred with the brush of a “rebuilding coach”, the guy you hire when you’re going to do a franchise teardown and then let go when the team is good to bring in a guy who’s more a veteran-leadership playoff coach in the mold of guys like Steve Kerr, Gregg Popovich, and Phil Jackson? Not that there’s anything wrong with turnaround guys; for every …

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Official Pace and Space 2019 Playoff Predictions

I’m not a big fan of writing big playoff preview columns, because one, it’s a good way to look like an idiot when the inevitable happens and you get an improbable first-round playoff upset, and two, it ultimately doesn’t matter because the NBA has a disturbing habit of, by the time the second-round series hit the road, regressing to the obvious Finals narratives we all saw coming in October. There are five teams with a legitimate shot at the Finals. They are Golden State, Houston, Milwaukee, Toronto, and Boston. Every other team has big holes or matchup problems. One thing …

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