Breakfast Special: Blazin’ the Nets in Portland

There were only four NBA games on Monday night, so of course one of them had to go 10 extra minutes to make up for it. The Portland Trail Blazers held home court, clinched a playoff berth, and made the race between 6 and 9 in the East a little more interesting by dropping the Brooklyn Nets 148-144. Damian Lillard was wildly inefficient in this one, scoring 32 points but requiring 31 shots to do it, while D’Angelo Russell wasn’t much better for Brooklyn with 39 points on 16-of-34. All the same, even by the standards of double ovetime, this …

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Breakfast Special: Revenge of the Scrubs

There were a few real head-scratcher losses by good teams in the NBA Wednesday night, and while we’ll save the recaps for the lightning round because they don’t merit a feature (with one exception for the top three that you’ll see when we get there), it is endlessly interesting every year when March and April roll around and for every team that provides a compelling storyline as they fight for a playoff spot (Pacers and West Coast road trip, anyone?), there are five more that are either bad teams winning as their garbage fire roster finally provides some hope for …

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How Do Fringe NBA Teams Make the Playoffs?

It’s a maxim in the NBA that your typical 8 seed gets into the playoffs by taking care of business against bad teams and then winning just enough against other teams in their neighborhood to get a little separation when the wins are counted after 82 games. And sure, because it’s a long season, there will be some surprising wins in there, beating Houston or Golden State on the road, and there will be some cringeworthy losses, dropping a game to a tanking team at home, but for the most part, you get to that 42-win range (East) or 48-win …

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Breakfast Special: James Harden “Only” Scores 28

James Harden‘s streak of consecutive 30-point games came to an end in the Rockets’ 119-111 win over the Atlanta Hawks in Houston, and it did so in the most James Harden way possible, as the Beard shot 7-of-21 from the field, 0-of-10 from three, and 14-of-16 from the line. He also turned the ball over six times, just the most Harden game you can possibly dream up. Harden did, however, get some support from his teammates for a change, as Chris Paul poured in 20 points on 5-of-10 from the field and 7-of-7 from the line, Eric Gordon had 16 …

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Breakfast Special: Is Basketball OK?

Before we get to the NBA highlights this morning, a moment to call out the single worst Super Bowl ad from a branding perspective in the history of spending millions of dollars on 30 seconds of air time. Pepsi ran an ad in which a customer at a diner orders a Coke, the waitress says “is Pepsi OK?”, and then Steve Carell, Cardi B, and Lil Jon spend 30 seconds ranting about how Pepsi is “better than OK.” Which…you just showed a customer in a restaurant ordering a Coke. You just showed a restaurant practically apologizing for serving your product. …

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Should the Indiana Pacers Trade for Mike Conley?

The Memphis Grizzlies have finally figured out that they’re not very good, and not just when guys like Mike Conley and Marc Gasol are hurt but also when they’re healthy. After starting 12-5, the Grizz have gone into a tailspin, posting a pathetic 7-23 record since Thanksgiving. And they’re finally sellers on the trade market as the Feb. 7 trade deadline approaches. And one of the most attractive landing spots for Conley is his hometown of Indianapolis, where a local-boy-makes-good story potentially awaits for the weak-at-point-guard Pacers. Conley’s a bona fide star, one of those guys who’s never made an …

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Breakfast Special: Dwane Casey’s Two Scoops of Revenge

The dumbest thing the Toronto Raptors did in an otherwise stellar offseason was fire Dwane Casey after a 59-23 regular season. And the smartest thing the Detroit Pistons did was show Stan Van Gundy the door in order to get Casey back on an NBA sideline without missing a single gameday. So as good as the Raptors are—and at 12-2, they are very good—Wednesday night belonged to Casey’s Pistons, who won 106-104 on some late-game heroics from Reggie Bullock: Your game-winner, courtesy of @ReggieBullock35! #PistonsNow pic.twitter.com/0Bk49404Kn — Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) November 15, 2018 Just watch the pure exuberance on Blake …

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Are the 2018-19 Memphis Grizzlies Good?

Last year, a combination of injuries, Marc Gasol doing his Dwight Howard impression to get David Fizdale fired, and just plain not being good at basketball conspired to push the Memphis Grizzlies to a 22-60 record, second-worst in the entire NBA ahead of only the woeful Phoenix Suns. This year, armed with fourth overall pick Jaren Jackson Jr., Mike Conley‘s horrifying contract, Gasol’s attitude, a coach in J.B. “Make Them” Bickerstaff who couldn’t generate team chemistry if you gave him a plastic volcano, some baking soda, and some vinegar… Brace yourselves. Suckage is coming. The Grizzlies overachieved several years ago …

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NBA Breakfast Special: Marc Gasol Is A Coach-Killing Crybaby

If your team is 7-12, and your star player starts whining about the coach, just once I’d like to see a team trade the star player. After all, the Memphis Grizzlies need to blow up their roster and start over, not let one of the best young coaches in the league end up on some other team with an underachieving roster and a coach on the hot seat (mark my words, if Fizdale wants the job, Billy Donovan won’t be the coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder on Christmas…if the Los Angeles Clippers don’t hire Fizdale first.) Although if you …

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NBA Breakfast Special: Memphis Grizzlies Start Collapse Early

The Memphis Grizzlies, rather than collapse down the stretch in March and April and limp into the playoffs as a sacrificial lamb to a much better team, have decided instead this year to have everything go to hell before the holiday shopping season’s even gotten started. Memphis lost at home to the Brooklyn Nets 98-88, giving the teams identical 7-12 records. Thing is, Memphis got there by losing eight in a row after starting 7-4; Brooklyn’s just always been lousy, as they’ve been ever since they mortgaged the future on an over-the-hill Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, which ought to …

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