T.J. Warren: King of the NBA Bubble

T.J. Warren has been an absolute tour de force for the Indiana Pacers as the team has gone 4-1 in five games so far in the NBA’s restart, clinching the tiebreaker against the Philadelphia 76ers with a win to open the eight-game slate at Disney World and knocking off the championship favorite Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night. Warren has cooked a 50 burger, dropping 53 points in that Sixers game, and he’s served up the fries and Coke with 34.8 points per game overall and four games with at least 32 points on the board, including 39 in that …

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Learning How to Win: The Renaissance of T.J. Warren

Back toward the beginning of the season, I applied some history from my days as a boxing writer to surmise that there are some NBA players who, by virtue of playing on Dumpster fire teams for their early careers, learn how to lose and as such become liabilities when the game is on the line. One of my examples, Kemba Walker, was one of the worst clutch players in the league when he was in Charlotte, shooting atrocious percentages in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter and overtime when shooting to tie or take the lead. And for …

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T.J. Warren and the “Loser’s Mentality”

In the earliest days of my writing career, I covered boxing, specifically as a beat writer reporting on ESPN’s old Friday Night Fights series between 2011 and 2013 (and again during the 2015 season.) On that show, which featured up-and-coming fighters getting TV exposure on their way to a title shot, there were plenty of guys who built up gaudy records on the club circuit but could never translate that into success at even the “mid-major” (to put it in college basketball terms) level. Those guys, once they’d lost a few close decisions or been knocked out once or twice, …

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