Total Team Effort: Does Spreading the Scoring Lead to NBA Wins?

A staple of our NBA coverage has been an unofficial team stat called the Total Team Effort, defined as any game in which seven or more players score in double figures. The general assumption is that either the team distributed the ball well with the starters and made good use of the time they had their second unit in, or the game was a blowout and therefore the bench guys just got enough minutes for two of them to top the 10-point threshold. The NBA is also a star-driven league; you often hear stories like “Westbrook scores 50 as the …

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NBA Breakfast Special: LeBron’s Trauma to the Groin

Sing it with me folks, because LeBron just got “nothing’s quite as funny as a trauma to the groin” treatment from Lance Stephenson: If you haven’t seen it yet, well, shield your eyes… Lance Stephenson got a flagrant 1 for this shot to LeBron's groin. pic.twitter.com/nFs0o9lyTY — SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 2, 2017 On the bright side, Pacers Twitter had plenty of fun with it: Roses are red Women are thicc The Pacers are goodLance hit LeBron in the dick pic.twitter.com/TRLYfFqtgG — Miller Time Podcast (@MillerTimePod) November 2, 2017 The Pacers won 124-107, finishing the game on an 18-6 run in …

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NBA Breakfast Special: Brad Stevens, Coach of the Year

Let us for a moment examine the Boston Celtics, a team that lost two of its best defensive players over the offseason, and let a couple of Pace and Space emeritus have their say: After the win against the Spurs, the #Celtics now rank 1st in defensive rating and 4th in D-rebounding %. Who would've predicted that? — Brad Winter (@BradWinter12) October 31, 2017 "Who is going to defend without Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder???!!!" https://t.co/6Yvoofn8ek — Zach d'Arbeloff (@swarbleflop) October 31, 2017 The Spurs have had a Halloween hayride this week, first losing to Indiana and now getting smacked …

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NBA Breakfast Special: The Pacers Make No Sense

The Indiana Pacers are 3-3, looking as maddeningly inconsistent as ever. Victor Oladipo has been the lone constant, somehow managing to appear the superior of Paul George in the Oklahoma City trade from the offseason, the one that was supposed to send Indiana into full Tank Mode as the youth movement developed around Myles Turner. And sure, this team is legitimately horrifying on defense—24th in Defensive Rating, 28th in opponents’ FG%, and 26th in opponent’s 3PT%, but then they go out and do something like beat the Spurs in a slugfest 97-94, exactly the kind of game they always seemed …

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NBA Breakfast Special: Always Bet On Black

Another day in the NBA books, and we seem to have learned two things. One, don’t ever bet against the Spurs, who remained one of only two undefeated teams in the entire league, beating the Heat in Miami to go to 4-0. And two, Lonzo Ball may be the dollar-store knockoff version of Russell Westbrook, but he’s also got the potential to be Defensive Player of the Year someday. But we begin in Miami: Just Wait Until Your Father Gets Home LaMarcus Aldridge has been laying lumber on the league two points at a time in the absence of Kawhi …

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NBA Breakfast Special: Clippermania

by Fox Doucette The Los Angeles Clippers are sixth in the NBA in Offensive Rating and the best in Defensive Rating. As much fun as small sample sizes are, a +25.3 point differential is fiendishly difficult to ignore. And sure enough, Steve Ballmer’s plaything went out and stomped the Utah Jazz, owners of the league’s ninth-best defense and slowest pace, scoring 102 points on a squad that plays at a 94.1 pace like nobody told them it’s not 1997 anymore. Note the score here in this clip with two minutes left. Then consider the final score was 102-84: Big Shot …

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NBA Breakfast Special: Memphis Grizzlies Ascendant

by Fox Doucette What if I told you that of all the NBA teams with at least three games played in the first week of the season, which is 27 of them, there would be only three teams that emerged still undefeated? Then what if I told you that those teams were the Wizards, Spurs…and the Memphis Grizzlies, and that Memphis would own wins over Houston and Golden State? You’d think I was high, wouldn’t you? Well, behold. Because I am high as a kite on the love of the National Basketball Association. Memphis beat Houston in Texas on Monday, …

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We Need To Talk About Flagrant Fouls

by Fox Doucette Flagrant fouls are, by their very nature, judgment calls, the NBA’s equivalent of yellow cards in soccer, and it is for that reason that we need to have a very serious discussion before we go any deeper into this season about them. That’s right, I’m taking off my Nate Silver hat and putting on my Jeff Van Gundy/Charles Barkley hat, so strap in and hold on tight. What sparked this was the NBA’s decision to upgrade Greg Monroe’s hit on Derrick Rose in Friday’s Bucks-Cavs game to a Flagrant 1. The game was on national television, so …

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NBA Breakfast Special: The Celtics Are Dead

by Fox Doucette The appetizers are eaten, and the NBA served up a main course of Opening Night action for most of the rest of the league’s teams, plus the first SEGABABA of the season, a twin bill featuring the Rockets and Celtics in games with quite opposite results. We begin on the East Coast with… Requiem For A Leprechaun In their first full game without Gordon Hayward, things did not go well for Gang Green. Kyrie Irving was an atrocious 7-of-25, Jayson Tatum looked not ready for prime time defensively, and the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo kicked off what some …

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The Only 2017-18 NBA Predictions You Need

by Fox Doucette The 2017-18 NBA season’s about to tip off as I write this, and Pace and Space Year 3 begins in earnest. We’ve got a new server (maybe I’ll take the time to tell the story of how and why we parted ways with SportsBlog after the Great Redesign Fiasco last March, but the short version is we lost about 95 percent of our search traffic overnight when their redesign left us with nothing but deadlinks on our Year 1 content), the stuff’s slowly being migrated over and patched together from where it’s sitting on old computers, and …

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