Breakfast Special: LeBron, D-Wade, and Era Farewells

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade brought the world four Finals runs in Miami, tons of entertaining basketball, and no small few great matchups as foes when the King toiled in Cleveland. And Monday night, we got the last time the two men will meet on a basketball court in a regular-season NBA game (and no, Wade doesn’t get to be an All-Star. Unless Victor Oladipo stays hurt. Then we can talk.) Of course it was a competitive game. The Lakers won 108-105 to go to 17-10 overall and 11-4 at home. Wade got some extended run off the bench and …

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Breakfast Special: Devin Booker’s Fragile Body

Devin Booker continues to suffer the slings and arrows of one minor injury after another. He left the Suns’ 120-96 loss to the Lakers Sunday with Los Angeles up 49-43 in what would prove to be a 40-15 outburst in the second quarter. Booker was plus-6 for the game. No good can come of this for an already gods-awful Phoenix team that now stands 4-19 in the standings, a 14-68 pace by record and 12-70 by point differential. On the Lakers’ side of things, Kyle Kuzma led the scoring with 23, LeBron James had 22, six Lakers scored in double …

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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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Breakfast Special: Heavy is the Burden on LeBron

The story of LeBron James‘ career has, with a couple of rare exceptions in Miami where Dwyane Wade was a bona fide Hall of Fame sidekick, been a case of carrying utterly wretched teams further than they have any right to go. Indeed, most of the case for James as the NBA’s greatest of all time hinges on the narrative of “he won a championship with a G-League team in 2016.” (and if you want me to say something nice about Kyrie Irving, you must be new here.) And here he is in Los Angeles, dragging the freaking South Bay …

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Re-Opening Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s GOAT Case

With 10 Finals appearances, six rings, the all-time record for points scored, the second-most games (behind Robert Parish) and most minutes, 6 MVP awards, 19 All-Star games, only one season in his entire career where he was in the top ten in turnovers, tops in history in both offensive and overall Win Shares, an icon for two different franchises, and all of it capped off by the one of the most slam-dunk first-ballot Hall of Fame inductions you’re likely to see? Are we sure Kareem Abdul-Jabbar isn’t still the greatest of all time? After all, when Kareem finally retired in …

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Breakfast Special: Lonzo Teaches LeBron Free Throw Technique

The Los Angeles Lakers beat the woeful Atlanta Hawks by just a single point at home, and while 7-6 is exactly where you’d expect a team with a +0.7 point differential to be at 13 games into an 82-game season. The Lakers are, in many ways, the prototype G League Team Featuring LeBron James that the Cleveland Cavaliers were on two separate occasions in LeBron’s long and illustrious career. And it speaks to just how great LeBron is that this is so; LeBron’s 0.9 VORP is good for 2 or 3 wins in 13 games (2.43 if you go with …

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Breakfast Special: LeBrons N’ Roses

Derrick Rose has become one of the most curious stories in sports, a fallen hero who very obviously still knows how to play basketball, but his body simply will not allow him to do it at a high level consistently for 82 games. Meanwhile, LeBron James is what happens when you take someone of (beyond) Rose’s talent and put them in a nearly indestructible body. Which is how the Lakers beat the Timberwolves 114-110 on Wednesday night. Rose had 31 points on 11-of-17 shooting and 7-of-9 from three, putting up a +11 in 37 minutes…oh, Tom Thibodeau, don’t ever change. …

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Breakfast Special: LeBron’s Gonna Sprewell Luke Walton

Can I talk to you for a minute about our Lord and Savior Serge Ibaka? The Toronto Raptors, without Kawhi Leonard in the lineup, went into Los Angeles and absolutely humiliated LeBron James and the Lakers Sunday night, winning 121-107 in a game they led by 31 points…in the first quarter. Seriously, it was 41 to 10 at one point. Ibaka was 15-of-17 with 10 rebounds on his way to 34 points, Kyle Lowry dished 15 assists to go with his 21 points, and Danny Green hit 5-of-8, all from three-point land, for a tidy 15 points of his own. …

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Breakfast Special: Derrick Rose’s Ghost Scares Utah

What strange times are these in Minnesota, where Derrick Rose can be his 2012 self for a night, possessed on Halloween by the ghost of his own talent. Because Jimmy Butler has gone AWOL for the Timberwolves, Rose ended up starting at the point, Josh Okogie‘s 10.06 PER started in Butler’s spot…and Minnesota beat Utah 128-125 behind 50 points from Rose. The game was about as typical a Tom Thibodeau coaching performance as you’ll see. The heavy-minutes rotation went seven deep, and only nine guys played even one minute of the game. Rose played 41 minutes. Karl-Anthony Towns, who had …

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Breakfast Special: The Education of Lonzo Ball

Are we seeing LeBron James singlehandedly turn Lonzo Ball into a quality NBA player? Because in Lonzo’s past two starts since Rajon Rondo got suspended, he’s 10-of-19 from the field, 3-of-8 from long range, and even though he’s still one of the worst in the league at willing his way to the line, that’s not terribly surprising for any second-year guard (and he has hit four of his five free throw attempts this season.) Throw out the Portland game (in which Lonzo went 2-of-7) and he’s averaging 13 points a game on 52.6 percent shooting and 43.5 percent from three-point …

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