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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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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