Breakfast Special: Kevin Durant’s World of Super Adventure

Kevin Durant, in Game 5, scored 45 points, tore the Clippers apart, and saw the Golden State Warriors lose 129-121. So for Game 6, with a blown 3-1 lead in progress, Durant decided “if at first you don’t succeed, turn the funk dial up to dangerously funky, put on your Soviet dancing shoes, and Ra-ra-Rasputin your way into Beast Mode.” Oakland’s Greatest Love Machine had FIFTY points, on 15-of-26 shooting, 38 of them in the first half, and put those shots together with 6-of-14 from three and 14-of-15 from the free throw line. Draymond Green chimed in with a triple-double, …

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Breakfast Special: The Golden State Warriors Blew a 3-1 Lou Williams

There is no simpler way to summarize Wednesday night in the NBA other than to simply say the Rockets turned to the Warriors, said, “ready for that Western Conference Finals rematch, friends?” and the Dubs turned back to the Rockets and said “let us get back to you on that, we’ve got a 3-1 lead and, you know how it is…” Lou Williams went on a one-man 8-0 run in the clutch, the Clippers won Game 5 129-121 to take their second game on the road this series—just imagine if they could actually win at home!—and we’ve got ourselves a …

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Breakfast Special: Fire Nate McMillan!

On this Earth Day, let’s give some props to the Indiana Pacers, who recycled the same second-half narrative and got four uses out of it, collapsing reliably in either the third or fourth quarter of all four games with the Boston Celtics. Sunday’s sweep-completing 110-106 loss at least stayed close, but after Tyreke Evans made a shot to put Indiana up 82-80 with 7:33 to go, the collapse began, a 17-5 Boston run over the next five minutes effectively ending the Pacers’ season. It was a 10-point game with just under 30 seconds to go, and despite three triples from …

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Breakfast Special: Kevin Durant’s Better As A Heel

Kevin Durant may be a thin-skinned, easily-riled mercenary with all the moral courage of a toddler threatened with having his screen time taken away, but there aren’t many better players in the league when they’re in full-on Eff You Mode. Durant had 12 points in the first quarter, finished with 38 points on 14-of-23 shooting including 11-of-13 on his two-point shots, posted a game-best plus-32, and led the Golden State Warriors back to control of their first-round series with the Los Angeles Clippers with a 132-105 win. Some games merit deep dives and deeper analysis. Durant and Stephen Curry (21 …

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Breakfast Special: Nice Knowin’ Ya, Brett Brown

Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown deserves some kind of lifetime achievement award for seeing the Sixers through the deepest dark of the Process and into the playoffs. But the question needs asked: Is Brown going to be tarred with the brush of a “rebuilding coach”, the guy you hire when you’re going to do a franchise teardown and then let go when the team is good to bring in a guy who’s more a veteran-leadership playoff coach in the mold of guys like Steve Kerr, Gregg Popovich, and Phil Jackson? Not that there’s anything wrong with turnaround guys; for every …

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Breakfast Special: Just Let the Playoffs Start Already

Regular-season NBA basketball in April is both the best thing (Denver and Minnesota in what was basically a play-in game on the last day of the season in 2018, tonight’s Pacers-Celtics tilt, and David Robinson and Shaquille O’Neal vying for the scoring title in 1994) and the worst thing (every dull game between two teams already eliminated from the playoffs.) This is especially amplified on nights like Thursday night, where there were three games in the entire league, two of them were meaningless blowouts… …but the third was a closely-contested potential Eastern Conference Finals preview on national television and involved …

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Breakfast Special: Players Only Make Broadcasts Worse

There is a classic formula in sports broadcasting that has worked for at least my entire lifetime (since 1977.) If you credit Monday Night Football with codifying the modern sports broadcast format and mainstreaming the three-man booth in 1970, it’s been nearly 50 years. You have a play-by-play announcer, usually someone with a background in traditional journalism and broadcasting, a torch that has been passed, depending on the sport, between the likes of Chick Hearn and Keith Jackson and Mike Breen. You have a color man, a former player or coach, giving expert analysis (indeed, the term “color commentator” is …

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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: Meet the New West, Same as the Old West

Last year, the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets faced off in “the real Finals” as the two top seeds in the Western Conference doing battle for the right to stomp Cleveland in the all-over-but-the-shouting championship series, the most anticlimactic gold medal game since the US beat Finland after polishing off the Soviet Union in the Miracle On Ice Game at the 1980 Winter Olympics. This year, the Denver Nuggets entered Sunday in first place, leading the Warriors by half a game and forcing a would-be Golden State vs. Houston rematch into the second round of the playoffs as the …

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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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