Breakfast Special: Melo, Thunder Beat Rockets

Carmelo Anthony had a great game for the Oklahoma City Thunder Thursday night. His 1-of-11, two-point, minus-22 performance was the next best thing to the Thunder planting a mole on the Houston Rockets to throw the game so he could give his real team the big win. Accordingly, the Thunder, who don’t have Russell Westbrook until he recovers from his ankle sprain, won 98-80 in an ugly game on national television. Houston shot just ten free throws, making seven of them, and even though they made 50 percent of their two point shots (20-of-40), they were a wretched 26.2 percent …

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Breakfast Special: Golden State Has a Three-Point Problem

The Warriors have a legitimate issue out beyond the three-point arc. Namely, nobody on the team besides Stephen Curry is hitting them with any regularity anymore. Steph is 46-of-89 (51.7 percent!) beyond the arc, draining threes with beautiful and reckless abandon, playing like he wants to hit 500 of them just to future-proof the single-season record (he’s on pace to hit 539, but that would be if he played all 82 games, which we all know he won’t.) The rest of the team? 34-of-121 (28.1 percent.) But on the other hand, the Warriors continue to chug along close to the …

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So We Killed the Midrange Jump Shot in the NBA. Now What?

In my article about Scott-Hollins Syndrome a few days ago, I sang the praises of the kinds of shot charts that the Bucks and Rockets are putting on the board these days, a ring of three-point attempts separated from layups and dunks by a no-man’s-land of empty space in the midrange, where be dragons. There’s just one small problem with all of this. Namely, with the midrange shot more or less completely off the table, what does this mean for the two-sided flow of a basketball game? Or, in simpler terms than that, what’s the defense going to do about …

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Breakfast Special: Risin’ Up to the Challenge of a Rival

Look, for all those of you who think the Sixers are a serious challenger for the Eastern Conference title this season, what part of “Celtics in 5 if they meet in the playoffs” don’t you understand? Joel Embiid on the "rivalry" between the Celtics and Sixers: "This is not a rivalry. I don't know our record against them, but it's pretty bad. They always kick our ass." — Sean Deveney (@SeanDeveney) October 17, 2018 Boston just played 48 good minutes of basketball…well, OK, they played 48 minutes of ugly-as-hell basketball and finally flipped the switch in the fourth quarter such …

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Are the 2018-19 Oklahoma City Thunder Good?

What happens when a top-10 offensive and defensive team gets rid of one of the worst players in the league? The Thunder seek to answer that very question in 2019, as Carmelo Anthony is gone, off to Houston and taking his “talents” (and by talents I mean washed-up negative-VORP ass) with him. Melo had a -1.1 VORP, which translates to three wins taken off the board compared to slotting a G-League player into his roster spot. The Thunder won 48 games last year and Vegas has them down for 50.5 this year. Do the math, folks, this isn’t going to …

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Does Russell Westbrook Help or Hurt the Thunder?

Russell Westbrook, by plenty of traditional basketball measures, is one of the biggest superstars in terms of production that the league has ever seen. But by a lot of those same measures, he’s also the most selfish stathound who ever cost his team wins by trying to do everything himself, like the rich man’s Lance Stephenson or, considering I’ve repeatedly called him “Dollar Store Westbrook” when writing about him, Lonzo Ball. The question at issue here is whether everything Westbrook does right—and when you average a triple double in two consecutive seasons when only one player in league history, Oscar …

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Carmelo Anthony Killed Paul George’s Career

It is the general consensus in Indiana at least that “the Pacers won the Paul George trade.” After all, the Pacers got Victor Oladipo, who didn’t need anyone to drop out due to injury in order to get into the All-Star Game. They got Domantas Sabonis, who went from statistically one of the league’s worst rookies in 2016-17 to an emerging star at center in 2017-18. And they also got a team that won 48 games in the regular season, gave Cleveland their toughest test on the road to the Finals (sorry Boston, you guys had home court advantage and …

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Breakfast Special: LeBron James, the One True GOAT

How do you even stop LeBron James when he’s determined to win a game and indeed a series by himself? LeBron had 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, hit 14-of-24 from the field and 15-of-15 from the line, plus the shot that for all intents and purposes ended this first-round series with the Pacers as the Cavaliers won Game 5 98-95: .@KingJames WINS IT AT THE BUZZER! 🚨👌🚨@cavs win 98-95 and take a 3-2 series lead!#NBAPlayoffs | #AllForOne pic.twitter.com/MhBB5YeoQA — NBA TV (@NBATV) April 26, 2018 Cleveland hit 26-of-27 from the free throw line as a team. There’s your analysis. …

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Breakfast Special: Carmelo Anthony’s Career Is Dead

Carmelo Anthony is washed up. After a dismal regular season in which he became one of only three players to play at least 2500 minutes with a negative Value Over Replacement Player (Andrew Wiggins and Harrison Barnes were the other two), Anthony has been a non-factor in the playoffs as the Thunder have fallen down 3-1 to the Jazz. Utah looks to become only the second road team in the first round of the playoffs since they went to a best-of-seven in 2003 to close out a five-game series on the road; the 2014 Wizards were the first, winning Game …

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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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