Breakfast Special: Rondo Alla Draymond Verdi

On Star Wars Day, balance was restored to the Force in the NBA Western Conference semifinals. In New Orleans, “the losing team in a five-game series wins Game 3” was in full effect as the Pelicans beat the Golden State Warriors 119-100. And in Utah, the Houston Rockets just up and decided to remind the Jazz that winning one game on the road does not automatically mean you then go on to win the series in six. Don’t believe me? Ask us Pacers fans. We begin in the Big Easy, where Rajon Rondo and Draymond Green got a little chippy …

Read More

Breakfast Special: Praise the Basketball Gods, Utah

A heresy is brewing in Mormon country, as apostates embrace the deities of the hardwood. No, not Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and LeBron James. Not even John Stockton and Karl Malone. I’m talking the Basketball Gods, those divine purveyors of plot device for many a beleaguered sportswriter in need of a miracle to come up with some way to explain just what on this mortal plane happened in Houston Wednesday night. Because holy hell, the Utah Jazz just shot 60 percent from the free throw line, lost the turnover battle 16-7, watched Donovan Mitchell shoot like he was blindfolded (6-of-21, …

Read More

Breakfast Special: Victor Oladipo’s Excellent Triple-Double Adventure

What on earth happened in Indianapolis? I mean, I’ve been over Game 6. The video footage. The play-by-play. The game flow. Everything. And the Pacers just flat-out destroyed the Cleveland Cavaliers 121-87, shredding them like sensitive documents in a politician’s office in the second half, including a 35-20 third quarter that effectively iced the game. Victor Oladipo had a triple-double, scoring 28 points, pulling 13 rebounds, and dishing 10 assists. The Pacers overall put up a Total Team Effort—in the playoffs!—in which all five starters plus Domantas Sabonis and Lance Stephenson got into double figures. And the Cavaliers…well, LeBron James …

Read More

Breakfast Special: Carmelo Anthony’s Career Is Dead

Carmelo Anthony is washed up. After a dismal regular season in which he became one of only three players to play at least 2500 minutes with a negative Value Over Replacement Player (Andrew Wiggins and Harrison Barnes were the other two), Anthony has been a non-factor in the playoffs as the Thunder have fallen down 3-1 to the Jazz. Utah looks to become only the second road team in the first round of the playoffs since they went to a best-of-seven in 2003 to close out a five-game series on the road; the 2014 Wizards were the first, winning Game …

Read More

Breakfast Special: Cavs Win By Three Referees

LeBron James scored 46 points. Victor Oladipo committed two quick fouls early, ended up with six turnovers, and yet managed to be plus-11 in a game Indiana lost 100-97. Cleveland attempted 22 free throws to Indiana’s 12. From where you’re kneeling, must look like an 18-karat run of bad luck. Truth is? The game was rigged from the start. But seriously, what a monster game from LeBron, calling back to Game 6 in Boston in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals. 46 points on 17-of-24 shooting, more made (10) and attempted (13) free throws than the entire Pacers team (9-of-12), 12 …

Read More

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 …

Read More
Image via Bob Evans Restaurants

Breakfast Special: For the West Is Wild And No Team Shall Die Softly

The Jazz, Spurs, Thunder, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Nuggets, and Clippers are locked in Mortal Kombat…er, mortal combat…for five spots in the playoffs available to the seven of them, even if the net result of all this is one team getting smacked by the Rockets and another by the Warriors in the second round of the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Eastern Conference just saw its five seed more or less locked in thanks to all this West madness, which brings us to our top story… A Rivalry As Old As the ABA The Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets met for the first time …

Read More

Sorting Out 2018 NBA West Playoffs Tiebreakers, Part 2

We’ve got one major set of playoff scenarios left in the Western Conference. Part 1 of the West covered the current 3 through 8 seeds, but we’re going to keep things simple in the second part. Why? Well, besides the fact that we covered just about every plausible scenario involving the Thunder, Pelicans, Spurs, Timberwolves, and Jazz in one go? If we add in the Clippers and/or Nuggets, all the who-beats-whom just basically reverts back to stuff we’ve already covered. So with that in mind, we’re going to restrict this to… WEST 7 Through 10 (Minnesota, Utah, LA Clippers, and …

Read More

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 …

Read More

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 …

Read More