Breakfast Special: Bucks Die by the Sword in Toronto

Rigidity of doctrine, no matter where it crops up, is a killer. It’s how once-prosperous businesses fail, it’s how politics stagnates into nations and empires in decline, and it’s how armies lose wars before the first shot is fired. For Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer, his rigidity of doctrine in terms of his offense and his commitment to minutes and rotations got him completely outcoached by Nick Nurse (!) as the Toronto Raptors beat Milwaukee 100-94 in Game 6 and won the series four games to two after dropping the first two games on the road in Milwaukee and looking …

Read More

Breakfast Special: Fred VanVleet Comes Back from the Dead

Earlier in the Eastern Conference Finals, when the Milwaukee Bucks won the first two games and nearly ended up going up 3-0 on the road in Toronto, Fred VanVleet was so utterly awful that Raptors fans were ready to throw him off the CN Tower and openly questioned coach Nick Nurse on social media about his usage of the embattled guard. Well…fast forward to Game 5, where the Raptors, after winning Game 3 in overtime and taking Game 4 easily at home, traveled to Milwaukee and busted this series wide open, going up 3-2 with a 105-99 win that sends …

Read More

Breakfast Special: The Raptors Missed the Surrender Memo

After a 120-102 Toronto win in a game that the Milwaukee Bucks did not play particularly poorly in, and after the Eastern Conference Finals got evened at two games apiece, and after we all collectively realized that the Bucks don’t have nearly the kind of playoff experience you need to show out and dominate at this level quite yet—not to say they’re going to lose the series, only that they look like they’re “a year away”—we have got ourselves a series. Granted, it’s a series where the home team has so far won all four games, but when the Raptors …

Read More

Breakfast Special: Scott Foster’s Rigged Game 3 Adventure

I risk sounding like yet another angry NBA casual when I complain about the officiating, but even in double overtime, 60 fouls, Kyle Lowry, Norman Powell, and Giannis Antetokounmpo all watching Game of Thrones on their tablets while their teammates play a basketball game that completely screwed up the East Coast’s HBO viewing (even the second most-popular sports league in America knew better than to try and mess with the biggest TV finale since Seinfeld)… …well, let’s just say Scott Foster should never, ever be allowed to officiate a playoff game again, because the only thing more puzzling than the …

Read More

Breakfast Special: Massive Milwaukee Mismatch

The Milwaukee Bucks played like absolute garbage in Game 1 and beat the Toronto Raptors anyway. The Bucks played more like the team that won 60 games in the regular season in Game 2 and stomped the Raptors 125-103. People sometimes forget that this Bucks team was tops in the entire league in Defensive Rating in the regular season, and with the exception of Kawhi Leonard, who had 31 points on 10-of-18 shooting, the Raptors could not solve the Bucks’ defense. Raptors not named Kawhi shot 27-of-69 (39.1 percent) and the squad shot just 42.5 percent overall. Milwaukee, during the …

Read More

Breakfast Special: Kyle Lowry’s Fourth-Quarter Heroics

How about Kyle Lowry in Game 1 of the Bucks-Raptors Eastern Conference Finals? The veteran put the team on his back and scored all of Toronto’s field goals in the fourth quarter of an ultimately futile but valiantly fought 108-100 loss. Yep, all of Toronto’s field goals. All five of them. The Raptors were up seven heading into the fourth, but Milwaukee outscored them 32-17 in the final frame, Lowry shooting 5-of-7 and his teammates shooting 0-of-15. Pascal Siakam did, however, hit a sweet buzzer beater to end the third quarter and at the very least put a nice final …

Read More

Breakfast Special: Kevin Durant’s MRI to Decide NBA Finals

Heading into Game 5, a strong undercurrent of “the team that wins this game is going to win the championship” permeated the atmosphere and lent heavyweight power to every dribble, every shot, every minute of the game. The Warriors won the ballgame 104-99, taking a 3-2 lead in the series and keeping alive a wild run where all five games have been decided by no more than four points nor fewer than six. Which, well, series over, crown the Dubs champs as the first three-peat since the 2000-02 Lakers, right? Wrong. Because Kevin Durant went down in the fourth quarter …

Read More

Breakfast Special: Bucks Got In 5 On It

The Milwaukee Bucks are, in the plainest and simplest point of fact, a better basketball team than the Boston Celtics. Milwaukee’s star, Giannis Antetokounmpo, is the legitimate for-real honest-to-gods MVP in the whole league. Boston’s stars, Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, are “the worst parts of Allen Iverson‘s game” and “half the Domantas Sabonis for twice the price” respectively. And there’s something oddly satisfying (if you’re a Celtics hater) in watching the culmination of Danny Ainge‘s years of wheeling, dealing, scheming, and roster building at the expense of the Nets and Sixers turn out to be Boston advancing just one …

Read More

Breakfast Special: NBA Up! All Night

The Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers played 68 minutes of basketball in Game 3, and when Portland won 140-137 on a late three-pointer in the fourth overtime by Rodney Hood, you had to get the feeling that the Nuggets’ fate—Portland in six—was sealed. This is doubly true when you consider that Nikola Jokic played 65 minutes—the second-most in a playoff game and third-most overall, and the longest time logged in a playoff contest since 1953 (Bob Cousy, 66 minutes against Syracuse)—while scoring 33 points, hauling down 18 rebounds, dishing 14 assists…and seeing his team lose. Enes Kanter‘s sore shoulder …

Read More

Breakfast Special: Referees 115, Rockets 109

Jonathan Coulton famously sang that the first of May is the beginning of the season of having sex outdoors, but on April 30, the only screwing going on was happening inside Oracle Arena and involved Scott Foster going to the window, to the walls on the Houston Rockets. James Harden had 29 points on 9-of-19 shooting and shot 8-of-9 from the free throw line, but he also had four fouls, never quite looked completely in rhythm, and ended up carrying a minus-9 accumulated in the first quarter all the way through his 34 minutes of action in the game as …

Read More