Breakfast Special: The Rockets Die by the Sword

The Houston Rockets lived by the three-point shot all season long, putting up three-point attempt rates so high that in plenty of games, they shot more threes than twos. Trouble was, their shooting went cold on them at exactly the wrong time, and they ended up losing Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals to the Golden State Warriors, 101-92. It wasn’t just that their shooting went cold. It’s that it went from pretty good, as they made six of their first 14 shots from long range (42.9 percent) to utterly putrid, as they then missed 27 three-pointers in a …

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It’s Game 7 Time. The 2018 Playoffs Are Redeemed.

Never in the history of basketball have such garbage series produced such great results in a conference finals. In the Eastern Conference, no game has been decided by less than nine points; each individual game has sucked. The home team has won in a relative walk. And the storyline—LeBron James is God, the rest of the Cavaliers are steaming hot dog crap, and the Celtics couldn’t beat the Maine Red Claws on the road. But it’s a Game 7. In Boston. With Kevin Love in concussion protocol and LeBron quite possibly needing a 50-point triple-double just to make the game …

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Image via Bob Evans Restaurants

Breakfast Special: Is Stephen Curry a Choke Artist?

Six times in the ultimate clutch situation, Stephen Curry has had a shot in the last 24 seconds of a playoff game that would have given Golden State the lead. All six times, he’s missed. That was Stephen Curry's 6th shot to take the lead in the last 0:24 of a playoff game He's missed all 6 pic.twitter.com/Hm8xTGp2f4 — Basketball Reference (@bball_ref) May 25, 2018 Chris Paul is injured, a busted hamstring likely keeping him either out or in extremely limited minutes in two games the Warriors must win in order to survive and advance to their fourth straight NBA …

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Breakfast Special: Andre Iguodala’s Veteran Leadership

You know we don’t go in much for eye test here at Pace and Space, and we especially don’t go in much for fuzzy “intangible” narratives that don’t have hard numbers to back them up. But how do you explain the Warriors’ repeated lapses of concentration when they had the chance to put the Rockets away both early and late? After all, the team led 12-0 almost before the Rockets got their warmups off. They led 82-70 in the fourth quarter. And in both cases, the Rockets erased the double-digit lead; in the latter case, they made Stephen Curry and …

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Breakfast Special: The Conference Finals Have Been Terrible

Over the weekend, our reward as fans for patiently awaiting the return of the NBA conference finals was…two anticlimactic blowouts, one that kept the narrative alive for two titans of the East trading blows as they defend their home floors, the other a reinforcement of the idea that Mike D’Antoni is the Marty Schottenheimer of basketball coaches and Daryl Morey, like Billy Beane in baseball, has a secret system that doesn’t work in the playoffs. Beginning in the East, Saturday featured Cleveland just plain kicking the crap out of Boston 116-86. The game got out of hand almost from the …

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Breakfast Special: Warriors In 6. Not Warriors In 4.

By definition, in a six-game series, the losing team wins two games. More importantly, the losing team, usually the favorite in the series who starts at home, wins those two games at home. Either they take the first two games, lose two on the road, come back home, and everything goes sideways in Game 5, or they lose one of the first two games at home, fall down 3-1 on the road, pull one back, then ultimately succumb to the enemy’s fans going bonkers and the atmosphere of a team knowing they’re toast if the series gets pushed to seven …

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Breakfast Special: Time to Panic, Rockets Fans

It is one thing to read too much into a Game 1 when it doesn’t tell us anything about the relative strengths of the teams, with one team winning big, but on its home floor against a player notorious for treating a seven-game series as a boxing match, feeling out the opponent in the early rounds. It is another thing for a team to go into an opponent’s house, punch them square in the mouth, knock out a couple of teeth, and then dare them to bite back against a title defense by the champion. And that’s why the Houston …

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Confessions of a James Harden Hater

I hate watching James Harden play basketball. With every fiber of my basketball aesthetics-loving, flow and pace-worshipping, strong sense of fair play-having NBA fan soul, I hate every single goddamn thing about James Harden’s game. I want Chris Paul to score 40 a game against the Warriors, singlehandedly carry the Rockets to a win in seven games, then when LeBron James does to Harden what Michael Jordan did first to Charles Barkley in 1993 and then again to Karl Malone in 1997, embarrassing him for having the audacity to win the MVP despite not being the best player in the …

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Breakfast Special: Conference Finals Preview and Breakfast Recipes

The conference finals start Sunday in the NBA, with the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers tipping off a seven-game series as the Basketball Gods intended, even if the drama we anticipated before the season went up in a puff of injuries and placate-the-King trades midway through the season. So we don’t get Kyrie Irving playing against his former team, nor do we get Isaiah Thomas playing against his. Nor do we get the frontcourt matchup for the ages we’d hoped to see from Gordon Hayward and LeBron James. Nope. Instead, we get Gordon Who and Kyrie Who, aka Jayson Tatum …

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Breakfast Special: James Harden Stinks Out the Joint (plus Dubs)

Let’s just say Alvin Gentry isn’t about to surpass his mentor Steve Kerr anytime soon. The Golden State Warriors closed out their five-game series with the New Orleans Pelicans Tuesday night, winning 113-104 behind a 36-19 third quarter that extended their lead to 20 with one quarter remaining. And even though the Pellies gave a good account of themselves to close the final margin down to nine, the fact remains this one was never in real doubt. Anthony Davis had 36 points and Jrue Holiday had a triple-double, scoring 27 points, pulling 10 rebounds, and dishing 11 assists. Trouble was, …

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