Breakfast Special: LeBron James Still Owns Lance Stephenson

It looked like Lance Stephenson had finally put one over on LeBron James… LANCE FINALLY GOT LEBRON TO BITE!! pic.twitter.com/i8Iog10KHx — Agent of NBA Chaos (@World_Wide_Wob) April 23, 2018 …until LeBron explained that he just got “caught by the teacher” for getting the little pest off of him. LeBron on the late technical he got when Lance followed him to the bench: pic.twitter.com/LQwkvKQdc4 — Agent of NBA Chaos (@World_Wide_Wob) April 23, 2018 And Lance holding the ball up like the Statue of Liberty’s torch when he got a jump ball on LeBron late in the game… This is it. We …

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Breakfast Special: Weekend Game 1 Roundup

It was a busy weekend in the NBA as the playoffs got up and running, and if the saying holds true that “a series doesn’t start until the road team wins a game”, well, a couple of series just got started, including one blowout… Pacers 1, LeBron’s Impenetrable First-Round Reputation 0 LeBron James is supposed to be this magical superman who can singlehandedly will a terrible team to somehow not be terrible even though he was on and played all 82 games for that team. And with the Pacers winning 98-80 in Cleveland on Sunday, the biggest margin of the …

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2018 NBA Western Conference Playoff Preview and Finals Pick

We’ve done the East, now it’s time for the West. As per usual, these are much more gut-instinct heavy than the usual fare around here, because if history has taught me anything, it’s that you can do a bunch of extra work, crunch a bunch of numbers, and be just as wrong, because the playoffs are just a completely different beast from the regular season. Round 1 HOUSTON vs. MINNESOTA – Rockets in 5 I’d have said sweep here, but reportedly Chris Paul is battling some injuries sustained late in the season, which means that the unbeatable triumvirate of CP3, …

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2018 NBA Eastern Conference Playoff Predictions

The playoffs are upon us, and things tip off Saturday. Which means it’s time to make wild guesses that are almost assuredly going to be wrong, but at least there’s no Maryland-Baltimore County around to render the entire thing utterly silly. In a seven-game series, that just would’ve meant Virginia in five. We’ll start today with the Eastern Conference, do the West later this morning, then go ahead and stick the Finals pick at the end of that West article, so please do stay tuned. This is also going to be a lot more free-flowing and gut-based than your usual …

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All-Everything Postseason 2018 NBA Team Awards

Most of what I’ve had to say about these guys, I said in my companion piece about the end-of-season awards. I will say this: Picking All-Defense is so subjective and I can only watch so many games, so there is a lot of shot-in-the-dark and a lot of “in case of argument, let Basketball Reference be the final arbiter” that I’m convinced there’s no way to try and rank defenders on anything other than reputation, fan bias, or woefully inadequate counting stats like steals and blocks. Defensive Rating tends to overweight players on good defensive teams. Steals and blocks are …

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Official Pace and Space 2018 NBA Awards

We, sadly, do not get an official NBA media ballot here at Mystery Ship Studios, but if we did, you can bet we wouldn’t make head-up-the-rear-end decisions on who to give the major NBA awards to. Which, besides being a “shut up about Donovan Mitchell” argument, informs the philosophy behind this not-at-all-slapped-together completely personal-bias-laden seriously I’m a Pacers fan and if you haven’t figured that out by now you will before we’re done here list of the 2018 NBA awards. Where applicable, these will be as they are presented on NBA.com/official. Meaning top 5 for the MVP and top 3 …

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Image via Bob Evans Restaurants

Breakfast Special: Saved the Best for Last

OK, so maybe only one of the three winner-take all games for playoff position was an instant classic. The Spurs seemed perfectly content to punt the Pelicans game so they could finish seventh and get a Stephen Curry-less Golden State team in the first round and the Portland/Utah winner in the second. Meanwhile, in Rip City, Donovan Mitchell was so utterly putrid that I don’t care how many seasons Ben Simmons did or didn’t sit on the bench for, Mitchell fluffed his chance to make his Rookie of the Year case on national television. But the Nuggets, man…talk about dying …

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Breakfast Special: Prelude to a Masterpiece

Several outcomes had to happen just right on Monday to set up the greatest last day of the regular season in recent NBA history. And all of them happened exactly the way they needed to. Three Western Conference season finales will be winner-take-all contests for playoff seeding; Utah plays Portland with the winner getting the 3 seed and the loser dropping into Tiebreaker Hell. San Antonio plays New Orleans, winner could place as high as fourth, loser as low as eighth. They’ve both clinched playoff berths, but they haven’t clinched playoff seeds. And finally, Denver plays Minnesota, winner gets at …

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Breakfast Special: Playing Out the String

Man, what a day in the NBA Sunday. Games between two teams set to make the playoffs: Zero. Games between a playoff team and a non-playoff team: Six (out of seven) Games in which the playoff team won: Five. So I guess that means our top story is… Nice Upset, Atlanta! The Hawks beat the Maine Red Claws…er, the Boston Celtics, in a game where the Hawks actually had more to gain by losing than by winning. Losing outright would’ve kept them on 23 wins and kept them alive for the second position in the lottery. As it stands, they’ve …

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Breakfast Special: Drubbed Nation

Last week, the Indiana Pacers went into Oakland and beat a depleted Golden State Warriors team 92-81. This week, the Warriors, with Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant all back, marched into Bankers Life Fieldhouse…and got destroyed 126-106. And besides Victor Oladipo doing this like he does every game… Dipo showing out as the Pacers sweep the season series with the Warriors 🔥 pic.twitter.com/TNxGea8dCi — Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 6, 2018 …Bojan Bogdanovic had 28 points on 11-of-13 shooting and 6-of-7 from three. The Pacers shot 50-of-93 (53.8 percent) from the field, 15-of-29 (51.7) percent from three, won the …

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