Breakfast Special: RIP, My Favorite Weird Stat Story

The Charlotte Hornets got absolutely pantsed by the Golden State Warriors Sunday, losing 137-90 in the third-biggest margin of defeat by any team all year—Boston beat Chicago 133-77 on December 8, while the Mavericks beat the Jazz 118-68 on November 14. It was Golden State’s fifth win of the season by at least 30 points, while Charlotte has now lost five games by at least that margin. It also busted Charlotte’s net point differential to minus-1.6 per game, pretty much assuring once and for all that the Hornets will surrender more points than they score this season. And with that …

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Breakfast Special: Pacific Powerhouse Pulverizes Pacers

The Indiana Pacers wrapped up an 0-4 West road trip Thursday night with an absolute stinker of a 112-89 loss at Golden State. The Warriors, meanwhile, continue to hold Denver at bay (more on the Nuggets in a minute) while showing that when they want to engage playoff mode defensively, no team in the league can score consistently on them. It was 19-19 after one quarter, the Warriors’ defense keeping things tidy until the offense got going. The next two quarters spanning across the half? Golden State 69, Indiana 43. The game was over by the time the fourth tipped …

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Breakfast Special: Three Warriors and a G-League Team

How many more games are the Golden State Warriors going to have where they get 20-plus from three guys but the rest of the team combined wouldn’t even be the second-leading scorer? They can’t keep winning those with a paper-thin bench, can they? Golden State beat Houston 106-104 Wednesday night on national TV behind 30 points from Klay Thompson, 27 points from DeMarcus Cousins, 25 points from the rest of the team, and 24 points from Stephen Curry. One Steph three more and the field wouldn’t have even cracked the top three. What are they even doing out there offensively? …

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Does Trae Young Really Have a Rookie of the Year Case?

Trae Young has been picking up a ton of Rookie of the Year momentum in the giant kangaroo court that is NBA Twitter. Especially among the hey-look-at-the-highlights crowd, the Barkley and Scott-Hollins Syndrome and “eye test” people, who if you’re reading hi welcome to Pace and Space we don’t do that here, Young is the rallying cry for the backlash against a season of people anointing Luka Doncic as Rookie of the Year and treating the debate as settled. Now granted, there’s some merit to the idea that Young should get the benefit of the doubt if you believe that …

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Breakfast Special: The Rockets Round Into Form

James Harden had 42 points, Eric Gordon had 32, and the Houston Rockets absolutely mauled the Boston Celtics 115-104 in Boston Sunday. For the Celtics, it’s a continuing demonstration of just how far they’ve dropped off despite in theory being a deeper team than last season with their superstars back from injury. The paradox has the Celtics careening toward a fifth-place finish, and they only have five in the loss column on sixth-place Detroit. And while the Pistons are extremely unlikely to catch the Celtics in just 18 games, it’s not out of the question if they catch fire. Boston’s …

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Breakfast Special: Even the Spurs Can’t Lose to Memphis

The San Antonio Spurs bandwagon has been sliding around out of control like a Seattle driver in last Saturday’s snow traffic ever since the team left for the Rodeo Road Trip. The Spurs, before they beat Memphis 108-107 in the House That 24-Second Violations Built, had lost four in a row. But when the Grizzlies are running out the likes of Avery Bradley to start at guard (even though Bradley did have 33 points), Mike Conley is a DNP-CD, and Marc Gasol is in Toronto, even the Spurs, crashing back to earth as their antiquated style of basketball and your …

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Breakfast Special: P Is For Powerless

Some days, you watch basketball and wonder if perhaps your time wouldn’t be better taken up by just changing hobbies. Like becoming a grizzly bear wrangler. Or an “experience collector” in North Korean labor camps. OK, so life isn’t THAT bad for Pacers fans, not when if you really want to experience the frozen wastes of Jotunheim in this mortal life, you need only step outside in Indianapolis this morning. But without Victor Oladipo, and with Myles Turner still not quite wholly sure how to be the focal point of an offense while maintaining his defensive intensity, and with Tyreke …

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Breakfast Special: January Blowout Sale!

The Golden State Warriors won an NBA basketball game by 31 points on a night where only six games were played league-wide. The Warriors posted just the fourth-best victory margin among the winning teams, as three of the top four East squads won by more than that. But the losing team in the Dubs’ game is why they’re leading the show, because they beat the Denver Nuggets, 142-111, in Denver. Golden State scored 51 points in the first. That’s first quarter, not first half. And they hit 10 threes in the frame, a franchise record. The 51 points? Also a …

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Breakfast Special: Losing by a RAZR-Thin Margin

Every single problem the Indiana Pacers have—every weakness, every lapse in execution, every failure in design—came together in a Motorola-sponsored garbage fire that culminated in a 92-91 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. In fact, the last sequence of the game, with Indiana up 91-90 and Victor Oladipo on the free throw line, was all of the above in about 20 seconds. Oladipo missed not one but two free throws, turning “for the tie” into “for the win” at the other end, and it seems like every time any team in the NBA leaves the door open like that, they lose. …

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Breakfast Special: When Bad Teams Go Good

Riddle me this, Batman. When an NBA team becomes my ultimate idee fixe, how many times are they going to have to bear out my points about them before it literally drives me insane? Because I think I’m actually barking mad, and I have the Atlanta Hawks to blame. The Hawks beat Charlotte by one point, 124-123, snapping a 10-game losing streak, and I am leading my freaking column with it because the 9-10 Hornets have a +4.5 point differential, the kind of figure that should have them on pace for 53 wins. I don’t believe in stuff like “learning …

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