NBA Best And Worst Contracts Part VI: Pacific Division

As we wrap up our look at NBA contracts, a few things—good and bad—about Wiggins Factor as a stat start to come through in the analysis. In one case, it’s a sins-of-the-father argument… This really should say ‘the Wolves HAD one of the worst front offices in the league’. None of those bad contracts were signed by the current regime. — Jake Paynting (@jakepaynting) August 23, 2019 It’s going to take the new front office awhile to take out the trash. And in another case, it’s an example of Stewart’s Maxim: “It’s not funny anymore when it’s your guy.” @RealFoxD …

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Breakfast Special: Kevin Durant’s World of Super Adventure

Kevin Durant, in Game 5, scored 45 points, tore the Clippers apart, and saw the Golden State Warriors lose 129-121. So for Game 6, with a blown 3-1 lead in progress, Durant decided “if at first you don’t succeed, turn the funk dial up to dangerously funky, put on your Soviet dancing shoes, and Ra-ra-Rasputin your way into Beast Mode.” Oakland’s Greatest Love Machine had FIFTY points, on 15-of-26 shooting, 38 of them in the first half, and put those shots together with 6-of-14 from three and 14-of-15 from the free throw line. Draymond Green chimed in with a triple-double, …

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Breakfast Special: The Golden State Warriors Blew a 3-1 Lou Williams

There is no simpler way to summarize Wednesday night in the NBA other than to simply say the Rockets turned to the Warriors, said, “ready for that Western Conference Finals rematch, friends?” and the Dubs turned back to the Rockets and said “let us get back to you on that, we’ve got a 3-1 lead and, you know how it is…” Lou Williams went on a one-man 8-0 run in the clutch, the Clippers won Game 5 129-121 to take their second game on the road this series—just imagine if they could actually win at home!—and we’ve got ourselves a …

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Breakfast Special: The Sixers Finally Showed Up

Far from the outright embarrassment they were when they lost Game 1, the Philadelphia 76ers showed up in a big way in Game 2 to even their playoff series with the Brooklyn Nets 145-123. This was a case of a Nets team with virtually no playoff experience against the seasoned Sixers who made it to the second round last year, exactly the kind of battle-hardened bounceback game that shows maybe Brett Brown isn’t going to be coaching the Pelicans next year after all. HERO OF SERBIA Boban Marjanovic showed out for the second unit, scoring 16 points in 18 minutes …

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The Indiana Pacers Are Starting a Small-Market Movement

The conventional wisdom in the NBA in 2019 is that you need to assemble a Big Three of superstars who then tear up the rest of the league and through top-heavy domination plow through the playoffs and win the title. The modern version of this started in Boston in 2008, traced a path through LeBron James and the Miami Heat between 2010 and 2014, and reached an apex with the Golden State Warriors, who have become such a destination for stars that they go six deep with talent that is now or at one point has been All-Star caliber. Their …

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Breakfast Special: Upset With the World

Upset mania was in full swing in the NBA Monday night, as the Phoenix Suns beat the Milwaukee Bucks, the New Orleans Pelicans went on the road and smacked the Utah Jazz, and the San Antonio Spurs showed the Denver Nuggets that there will be no easy outs in the playoffs (which seems to always be the case in the West, doesn’t it?) And we’ll get to all of those games. But regular readers of Pace and Space know that I can’t resist an opportunity to crack open a bottle of Haterade, and you know what that means… #LOLakers The …

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Breakfast Special: Indiana Pacers, Destroyers of Worlds

Last Thursday, when the Pacers got embarrassed on national television against the Philadelphia 76ers, Pacers Twitter acted like the sky is falling and the team is garbage. Trade Victor Oladipo, they said. Trade Myles Turner, they said. Trade Boomer the mascot, they said. After beating the Mavericks and Hornets by a combined 36 points and holding both teams under 100, are the Pacers going back to the Finals again like they were in the eyes of those same fans before the Philly game? The Sunday game, which Indiana won 120-95, was a condemnation of the Hornets as a viable playoff …

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Montrezl Harrell: Is He Any Good?

The Los Angeles Clippers were left for dead after finishing last season 42-40, their collection of castoffs, nobodies, and HERO OF SERBIA not considered to be enough to compete in a loaded Western Conference. But there the Clips are, at 21-16, sixth in the West and hanging in a top eight that is starting to create some separation between itself and the teams from ninth (Sacramento, at 19-19 2.5 games back of the Clips for sixth and two back of the Lakers for eighth) place on down. Part of this has been because what one observer would call a lack …

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Breakfast Special: The James Harden Efficiency Experience

James Harden had one of the weirdest stat lines you’ll see, even by his standards, in Houston’s 101-99 loss at the Miami Heat on Thursday night. The Rockets’ alleged MVP (LeBron James got robbed. I will not be convinced otherwise.) scored 35 points on 7-of-23 shooting and 15-of-18 from the free throw line. This is not the weird part. The weird part is that he was 6-of-14 from three-point land…and 1-of-9 from two. One of my recurring diss tracks on the Brooklyn Nets is “what happens when you play Rockets-style basketball with guys who can’t shoot?” Well, the Rockets are …

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Breakfast Special: Score 50. Lose. Repeat.

Three times this season, a player has gone for 50 or better in a game his team lost. Kemba Walker had 60 in a loss to Philadelphia on Nov. 17. James Harden scored 54 on Monday and came up short against the Wizards. And now Kevin Durant has a 51-point game in a loss on his record, as the Warriors lost 131-128 in overtime in a potential Finals preview at Toronto. Bright side? Durant only had one turnover; Walker had nine and Harden had 11 in their losses. For the winners, Kawhi Leonard scored 37 points on 14-of-24 shooting, Pascal …

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