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: Steph Curry Eviscerates Cleveland

Stephen Curry‘s disemboweling of the Cleveland Cavaliers was a lot more fun when LeBron James was on the losing end, wasn’t it? Against the Canton Charge wearing Cavs uniforms, it’s just not the same. Steph had 42 points on 11-of-20 shooting including 9-of-14 from three, pulled down nine rebounds, and dished seven assists as the Warriors thrashed Cleveland 129-105 at the Q. Kevin Durant is better as the sidekick, and in that role he came an assist shy of a triple-double with 25, 10, and 9. And Jonas Jerebko (!) led the team in plus/minus at +25 in his 22 …

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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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Breakfast Special: Big Easy Scoring

Sports has gone mad with scoring power. Besides one hell of a Monday Night Football game that even as a Patriots fan I want to see rematched in the Super Bowl (54-51? Are you kidding me? I’ve seen college basketball games not put up that many points,) the New Orleans Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs put up one hell of a show that the Pellies won 140-126. That’s right, someone hung 140 on a Gregg Popovich-coached team and I’m not so sure it even surprises anyone anymore. Anthony Davis had 29 points. E’Twaun Moore had 24. Jrue Holiday had 21. …

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Breakfast Special: 50 Points to Griffin-dor

Blake Griffin might just be worth all that money Detroit’s paying him after all. In a weird NBA night in which three undefeated teams entered and three undefeated teams left, Griffin stood out, dropping 50 on the Philadelphia 76ers, as the Pistons improved to 3-0 with a 133-132 win. Andre Drummond got ejected, and Joel Embiid, taunt-master extraordinaire, claimed to “own a lot of real estate in his head.” Drummond’s response was a real winner: Lol does he? If that’s so he wouldn’t be so excited to have me off the floor? Think about it that’s a silly statement ! …

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Are the 2018-19 New Orleans Pelicans Good?

The New Orleans Pelicans took a horrifically mismatched roster and turned it into a playoff team in 2017-18. Anthony Davis is what he is—a bona fide superstar who can drag a team to the playoffs by himself. But Rajon Rondo‘s selfish assists and the tendency of the New Orleans offense to turn into a clogged toilet whenever Davis had to share the floor with DeMarcus Cousins conspired to make the team worse than it should have been until Boogie’s injury unlocked their potential. New Orleans was 27-21 in games Boogie played. They were 21-13 without him. That latter is a …

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Breakfast Special: Rondo Alla Draymond Verdi

On Star Wars Day, balance was restored to the Force in the NBA Western Conference semifinals. In New Orleans, “the losing team in a five-game series wins Game 3” was in full effect as the Pelicans beat the Golden State Warriors 119-100. And in Utah, the Houston Rockets just up and decided to remind the Jazz that winning one game on the road does not automatically mean you then go on to win the series in six. Don’t believe me? Ask us Pacers fans. We begin in the Big Easy, where Rajon Rondo and Draymond Green got a little chippy …

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Breakfast Special: The Phantom of the Process Lives Inside Miami’s Mind

Well, it was fun speculating about Miami in 6, but with Joel Embiid back, the 76ers restored balance to the playoff Force, erased their horrid Game 2 home loss by seizing back home court advantage, and won 128-108, their second blowout victory in three games and a heck of a pointer toward the idea that this might be Sixers in five. The Sixers shot 18-of-34 (52.9 percent) from long range, drew enough fouls to shoot 37 free throws (making 28, a 75.7 percent clip), and won the rebound (41-35) and turnover (15-10) battles. In other words, they were Rockets East. …

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Breakfast Specials: Two Truths and a Portland Lie

Consider the Western Conference. Below the Rockets and Warriors, who were beyond shadow of doubt the best two teams in the group, and above the Clippers, who were clearly tenth-best and had five wretched teams below them in the tankosphere, there were seven teams who were separated by three games in the standings, including five teams that had just a single game between them; fourth went 48-34, eighth went 47-35. Now consider that one of those teams, the Pelicans, had a major change of identity midway through the season when DeMarcus Cousins went down, took time to adjust, and emerged …

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2018 NBA Playoff Tiebreak Scenarios: Last Day of the Season!

Wednesday night, the NBA tips off a slate of games to close out the regular season. The playoffs are finally upon us. And the standings, especially in the Western Conference? They’re still a hot mess, with every slot from 3 through 9 up for grabs. Only the Rockets and Warriors are locked into their seed; everyone else is fighting for position. Meanwhile, things are a bit quieter in the East, where the Raptors (1), Celtics (2), and Pacers (5) are locked into their seeds, while Philly and Cleveland are fighting for 3 and 4 and the Wizards, Heat, and Bucks …

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