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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Breakfast Special: Day Of The Underdogs

While the public attention was distracted by pro football, the NBA put on an interesting four-part show for the world’s entertainment; it was a rarity in that not only did all four teams with the worse record beat the team with the better record coming into the game, but three of them did it on the road. And indeed, if you took the four basketball games and two football games and put them together, the underdog covered the spread in all six cases and won outright in five; only the Jacksonville Jaguars, who fell short late in a 24-20 loss …

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Suck Faster: When Bad Teams Play Up-Tempo

Ask a casual NBA fan to guess which team plays at the fastest pace in the league and most of them would probably guess the Golden State Warriors or Houston Rockets, teams drilled in the principles of modern pace-and-space basketball, with Houston coached by the inimitable Mike D’Antoni, who might as well draw the two little arrows of the fast-forward symbol on the whiteboard during timeouts. This article originally appeared on January 25, 2017, and stats are as of that point in the 2016-17 season. They’re not bad guesses; the Warriors are second in pace (100.7, with all stats in …

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NBA Breakfast Special: Like A Good Neighbor, Chris Paul Is There

The Utah Jazz have turned back into a pumpkin offensively, and questions must now be raised whether Rudy Gobert is doing more harm than good to the team since his presence tends to turn Utah’s offense into a clogged toilet. There are more questions than that, however. Donovan Mitchell has turned into the focal point and the primary scorer—and his team-high 26 points in Utah’s 112-101 loss to the Houston Rockets on national TV Thursday night certainly spoke to that development—but what is the rest of the offense doing? Ricky Rubio‘s not facilitating, and he’s not the kind of player …

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NBA Breakfast Special: Memphis Grizzlies Start Collapse Early

The Memphis Grizzlies, rather than collapse down the stretch in March and April and limp into the playoffs as a sacrificial lamb to a much better team, have decided instead this year to have everything go to hell before the holiday shopping season’s even gotten started. Memphis lost at home to the Brooklyn Nets 98-88, giving the teams identical 7-12 records. Thing is, Memphis got there by losing eight in a row after starting 7-4; Brooklyn’s just always been lousy, as they’ve been ever since they mortgaged the future on an over-the-hill Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, which ought to …

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