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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Sorting Out 2018 NBA East Playoffs Tiebreakers

With just a couple of weeks left in the season, now is the time to start considering playoff tiebreaker scenarios, as many of the NBA’s playoff matchups will be determined based on just who finishes with what record. With both the East and West a complete mess below the obvious top two (Toronto and Boston in the East, Houston and Golden State in the West), it’s time to take a look at the most likely playoff tangles…and just how they’d be resolved. While a lot can happen in seven or eight games, these are the most likely messes and how …

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Breakfast Special: The Triumphant Return of Markelle Fultz

Markelle Fultz returned to competition Monday, scoring ten points and recording eight assists off the bench for the 76ers as they beat the Denver Nuggets 123-104. For Philly, the fun began in the third quarter; they wiped out an eight-point halftime deficit with a 34-15 twelve-minute run of basketball that proved the margin of victory as they won the fourth quarter 38-30 as well. Ben Simmons, who would get a lot more triple-doubles if he could shoot a lick, scored seven points on 3-of-8 shooting along with 13 rebounds and 11 assists. Meanwhile, Denver couldn’t grab a rebound (they lost …

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Breakfast Special: Detroit’s New Old-Fashioned Twin Towers

Blake Griffin had 24 points powered mainly by his 11-of-13 night at the free throw line. His frontcourt mate, Andre Drummond, put up 14 points and 15 boards, and Marc Gasol happily obliged the home crowd by shooting just 6-of-21. Despite Gasol’s 19 points and 14 rebounds, that inefficiency was the tipping point of Detroit’s 104-102 win. But you came here for highlights, and Blake had his share of moments, including a gaffe where he didn’t have his jersey on under his warmups. Your man of the match: Blake Griffin goes for 24 PTS, 10 REB, 5 AST and the …

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