Breakfast Special: O Canada, Our Warrior-Crushing Land

No Kawhi Leonard? No problem! The Toronto Raptors were good before, they engaged in some serious addition-by-subtraction shipping the three-pointer-averse DeMar DeRozan out of town, and they they went out and demonstrated that team-first supremacy in Oakland Wednesday night as they beat the Golden State Warriors 113-93 on national television. If you’re going to wreck the Dubs, holding Stephen Curry to 10 points on 3-of-12 shooting—and watch as this becomes a theme later, since “take away the star” got another team a big win that we’ll get to in a minute—is a fine way to do it. Once again, Serge …

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Are the Indiana Pacers Better Without Victor Oladipo?

Hey, who’s ready for some STEAMING HOT TAEKS about how the Pacers, 8-4 in their last 12 games, 11 of which were played without Victor Oladipo and the 12th, against the Hawks, featuring Vic leaving the game early in the first quarter, are better off without their star? That’s right, we’ve got cherry-picked stats, gross miscarriages of context, and shameless fanboying! Get ready, folks! The Defense Is Amazing! The Pacers are 3rd in the league in Defensive Rating, and a big part of why is that they’ve allowed under 100 points in six of the 12 games. In fact, if …

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Bojan Bogdanovic’s Minor Miracles

Bojan Bogdanovic gave up the league lead in three-point percentage to Rudy Gay when Bogey went 1-of-4 from three-point range against the Bulls Tuesday, but Bogey still remains a 50.5 percent three-point shooter on the season. More importantly, that consistent outside shooting has powered the Pacers to a 4-4 record without Victor Oladipo, 5-4 if you count the Hawks game where Vic left early in the first quarter. And in those nine games? Bogdanovic has emerged as a genuine high-quality replacement scoring option. Just consider the raw counting stats: 18.8 points per game, including five 20-point or better games and …

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Breakfast Special: When We Bring to the World Disorder

The Dallas Mavericks would make the playoffs if the season ended today. And while you may be asking yourself how a team so wretched last year could be so good this year, consider one simple stat. Per point differential, the Mavs, who went 24-58 last season, played more like a 33-win team. Then they added Luka Doncic, who’s positioned himself as a frontrunner for Rookie of the Year. They are now on pace to go 45-37 by record and 47-35 by point differential. So Doncic adding 12 wins in theory and 23 in practice as a combination of statistical regression …

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Breakfast Special: Mile High Club

As savage demolitions go, holding LeBron James to 14 points on 5-of-15 shooting and the worst plus/minus of any Laker (-23), smashing the Lakers on your home court 117-85, and getting within half a game of first place in the West at 14-7 in the process… …well, let’s just say the Denver Nuggets had themselves a time at home Tuesday night. Paul Millsap, Jamal Murray, and Malik Beasley all had 20 points for the winners, Millsap’s 10 rebounds gave him a double-double, Mason Plumlee had 10 points and 10 boards for a double-double of his own, and Denver’s defense held …

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The Value of Victor Oladipo

Victor Oladipo has missed 11 of the 102 games the Indiana Pacers have played since he joined the team in the 2017 offseason, through games of November 26. In those 11 games, the Pacers are 2-0 against the Utah Jazz and 0-9 against everyone else. 2-9 is a 15-67 pace, the same win pace the Knicks managed without Kristaps Porzingis last year and two games worse than the 2018-19 Cleveland Cavaliers, at 4-15 so far this season, project over 82 games (17-65). How wild are those two Jazz wins, both within the past week? They were by a combined score …

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Breakfast Special: B-Sides And Rarities

The Charlotte Hornets actually gutted out a close win for a change. Furthermore, they managed to get down 14 and still claw their way back. Besides, holding Giannis Antetokounmpo to just 20 points and 11 rebounds is an accomplishment worth celebrating. The real surprise here? Mike Budenholzer’s ultra-efficient inside-out game didn’t generate the easy two-point chances that are normally its hallmark (Milwaukee, at 59 percent, leads the entire NBA in two-point percentage), and that’s how 110-107 wins happen; the Bucks shot just 21-of-44 (47.7 percent) on the deuces. Kemba Walker had a weird 21 points in this one. He shot …

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It’s Holiday Season for the Indiana Pacers

Aaron Holiday now has seven games and 52 minutes under his belt with the Indiana Pacers this season, providing a huge boost in wins over Atlanta and Utah as Thanksgiving draws closer. And to say he’s off to an absolutely flying start is an understatement. Sure, it’s 52 minutes (but we’ve never let small sample sizes stop us from gushing before, as this site’s unapologetic love of HERO OF SERBIA Boban Marjanovic has always made clear), but Holiday is shooting 59.1 percent from the field, 50 percent on 12 attempts from three-point land, and…57.1 percent (4-of-7) from the free throw …

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Breakfast Special: Big Easy Scoring

Sports has gone mad with scoring power. Besides one hell of a Monday Night Football game that even as a Patriots fan I want to see rematched in the Super Bowl (54-51? Are you kidding me? I’ve seen college basketball games not put up that many points,) the New Orleans Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs put up one hell of a show that the Pellies won 140-126. That’s right, someone hung 140 on a Gregg Popovich-coached team and I’m not so sure it even surprises anyone anymore. Anthony Davis had 29 points. E’Twaun Moore had 24. Jrue Holiday had 21. …

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Darren Collison Fought Regression and Regression Won

I want you to take a look at a picture I just took on Basketball Reference and tell me what you think it means, and for fun pretend that I didn’t completely gave it away in the headline. That is Darren Collison‘s right-side-of-the-chart advanced stats for the ten seasons, including the first 15 games of this one (through the Heat game on Nov. 16), of his career. You see the beautiful symmetry in it? Collison comes into the league, shows some promise, has a pretty good rookie season where it’s obvious he’s got a lot of potential if he can …

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