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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Damian Lillard: Is He Any Good?

Oh man, I can’t wait for Twitter to slam me for the headline. “Damian Lillard? He’s great! MVP candidate!” Settle down, Beavis. What we’re asking here is, as is normally the case when we’re talking MVP-candidate-level players, whether Lillard is truly worthy of that kind of consideration. If we were writing about, say, Evan Turner, we’d be asking if he was a waste of money and establishing he was good if he wasn’t. (He is.) As on the show from which this series’ premise shamelessly cribs, you have to remember what the “myth” is before it being busted or confirmed …

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Sorting Out 2018 NBA West Playoffs Tiebreakers, Part 1

Welcome back to our efforts to sort out the giant NBA car crash that is the playoff race and all the potential tiebreakers. I’m trying to make this as complete as possible while also making it plausible. Sadly, when Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, and the Trail Blazers lost to the Grizzlies on Wednesday, what was already a mess with seven teams all alive to go anywhere from fourth through tenth just became six teams within four games of each other from three through eight. The East at least had two distinct groups around a common linchpin—the Cavs-Sixers-Pacers 3-4-5 race and …

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Breakfast Special: Eat Your Heart Out, Paul George

If Kevin Pritchard isn’t Executive of the Year for trading Paul George to Oklahoma City for what looked like spare parts and a bag of basketballs and managing to improve the team, then there simply is no justice in the NBA anymore. The Pacers beat Miami 113-107 in overtime, riding late-game heroics from Darren Collison to a 43-31 record through 74 games; Indiana went 42-40 in 2016-17. With just three wins in their last eight games, Indiana will post its best record since going 56-26 in the 2013-14 season, a year in which they made the Eastern Conference Finals and …

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Breakfast Special: A Glorious Day Without Tanking

Hey you. Reader. Did you spend Sunday watching college basketball, trying to fool yourself into believing that it’s better than the pros and a more pure form of the sport and whatever other trash we dredge up before a team that I legit confused with Maryland-Eastern Shore but was actually Maryland-Baltimore County busted everyone’s bracket like for real we didn’t even get past Friday before every single entry in every single bracket tournament was, like that jackpot in the Powerball a couple of years ago that rolled up to $1.4 billion because everyone played when it was $900 million and …

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Breakfast Special: Panic Time in San Antonio

It wasn’t long ago that the San Antonio Spurs were the solid third seed in the Western Conference, a team that even without Kawhi Leonard looked like they were well on their way to a 19th straight 50-win season. As of this writing, the Spurs are no longer a playoff team. The Rockets, behind 28 points on 6-of-17 shooting from James Harden (yes, really; he was 14-of-14 from the line), beat San Antonio 109-93 to take their 19th win in their last 20 games. Houston has a reputation, and a deserved one, for living and dying by the three-pointer, and …

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Breakfast Special: Never the Clippers’ Day

The Los Angeles Clippers have been the whipping boy of the 8 seed in the Western Conference. Fighting for their playoff lives, just when they get a chance to consolidate a position and move forward, they run face-first into Anthony Davis and his 41 points in the Pelicans’ 121-116 win at Staples Center. The Pelicans, left for dead after DeMarcus Cousins got hurt, have now won nine in a row to go to 37-26, just one game back of Portland (!) for the 3 seed out west. Davis went 17-of-31 from the field in this one, while Jrue Holiday scored …

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Breakfast Special: Lonzo Ball Does More With Less

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar once said of Magic Johnson that Magic could take three shots and still impact the game. Considering Lonzo Ball led the Lakers at plus-24 despite shooting the ball only five times (making three), all while scoring eight points, grabbing six rebounds, dishing seven assists, and yanking six steals, maybe Kareem’s remarks should be updated to the Lakers’ scoring-deficient young rookie. The scoring portion of the program was brought to you by Isaiah Thomas (29 points off the bench) and Julius Randle (25, on 8-of-13 and a stellar 9-of-9 from the line) as the Lakers pummeled the Heat in …

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Breakfast Special: Not Good Enough, Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant scored 50 points against the Portland Trail Blazers. His teammates, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, together scored 50 between them (17 each for the Splash Brothers, 16 for Dray.) The Warriors lost to Portland 123-117. Damian Lillard tossed in 44 and C.J. McCollum added 29 as the two scored their 73 points on 26-of-51 shooting. How utterly putrid were the Warriors’ non-stars? Try 17 points on 8-of-18 shooting (44.4 percent), 0-of-3 from three, and just 1-of-2 from the line. Oh, and it’s not like Steph and Klay were sharpshooters out there; they shot a combined 12-of-32 …

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Breakfast Special: Featuring Damian Lillard’s All-Star Beef Sandwich

Man, sometimes you just want to skip ahead to the lightning round, with a fairly modest slate of games in terms of playoff implications. But then Russell Westbrook goes out and beefs with Damian Lillard about the latter’s All-Star selection and the snubbing of Paul George, and it’s on like Donkey Kong. Mind you, the Blazers didn’t play Oklahoma City—that would’ve been too perfect—but instead took it out on the Minnesota Timberwolves at home by a 123-114 count. Lillard laid the smackdown on Minnesota, scoring 31 points to lead Portland in a game where defense was for suckers; the Blazers …

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