Breakfast Special: LaMarcus Chamberlain

The San Antonio Spurs, using the three-pointer like a sniper rifle, made 16 such baskets on only 19 tries, an 84.2 percent clip. They shot 56.6 percent from the field overall. Made 56 field goals in the game. Scored 130 points in regulation. Even shot 89.7 percent from the free throw line. And LaMarcus Aldridge scored 56 (!) points on 20-of-33 shooting without even so much as attempting a three like he was latter-day Wilt Chamberlain. And yet somehow the Oklahoma City Thunder forced them to play 10 extra minutes of basketball before finally falling against the overwhelming assault of …

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The Spurs’ Success Is in Spite of, Not Because of, Gregg Popovich

Earlier this week, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer wrote a fantastic breakdown of the San Antonio Spurs’ offense that is well-written, eye-opening, and dead wrong. In it, O’Connor correctly points out that the Spurs, since December 1 (and through games of January 2) have the best offensive rating in the NBA despite shooting the lowest percentage of their shots from three-point range. And on the day that piece ran Thursday, the Spurs didn’t just beat the Toronto Raptors, they pulled their pants down, stole their lunch money, and kicked their bare asses back to Canada. It was a 125-107 beatdown …

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Breakfast Special: DeMar Ate Kawhi’s Breakfast

San Antonio was up 45-19 before Toronto even got their pants on for this one, and that was a minute into the second quarter. And while the Raptors outscored the Spurs the rest of the way and lost by “just” 18, 125-107, the point was made: Gregg Popovich is not here for your criticism of his stars and their two-point shooting. DeMar DeRozan got his first career triple-double against his old team, scoring 21 points on 7-of-15 from the field and 7-of-7 from the line. He added 14 rebounds and dished 11 assists to make it official. Kawhi Leonard, meanwhile, …

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Breakfast Special: Wait, Are the Spurs Back?

The San Antonio Spurs have come charging back from the dead during the back half of December, and they capped off 2018 with an impressive 120-111 home win over the Celtics that included a monster 46-point third quarter, where the 16-point swing in the scoreboard proved too much for a Boston squad that had to that point played solid defense. It was 23-17 for the visitors after the first quarter, after all. Davis Bertans was 5-of-8 from three, Bryn Forbes was 3-of-7, and Patty Mills was 3-of-6, and while the Spurs’ stars—DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge—continue to be All-Stars only …

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Breakfast Special: Welcome Home, Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose, take me home, to the court where I belong, West Chicago, United Center, welcome home, Derrick Rose. Now that you’ve got that earworm kicking around your brain, it was a fantastic homecoming for Rose and the Timberwolves, who smashed the Bulls 119-94 to keep the never-ending curious case of the Western Conference lottery teams going. Minnesota’s now won two in a row, moved their point differential to even and their record to 16-18, bounced off the 14 spot (although New Orleans, at 15-20, risks sinking into the inky abyss of a team that’s actually going to fail to …

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Rudy Gay: Is He Any Good?

The San Antonio Spurs are one of the most enigmatic offenses in the league. On the one hand, coach Gregg Popovich’s disdain for the three-pointer and the front office’s insistence on getting guys who can’t even shoot them—LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan—makes it all the more likely that their offense is going to happen entirely inside the arc like it’s 1975. But there Rudy Gay is, hitting 45.2 percent of his three-point shots, and at one point earlier this season, he had led the league at over 50 percent. What we’re asking of the 32-year-old Gay here is not “can …

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Breakfast Special: 26-of-55 From Three. OK, That’s the NBA Now.

The Houston Rockets had been moving away from the three-point shot a little too much in recent games, as teams defending the perimeter took away their ball movement and their ability to find the good looks from out there that are the team’s bread and butter. Well, you know how you remedy that? You catch the Washington Freaking Wizards on a SEGABABA after they lost to the Hawks the previous night and pound them like cheap steak, exposing their awful defense and hitting an NBA-record 26 three-pointers (on 55 attempts!) in a 136-118 beatdown. My gods, it was a thing …

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The Greatest Defensive Teams in NBA History

In a basketball era where scoring is completely off the charts and the NBA seems to break its league-wide record for Offensive Rating with each passing season and with every made three-pointer, in a world gone mad where even centers like Brook Lopez are making eight triples in a game, and in a league where defense would, it seems, be a thing of the past, there are still great teams having great defensive seasons. After all, if the average team scores 110.1 points per game (as the NBA is league-wide this year, with a 109.7 Offensive Rating because pace is …

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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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Breakfast Special: Even Boban Cannot Save You

When Boban Marjanovic has one of those HERO OF SERBIA games off the bench, shoots 7-of-9, leads the Clippers with 18 points in just 16 minutes, pulls down seven rebounds, and keeps the game within the margin (he was minus-1) in that time frame, that’s a good sign for Los Angeles. Unfortunately, that was just the third of the game that wasn’t total garbage for the Clips, as the Raptors pounded them like cheap steak 123-99 in a game that was over by the end of the third quarter, when the score was 103-74. Serge Ibaka had 25 points to …

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