Breakfast Special: Super Greek Super Freak

Before taking an 86-76 lead early in the fourth quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Indiana Pacers were 33-1 when leading by at least 10 points at any point in the game. And after the Bucks outscored them 30-11 the rest of the way, the Pacers are 33-2 when leading by at least 10 points at any point in the game. (big hat tip to Pat Boylan of the Pacers’ radio broadcast team for dropping that stat on Twitter this week.) Giannis Antetokounmpo had 33 points, 19 rebounds, 11 assists, and one massively extended metaphorical middle finger at Thaddeus Young, …

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Breakfast Special: Milwaukee’s Unstoppable Attack

Giannis Antetokounmpo shot 17-of-21, the Milwaukee Bucks scored 50 points in the first quarter, and the Bucks went on to beat the Washington Wizards 148-129. In an NBA landscape where there have been a few too many lower-scoring games in recent weeks (thanks, Memphis and Indiana, who seem to be at the center of most of them), that 277-point combined outburst is the modern basketball we all know and love, a world where you can race out to nearly 150 points and still have to keep one eye on the scoreboard because your opponents might pop a few threes and …

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Breakfast Special: Of Greek Freaks And Beards

Giannis Antetokounmpo seems to get short-shrifted in the MVP conversation. Pundits go back and forth about Stephen Curry and LeBron James and James Harden (more on the Beard in a minute), but Milwaukee’s the team with the gaudy record (39-13, best in the league, and on pace for 61 wins), the massive point differential (+10, what you’d expect out of a 68-win team), and the best athlete in the whole league, good ol’ Greekazoid. Antetokounmpo had 30 points on 12-of-19 shooting, grabbed 15 rebounds, dished nine assists, and powered the Bucks to a 113-94 smackdown of the Nets in Brooklyn …

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Image via Bob Evans Restaurants

Breakfast Special: Go West, Philadelphia

The Philadelphia 76ers have pushed back into third place in the Eastern Conference, and during the toughest stretch of their schedule, they have a chance to consolidate the position and make a real run at hosting a second-round Game 1 if they can close the gap with the Bucks and Raptors (more on them later). Beating the Warriors 113-104 on national television, including beating the Warriors in the third quarter 42-26, will go a long way toward that goal. Joel Embiid went bonkers on the big stage, scoring 26 points (admittedly on a horrendous 8-of-24 shooting) and hauling in 20 …

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Malcolm Brogdon: Is He Any Good?

As Rookies of the Year go in NBA history, Malcolm Brogdon is one of those guys that you’d never remember won the award. You’d say to yourself, “OK, who was a rookie that year, Joel Embiid…Buddy Hield…Jamal Murray…Ben Sim, no, wait, Ben Simmons got hurt that year…” Brogdon, the 36th overall pick, a second-rounder, ended up walking away with the award. Of the players in that 2016 draft, Brogdon is already third in Win Shares behind Simmons and Pascal Siakam, and just ahead of Domantas Sabonis. And if you think that looks an awful lot like a pattern developing before …

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Breakfast Special: Denver’s Impending Second-Round Exit

The Houston Rockets continue to round into form as the second half of the season looms, and their 125-113 win over the Nuggets Monday night was exactly the sort of performance we’re likely to see repeated if the Nugs are the 1 or the 2 and Houston’s between 3 and 5 and they somehow manage to meet in the second round of the playoffs. The Nuggets remind the viewer of nothing so much as those Seattle teams in the 1990s that were heavy on regular-season highlights and, except for one run in 1996 when they put it together in the …

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Breakfast Special: 3 is More Than 2, 2 is More Than 0

2019 might go down in history as The Year of the Three-Point Backlash, and the Toronto Raptors demonstrated the way forward with a guy who, of course, was coached up from a rookie by Gregg Popovich, the dean of the New Old School in San Antonio. Kawhi Leonard had 45 points on 16-of-22 shooting, but it’s how he did it that makes this a subject deserving of a deeper dive into Pop’s new NBA reality. If you count by twos, you’d say “that’s 32 points”, and you’d be right. But Kawhi also shot 13-of-17 as he was able to fight …

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Breakfast Special: Santas and Grinches

Gods bless NBA Christmas. We got five matchups, and all five were worth watching in their own way. But the big story, the one everyone’s talking about? That’s the one that came from Oakland. LeBron James suffered a groin injury in the third quarter. His Lakers team was up 14. Questions abounded whether they could hold the lead. The Warriors went on a run to cut it to two faster than you can blink. But the Lakers led by as many as 31 in the fourth quarter and won 127-101. Dear gods, this Lakers team might not actually be hot …

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Breakfast Special: Bucks 2, Raptors 0

Twice this season, the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors have met in a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals. And twice this season, the Bucks have emerged victorious. Sunday, they even did it on the road, winning 104-99 in Canada in a surprisingly defensive matchup between two powerhouse offenses. Then again, even though the Bucks and Raptors are 2nd and 4th respectively in Offensive Rating, they’re also 4th and 7th on defense, and yes, that’s Milwaukee in the better position in each case even as they trail the Raptors by 2.5 games in the East standings. The Bucks shot 41.4 …

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Breakfast Special: Precious ROY in Dallas

Luka Doncic has seized the conversation for Rookie of the Year, as not only are his Dallas Mavericks 10-9 and in eighth place in the Western Conference after the Mavs thumped the Rockets in Houston by a 128-108 count, but by point differential Dallas is the fifth-best team in the West. Houston, meanwhile, has lost four in a row to drop to 9-11, all the way down in 14th, with only the wretched Suns below them. Early in the season, you can talk about small sample sizes and early outliers and all that…but we’re a quarter of the way through …

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