Breakfast Special: Get Rich or Die Tryin’, James Harden

James Harden dropped a 50-cent piece on the Lakers, and just for good measure, he added 10 rebounds and 11 assists because he’s playin’ 2K on the XBone while the rest of us are all playing “Lakers Vs. Celtics and the NBA Playoffs” on the old Sega. Of course, it helps that Harden is the darling of the referees, as he shot 18-of-19 from the free throw line, but any time you go 14-of-26 from the field, even if you shoot like hot garbage on three-pointers (4-of-12), you done good, son, especially since the reeling Rockets proved one of the …

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Trevor Ariza Breaks NBA Advanced Stats

As a general rule, advanced stats tend to move in, if not lockstep, at least some reasonable degree of correlation with each other. Higher PER, higher win shares. Higher Win Shares/48, higher Box Plus/Minus. Better BPM, better VORP. And in any combination thereof, when one stat moves, so do the others. But there’s one very notable exception; PER tends to undervalue catch-and-shoot wings. Need examples? Well, earlier this week I pointed out that Bojan Bogdanovic has a PER better than league average (15, by definition and baked in the stat) in just one season in his career, namely this one, …

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Breakfast Special: Devin Booker’s Fragile Body

Devin Booker continues to suffer the slings and arrows of one minor injury after another. He left the Suns’ 120-96 loss to the Lakers Sunday with Los Angeles up 49-43 in what would prove to be a 40-15 outburst in the second quarter. Booker was plus-6 for the game. No good can come of this for an already gods-awful Phoenix team that now stands 4-19 in the standings, a 14-68 pace by record and 12-70 by point differential. On the Lakers’ side of things, Kyle Kuzma led the scoring with 23, LeBron James had 22, six Lakers scored in double …

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Are the 2018-19 Phoenix Suns Good?

The Phoenix Suns finally hit rock bottom just in time for the DeAndre Ayton Sweepstakes in 2017-18. They should, if the NBA’s insistence—as in other sports—that parity is powered by the draft is true, be a much better team before too long. But “before too long” and “one year after going 21-61” aren’t quite the same thing. Is there anything on this roster than can actually contribute right away to getting off the floor? Or are we about to settle in for a Philadelphia Process in the Pacific Division? 2017-18 record: 21-61 2018-19 over/under: 28.5 Ayton All The Donuts Ayton …

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NBA Breakfast Special: The Pistons’ Letdown Game

When the Detroit Pistons had a big win over the Golden State Warriors on the road, it was only a matter of time before they suffered one hell of a letdown game. Sure enough, that deal with the devil came due on Halloween night, as Staples Center became a house of horrors against the Los Angeles Lakers. LA shredded the Pistons for a .495/.462/.786 slash line, shot 14 free throws to the Pistons’ 3, won the rebound battle 53-44 and the assist battle 30-21, and watched HERO OF SERBIA get a DNP-CD in a 20-point game (free the Boban!) Avery …

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Is This 2018 NBA Team Any Good?: Phoenix Suns

by Fox Doucette For every yin, there is a yang, and for every Golden State Warriors squad tearing up the top of the league and redefining the word dynasty for a modern age, there is a sad-sack franchise with a cheapskate owner and no discernible leadership doomed perpetually to suck. Say hello to your 2017-18 Phoenix Suns, folks, as easy a case of Busted as the Dubs were Confirmed. Let’s unpack the sad tale of a pathetic franchise, which spends every waking moment of its life in the futile pursuit of a sadistic playoff berth, which mocks them and laughs …

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