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: Don’t Blame Me, I Voted For McCollum

Oh, thank the gods the midterm election season is over. That’s one less distraction on Twitter when I have a deadline on this column. (Initiative 1631 went down in Washington. 1634 passed. And Dino Rossi is a slime mold masquerading as a human being. That’s all the politics you’re ever getting from me in this space. Move the Orlando Magic to Seattle. Now then. On with the show.) CJ McCollum had 40 points on 17-of-26 shooting and 5-of-10 from deep, Evan Turner (!) had 16 points and 11 rebounds off the bench, and the Bucks got absolutely nothing out of …

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Breakfast Special: Bucks Fall in Eastern Conference Finals Preview

The NBA raised so many questions Thursday night. Between the Celtics handing the Bucks their first loss of the season in the cause of going to 6-2, the Trail Blazers leaving a lot of people wondering if they’re a dark horse in the West after their nationally-televised win over New Orleans, and Sacramento doing what good teams do and thumping a bad team on the road, the NBA sure seems bent on raising more questions than it answers these days. But we begin with… The Lamb of Greekazoid Back during the old days, when titans like Michael Jordan and Kobe …

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Breakfast Special: Houston, You Have A Problem

The ghost of Carmelo Anthony‘s career has cast a specter of evil over the Rockets’ locker room after an exorcism in Oklahoma City went horribly wrong. Indeed, both franchises are haunted now. The Rockets got spanked at home, 104-85, by a Portland Trail Blazers team that was on a road SEGABABA after having disposed of the Pacers Monday night. Which means either the 5-2 Blazers are for real…or the 1-5 Rockets are really that bad. Damian Lillard (8-of-10) and CJ McCollum (7-of-13) combined for 41 points, Jusuf Nurkic added 22 on 7-of-10, and Portland made just two fewer (10-8) three-pointers …

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Breakfast Special: The Education of Lonzo Ball

Are we seeing LeBron James singlehandedly turn Lonzo Ball into a quality NBA player? Because in Lonzo’s past two starts since Rajon Rondo got suspended, he’s 10-of-19 from the field, 3-of-8 from long range, and even though he’s still one of the worst in the league at willing his way to the line, that’s not terribly surprising for any second-year guard (and he has hit four of his five free throw attempts this season.) Throw out the Portland game (in which Lonzo went 2-of-7) and he’s averaging 13 points a game on 52.6 percent shooting and 43.5 percent from three-point …

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Breakfast Special: LeBron Bean Bryant

So my one-game-sample-size overreaction to the Portland Trail Blazers’ 128-119 win over the Los Angeles Lakers last night could be best describe as “these are the 2006 Lakers, Lonzo Ball is Smush Parker, and LeBron James is Kobe Bryant.” I am reminded why I don’t turn comments on around here. Go follow @RealFoxD if you want to call me an idiot. Seriously, though, Ball is up to his old tricks again, as he shot 28.6 percent from the field and 25 percent from three (2-of-7 and 1-of-4 respectively.) Oh, and he played just 19 minutes because the Lakers got a …

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Are the 2018-19 Portland Trail Blazers Good?

The difference between third and ninth in the Western Conference in 2017-18 was three games, and it was the same difference between first and last in the Northwest Division. The Portland Trail Blazers beat the Utah Jazz on the last day of the season to wrap up the division title, and even though they summarily got smoked by the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round of the playoffs, the Blazers were a 49-win team and are getting their Big Three of Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, and Jusuf Nurkic back intact for another crack at NBA glory. The question remains, …

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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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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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