Breakfast Special: Isaiah Thomas, You Magnificent Son of a Gun

The King in the Fourth, a point guard so good that Cleveland GM LeBron James was willing to swap Kyrie Irving for him (go ahead, argue with me), made his debut in a Cleveland uniform Tuesday… …and went 6-of-12 from the field for 17 points in only 19 minutes of action. Look out, NBA, Isaiah Thomas is back. And not a moment too soon, as Cleveland is currently 25-12 after a big win over the Portland Trailblazers by a 127-110 count. The league’s third-best offensive team (behind Golden State and Houston) and fourth-worst defensive team (ahead of only Atlanta, Phoenix, …

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Breakfast Special: James Harden Space Program

Happy New Year, folks, even if it’s not as happy as it could’ve been for eight NBA fanbases. Let’s get right to it: James Harden‘s Hamstring Goes Kerbal Anyone who’s played “Kerbal Space Program” knows how easy it is to have rockets blow up. And the Houston Rockets? Well, they sure looked like a Kerbal rocket for the last five games before the Lakers, a salve for any wound, came to town. It took double overtime. It took 40 points from Harden despite the Beard leaving the game with a strained hamstring. And it took a bizarre stat line where …

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Breakfast Special: NBA Underdogs Put It On A T-Shirt

Five of the six worst teams in the NBA won games last night. Of those, four beat teams that either would make the playoffs if the season ended today or, in the fifth case, would’ve been had they beaten the bad team. Meanwhile, the Chicago Bulls continue to charge ahead, winners of eight of their last ten and, at 11-22, just one game back of the 11th-seeded Nets. And sure, the Bulls aren’t exactly threatening the playoff field—they’re 6.5 games back of the eighth-seeded Heat, who are nearly as close to first place (7.5 back of Boston) as they are …

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Breakfast Special: The Downside of NBA Christmas

Go ahead and find me a worse day for basketball than the day after Christmas. The NBA schedules no games on Christmas Eve to make sure that their marquee teams don’t have a back-to-back on the holidsy, and that also means that on December 26, those same teams, spared the need to play a SEGABABA, are all resting up and at home with their families. Which can only mean one thing…a Bad Team Bonanza that leaves all but the hardest core League Pass junkies playing video games instead. Seriously, I’m still playing 2K12 on a MyPlayer save I’ve had since …

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Breakfast Special: There’s No Win At Home For the Holidays

It was a bad Christmas to host a basketball game. Of the five games that made up the Christmas bonanza, three were won by the road team; only the Warriors and Thunder got the job done. We begin with the Rockets who, with only a single loss with Chris Paul in the lineup, dropped to 11-5 without him. They did this despite a Triple 20; 29 points from James Harden and 20 each from Eric Gordon and Trevor Ariza. The Thunder, meanwhile, had a Triple 20 of their own, as Carmelo Anthony finally seems to be learning how to play …

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Breakfast Special: Sorry Poor People, Y’all Ain’t Got No Chance

Big hat tip to Charles Barkley: Charles Barkley’s thoughts on America’s new tax bill: pic.twitter.com/39P0yW91Dd — Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) December 22, 2017 Hey, we try not to get political around here, but when the comedy gods give you one like that, y’all gotta go with it. On to the highlights: Are You Actually Kidding, San Antonio Good: Six players in double figures and a basket shy of a Total Team Effort. Bad: None of those guys had more than 12 points, so the Spurs lost to the Jazz 100-89. LaMarcus Aldridge had 11 points on 11 shots, making just four. …

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Breakfast Special: Harden Your Heart Kuzma Mind Is Blown

We begin this most blessed Solstice with tribute to the gods…the Basketball Gods, who saw fit to bless mortalkind with the ultimate setup for a terrible pun in the headline. James Harden scored 51 points, but the Houston Rockets fell in defeat for only the fifth time this season. Chris Paul left the game with an apparent injury, Clint Capela missed the game with a left heel bruise, and a hotshot highly-touted Lakers rookie scored 38 points and powered his team to a 122-116 win. Seriously, how about Kyle Kuzma inserting himself into the Rookie of the Year conversation over …

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NBA Breakfast Special: Klay Thompson’s Ultimate Kobe Bryant Tribute

Klay Thompson paid the ultimate tribute to Kobe Bryant, imitating Kobe’s iconic Game 7 in the 2010 Finals by going 6-for-24 in a game his team won. What better way to honor a man who had both of his jersey numbers—8 and 24—raised to the Staples Center rafters Monday night? Sure, Golden State won 114-112 in overtime, and sure, Kevin Durant clowned Lonzo Ball in making the game-winning dagger, and sure, the Warriors were hot garbage, shooting 40.2 percent from the field and 32.4 from long range and the Lakers couldn’t capitalize, but hey, you just can’t beat that Kobe …

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Statistical Tests: How Important is the Turnover Battle?

There are certain basketball platitudes out there like “you have to control the glass” or “the team that gets more assists wins the game.” But in both cases, they’re either obvious (the team that got more assists probably made more shots and therefore scored more points) or questionable (if you got a bunch of offensive rebounds, it might just be because you couldn’t shoot the ball that night, so you scored fewer points, and you lost.) With players like James Harden and Russell Westbrook setting records for turnovers even as they’ve put up MVP-level seasons, and with some teams just …

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NBA Breakfast Special: LeBronzo

Lonzo Ball got a chance to showcase his skills in front of someone who, if the rumors are true, will be his teammate next year. Against LeBron James, Ball had 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting, dished 11 assists, and grabbed eight rebounds, but a near-triple-double was no match for an actual triple-double; LeBron had 25 points, 12 boards, and 12 dimes. Kyle Kuzma continues to stand as the Lakers’ best rookie; he had 20 points off the bench on 8-of-16. It was a curious game from long range for Cleveland. LeBron was 1-of-7; Jae Crowder was 1-of-6. The rest of …

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