Image via Bob Evans Restaurants

Breakfast Special: For the West Is Wild And No Team Shall Die Softly

The Jazz, Spurs, Thunder, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Nuggets, and Clippers are locked in Mortal Kombat…er, mortal combat…for five spots in the playoffs available to the seven of them, even if the net result of all this is one team getting smacked by the Rockets and another by the Warriors in the second round of the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Eastern Conference just saw its five seed more or less locked in thanks to all this West madness, which brings us to our top story… A Rivalry As Old As the ABA The Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets met for the first time …

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The G-League Will Kill NCAA Basketball

Darius Bazley turned a lot of heads when he decided to decommit from the Syracuse Orange to instead declare for the NBA G-League draft. He won’t be drafted by an NBA team; he has to wait a year before that happens, and whichever G-League team picks him will have him as a rental for one year. Just because, for example, he ends up on the Mad Ants does not mean he’ll be picked by the Pacers when the time comes. There are plenty of good reasons why this is the right move for Bazley. For one thing, he’ll be freed …

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Breakfast Special: No Fools in the Eastern Conference

The race between the Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, and Cleveland Cavaliers for the 3, 4, and 5 seeds has been everything you want a playoff chase to be. Teams are going on winning streaks and gaining no ground because their opponents are keeping pace with them every step of the way. Two of the teams are teams on the rise, one coming out of nowhere, the other a realization of the possibilities of long periods of nonstop losing. Another is a team on the ropes, declining in fortune, kept alive only because its star is having one of the best …

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Breakfast Special: Lonzo Ball, Who Is Made of Glass

Lonzo Ball is injured again, this time sustaining a left knee contusion in the Lakers’ 103-93 win over the Mavericks at home. Ball was his usual can’t-shoot-a-lick self in his 24 minutes, scoring eight points while shooting 3-of-7 from the field, 1-of-3 from three, and 1-of-2 from the line…then again, all those percentages (42.9/33.3/50) were actually improvements on his horrid season totals. Ball says he’s not likely to miss much time, but with the Lakers’ playoff hopes deader than disco at 33-41 (they were officially mathematically eliminated when they lost to the Pistons Monday night), they might as well just …

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Breakfast Special: O Dub Nation, Where Art Thou?

Consider the following… Sometimes you just have to find a way to win. #Pacers comeback win at Golden State their 7th when trailing by 15+ points. And that doesn’t include Sunday win vs. Heat when @Pacers trailed by 14 in 1H. — Chris Denari (@ChrisDenari) March 28, 2018 Seven 15-point comebacks. For a team that played like the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz last year. Indiana beat the Santa Cruz Warriors 92-81 in a game where Quinn Cook‘s midrange jumper with 5:01 left in the second quarter made the score 44-29. It was an ugly game; the Pacers shot …

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Breakfast Special: Eat Your Heart Out, Paul George

If Kevin Pritchard isn’t Executive of the Year for trading Paul George to Oklahoma City for what looked like spare parts and a bag of basketballs and managing to improve the team, then there simply is no justice in the NBA anymore. The Pacers beat Miami 113-107 in overtime, riding late-game heroics from Darren Collison to a 43-31 record through 74 games; Indiana went 42-40 in 2016-17. With just three wins in their last eight games, Indiana will post its best record since going 56-26 in the 2013-14 season, a year in which they made the Eastern Conference Finals and …

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Breakfast Special: Charlotte Hornets Break the Point Differential Stat

Way back in November of 2015, the Memphis Grizzlies lost two games, one by 50, the other by 30, in one fell swoop reducing their expected win total for the entire season by 2.7 wins. They lost three games for the price of two, providing the foreshadowing that would, by the end of the season, foretell their 3-14 finish in the regular season and, once they limped into the playoffs, their sweep at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs. It was precisely the kind of predictive outcome that analytics was designed to catch (and, if I may point the …

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Breakfast Special: Atlanta Owns Utah? Seriously?!

You wouldn’t have expected the Hawks to account for two of the Jazz’s three losses in their last 24 games. The only thing standing between Utah and a 24-0 record since mid-January is two tanking teams; the third loss was to Dallas. But here we are. Dennis Schroder shot 16-of-28 to score 41 points, Dewayne Dedmon had 15 rebounds , Utah shot just 37.1 percent from the field and 17.6 percent (6-of-34) from long range, and the Hawks beat the Jazz in Utah 99-94. Donovan Mitchell was honest-to-gods atrocious, cementing his status as the Evolutionary Jerry Stackhouse by scoring 24 …

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Breakfast Special: In Which Gregg Popovich Owns Steve Kerr Again

The San Antonio Spurs, left for dead just last week, have turned things around in a big way, and their fourth straight win just came at the expense of the Golden State Warriors. Even crazier, the Spurs held Golden State to just 75 points in a downright collegiate 89-75 slog of a game. Well, maybe “slog” isn’t the right word—the game was played at a 94.1 estimated pace, after all, slow by today’s NBA standards but a breakneck pace by the standards (86 possessions per 48 minutes, due mainly to the 30-second shot clock) of the college game. Anyway, point …

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Breakfast Special: LeBron’s Lue-sing Cause

So, this was a thing that happened between LeBron James and Tyronn Lue… oh shittt LeBron FED UP with Ty Lue pic.twitter.com/nYYPlRCFHr — Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) March 16, 2018 The Portland Trail Blazers beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 113-105 Thursday night while the rest of the world was watching college ball. Despite a 15-of-25 night from James in which he scored 35 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, and murdered Jusuf Nurkic in cold blood… Lebron James poster dunk on Nurkic pic.twitter.com/tfD3O1z2Tu — Jacari McRae (@JMcRae23) March 16, 2018 C.J. McCollum had 29 for the Blazers on 12-of-24, while Damian Lillard shot just …

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