Breakfast Special: Views from the 617

The Toronto Raptors took a trip to Boston to face their potential second-round opponent in the playoffs (if the season ended Tuesday, it would’ve been 1-5; as it stands now, the Bucks are ahead on percentage points) in the person of the Celtics. And “the 6ix” landed short of the mark in the 617 as the Celtics won an up-and-down game 117-108. Sure, this was Kyrie Irving‘s spotlight, as he rose to the occasion in treating the contest like a playoff game. Irving had 27 points and 18 assists on 11-of-19 shooting as the Celtics shot 50 percent from the …

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Breakfast Special: Russell Westbrook, Guitar Hero

Since their improbable win over the Warriors on Christmas Day, the Los Angeles Lakers have looked like the G-League team they are without LeBron James and Rajon Rondo, both of whom are out with injury. The Oklahoma City Thunder beat them 107-100 at Staples Center Wednesday night on national television, powered by Paul George‘s 37 points on 15-of-29 shooting and Russell Westbrook‘s 14-point, 16-rebound, 10-assist triple-double. Plus, there was this brilliant razz of Lance Stephenson after PG13 drew an and-one: Westbrook so petty 😂🤣 pic.twitter.com/E9MhNJ8jd8 — Sports ReUp (@SportsReUp) January 3, 2019 Never mind that Russ shot 3-of-20 from the …

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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: A POR-NY Night At MSG

You get the feeling that with the Trail Blazers in town to play the Knicks, some cheeky fool in the promotions department could’ve come up with Adult Film Appreciation Night, because it was a POR-NY game! OK, OK, enough tomfoolery. Basketball may be better than sex, but not when it’s the Blazers playing the Knicks. Portland continued their first-place run in the Western Conference (!) with a 118-114 win at MSG, riding 31 points from CJ McCollum and 29 from Damian Lillard to the win in a game where two quarters were tied (the teams played level at 25 in …

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Breakfast Special: La Rouge for LeVert

Caris LeVert deserved better than this. The Nets’ up-and-coming star, who has been on fire this season as Brooklyn has improved—they’d make the playoffs if the season ended today, at 6-8—fell victim to a gruesome season-ending injury in the Nets’ 120-113 loss to Minnesota. As if that weren’t bad enough, it was right before halftime of a game where LeVert was possibly on his way to a triple-double; he had 10 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Now normally this is where I’d show what I’m talking about, but… Do not watch the Caris LeVert injury.Go out of your way …

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Breakfast Special: Don’t Blame Me, I Voted For McCollum

Oh, thank the gods the midterm election season is over. That’s one less distraction on Twitter when I have a deadline on this column. (Initiative 1631 went down in Washington. 1634 passed. And Dino Rossi is a slime mold masquerading as a human being. That’s all the politics you’re ever getting from me in this space. Move the Orlando Magic to Seattle. Now then. On with the show.) CJ McCollum had 40 points on 17-of-26 shooting and 5-of-10 from deep, Evan Turner (!) had 16 points and 11 rebounds off the bench, and the Bucks got absolutely nothing out of …

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Breakfast Special: LeBron’s Gonna Sprewell Luke Walton

Can I talk to you for a minute about our Lord and Savior Serge Ibaka? The Toronto Raptors, without Kawhi Leonard in the lineup, went into Los Angeles and absolutely humiliated LeBron James and the Lakers Sunday night, winning 121-107 in a game they led by 31 points…in the first quarter. Seriously, it was 41 to 10 at one point. Ibaka was 15-of-17 with 10 rebounds on his way to 34 points, Kyle Lowry dished 15 assists to go with his 21 points, and Danny Green hit 5-of-8, all from three-point land, for a tidy 15 points of his own. …

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Are the 2018-19 Brooklyn Nets Good?

The last time the Brooklyn Nets were a relevant force in the NBA, they played in New Jersey, Jason Kidd was their point guard and LeBron James was in high school. Since moving to Brooklyn in 2013, they started out with a 49-win season and first-round playoff exit, traded for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett and faceplanted to a 44-win season in 2014, and promptly fell off a cliff. And they traded away their climbing equipment. Thankfully, the worst of the storm has passed, but because this is Brooklyn we’re talking about, their highest-paid player is Dwight Howard, who has …

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The Brooklyn Nets are screwed for a long time.

The Brooklyn Nets famously got fleeced by the Boston Celtics in 2013 in one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history. In exchange for a way-past-his-prime Kevin Garnett and the short-term rental of Paul Pierce, Brooklyn gave up three prime first-round draft picks, the last of which just got sent during last year’s offseason to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving. The Celtics are a powerhouse, fresh off an Eastern Conference Finals appearance and well-positioned to make another one as the No. 2 team in the East, and they’ve done this even as the biggest free-agent acquisition the franchise …

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Spencer Dinwiddie: Is He Any Good?

This year, in the absence of Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie has been drafted into the role of starting point guard for the Brooklyn Nets. On the one hand, he’s a G-League refugee, a guy who never caught on in Detroit, and a third option. On the other hand, dude won the Skills Competition at All-Star Weekend. But anyone who is not Joel Embiid can navigate a skills course. Doing meaningful things in actual games is a whole other matter. In the grand tradition of movable goal posts on this here publication, we tailor the test to the …

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