Breakfast Special: Silly College, March is for Pros

The talk on most of basketball Twitter yesterday turned from the NBA to college, as everyone’s a bracketologist om Selection Sunday. And besides my alma mater Nevada getting in as a 7 seed (and apparently 26th overall by the NCAA’s gimcrack math), that’s all I have to say about college ball until the draft. The NBA was too busy giving us amazing matchups, like… Did the Sixers Just Make a Finals Case? Philadelphia beat Milwaukee on the road 130-125. Imagine a world where either the Pacers pull off a major miracle and finish third or else Boston gets hot down …

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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: Of Greek Freaks And Beards

Giannis Antetokounmpo seems to get short-shrifted in the MVP conversation. Pundits go back and forth about Stephen Curry and LeBron James and James Harden (more on the Beard in a minute), but Milwaukee’s the team with the gaudy record (39-13, best in the league, and on pace for 61 wins), the massive point differential (+10, what you’d expect out of a 68-win team), and the best athlete in the whole league, good ol’ Greekazoid. Antetokounmpo had 30 points on 12-of-19 shooting, grabbed 15 rebounds, dished nine assists, and powered the Bucks to a 113-94 smackdown of the Nets in Brooklyn …

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Breakfast Special: Dwane Casey’s Two Scoops of Revenge

The dumbest thing the Toronto Raptors did in an otherwise stellar offseason was fire Dwane Casey after a 59-23 regular season. And the smartest thing the Detroit Pistons did was show Stan Van Gundy the door in order to get Casey back on an NBA sideline without missing a single gameday. So as good as the Raptors are—and at 12-2, they are very good—Wednesday night belonged to Casey’s Pistons, who won 106-104 on some late-game heroics from Reggie Bullock: Your game-winner, courtesy of @ReggieBullock35! #PistonsNow pic.twitter.com/0Bk49404Kn — Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) November 15, 2018 Just watch the pure exuberance on Blake …

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So We Killed the Midrange Jump Shot in the NBA. Now What?

In my article about Scott-Hollins Syndrome a few days ago, I sang the praises of the kinds of shot charts that the Bucks and Rockets are putting on the board these days, a ring of three-point attempts separated from layups and dunks by a no-man’s-land of empty space in the midrange, where be dragons. There’s just one small problem with all of this. Namely, with the midrange shot more or less completely off the table, what does this mean for the two-sided flow of a basketball game? Or, in simpler terms than that, what’s the defense going to do about …

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Breakfast Special: The Education of Lonzo Ball

Are we seeing LeBron James singlehandedly turn Lonzo Ball into a quality NBA player? Because in Lonzo’s past two starts since Rajon Rondo got suspended, he’s 10-of-19 from the field, 3-of-8 from long range, and even though he’s still one of the worst in the league at willing his way to the line, that’s not terribly surprising for any second-year guard (and he has hit four of his five free throw attempts this season.) Throw out the Portland game (in which Lonzo went 2-of-7) and he’s averaging 13 points a game on 52.6 percent shooting and 43.5 percent from three-point …

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Breakfast Special: 50 Points to Griffin-dor

Blake Griffin might just be worth all that money Detroit’s paying him after all. In a weird NBA night in which three undefeated teams entered and three undefeated teams left, Griffin stood out, dropping 50 on the Philadelphia 76ers, as the Pistons improved to 3-0 with a 133-132 win. Andre Drummond got ejected, and Joel Embiid, taunt-master extraordinaire, claimed to “own a lot of real estate in his head.” Drummond’s response was a real winner: Lol does he? If that’s so he wouldn’t be so excited to have me off the floor? Think about it that’s a silly statement ! …

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Are the 2018-19 Detroit Pistons Good?

Riddle me this, Batman. In what universe is a team that has a full season of Blake Griffin, Dwane Casey’s cured case of Scott-Hollins Syndrome as a coach, and the same roster otherwise that won 39 games and at times looked like a playoff team supposed to regress by two wins or more? But that’s exactly what Vegas is saying about Detroit, which went 39-43 last year under Stan Van Gundy (who hasn’t done jack squat as a coach when he didn’t have Prime Dwight Howard) and with Griffin only for the stretch run? Yes, they lost Tobias Harris, and …

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Breakfast Special: The Raptors Put the East On Notice

The Toronto Raptors marched into Air Canada Centre with a two-game lead on the Boston Celtics and with pole position in the Eastern Conference potentially hanging in the balance; the winner would almost certainly get the tiebreaker in the Atlantic Division and therefore in the race for the top seed. The Raptors left Air Canada Centre celebrating a 96-78 complete beatdown of the Celtics, a 3-1 season series victory assured, the magic number for clinching the No. 1 seed cut to one (and with an exhausted Indiana team coming to town on a SEGABABA Friday night and with Orlando, Detroit, …

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Breakfast Special: Bogdanovic Vs. Bogdanovic

Bojan Bogdanovic put up one of the weirdest stat lines in NBA history in Indiana’s 106-103 win over the Sacramento Kings Thursday night. Bogey had 25 points…and nothing else. Zero rebounds. Zero assists. Zero steals. Zero blocks. He had a turnover and a foul, but 25 points in isolation from any other basketball activities? That’s the sixth-highest point total in such a situation of all-time according to Basketball Reference; Allan Houston scored 37 points with no other counting stats in 2000, and Reggie Miller set the Pacers record for this statistical anomaly with 34 points and nothing else in 1999. …

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