Breakfast Special: How the West Was Won

Don’t look now, but the Western Conference has a first-place tie again, all while the battle at the bottom of the bracket has intensified to the point where every possible combination between the Warriors, Nuggets, and Rockets at one end and…well, everyone else at the other end…is in play for the first round of the playoffs. Along the same lines, the eighth-place Clippers, at 41-30, are on pace for a 47 or 48 win season. If Sacramento wins out, they’ll go 47-35. It’s all over but the seeding, and speaking of that… A Playoff Game 3 in the Regular Season …

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Breakfast Special: Competitive Games Are For Suckers

The NBA put on seven games for the entertainment of the viewing public Tuesday night. Only two of them were anyone’s idea of competitive in the fourth quarter, and a third finished with the tightest final score margin (five) but the team that won was up 14 with little enough time left in the game that it would’ve been bonkers had they not put the game on ice (give it up for Darren Collison, and we’ll get to the Pacers-Knicks game shortly.) The rest of them were either double-digit blowouts or a Spurs-Mavs game where every time Dallas looked like …

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Breakfast Special: The Pacers Stink on National TV

Smart Pacers fans knew to watch anything besides ABC yesterday, as smart Pacers fans saw the 106-89 beatdown—featuring 30 second-half points and some of the worst shooting the team’s put up all year—coming down Broad Street in Philadelphia with its doors open. Take a returning Joel Embiid, on the road, on national TV, and that’s a perfect storm for the 76ers to dominate, and so (at least after halftime) they dominated, all while Pacers fans resigned ourselves to wishing we had the dulcet tones of Chris Denari and Quinn Buckner on Fox Sports Indiana/League Pass to soothe our souls instead …

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Breakfast Special: Achtung Panzer!

The New York Knicks just played the most important game of their season, a showdown in Phoenix with the future of the franchise at stake. And the Knicks gloriously lost the game 107-96, getting out on the dance floor to do the Prokhorovka Shuffle and pull a game and a half ahead of the Suns for last place in the NBA; the Knicks are 13-52 against the Suns’ 15-51. Great work, New York. Devin Booker, a guy who exists in a weird vacuum where he puts up All-Star scoring numbers and does absolutely nothing beyond that to help his team …

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Breakfast Special: Upset With the World

Upset mania was in full swing in the NBA Monday night, as the Phoenix Suns beat the Milwaukee Bucks, the New Orleans Pelicans went on the road and smacked the Utah Jazz, and the San Antonio Spurs showed the Denver Nuggets that there will be no easy outs in the playoffs (which seems to always be the case in the West, doesn’t it?) And we’ll get to all of those games. But regular readers of Pace and Space know that I can’t resist an opportunity to crack open a bottle of Haterade, and you know what that means… #LOLakers The …

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Breakfast Special: Even the Spurs Can’t Lose to Memphis

The San Antonio Spurs bandwagon has been sliding around out of control like a Seattle driver in last Saturday’s snow traffic ever since the team left for the Rodeo Road Trip. The Spurs, before they beat Memphis 108-107 in the House That 24-Second Violations Built, had lost four in a row. But when the Grizzlies are running out the likes of Avery Bradley to start at guard (even though Bradley did have 33 points), Mike Conley is a DNP-CD, and Marc Gasol is in Toronto, even the Spurs, crashing back to earth as their antiquated style of basketball and your …

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Breakfast Special: Thunder Up!

Jeff Van Gundy once went after the obsession basketball fans have with triple-doubles, saying that just because you get 10 of three different categories doesn’t mean you had a better game than the guy who scored 30 but only got five rebounds and five assists. Case in point, the Oklahoma City Thunder, who got a triple-double out of Russell Westbrook (13 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists) but in a cause where Westbrook had a terrible night shooting (5-of-20) and overall did not play particularly well. No, the reason Oklahoma City pulled off the 118-112 win at home over the Milwaukee …

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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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