Pace and Space Broke Basketball Reference. Whoops!

On Tuesday, June 8, Pace and Space’s secured server (that little lock symbol in the browser bar that indicates an SSL certificate) went live. What this means in practical terms is that if we decide down the line to do anything that requires information to be encrypted (selling merch, creating a login-based forum or comments section, or just plain getting Google to improve our search rank because the algorithm prioritizes secure sites), the infrastructure is in place on the server end now. Trouble was, because the security didn’t work at first (if you were here and got a bunch of …

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Are We Seeing the Milwaukee Bucks’ Ceiling?

Thursday night, the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Brooklyn Nets 86-83, closing their series deficit to two games to one, with the home team having won all three contests so far. Unfortunately for the Bucks, that 86 points just happened to match their total when they got ritually slaughtered in Game 2 by a 125-86 score, and what’s more, the Bucks’ pathetic 94.5 Offensive Rating in the series so far does not augur well for them unless everyone on the team who isn’t Giannis Antetokounmpo or Khris Middleton suddenly remembers they’re professional basketball players and they start getting with the program. …

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Too Good Too Fast: The Mavericks’ Luka Doncic Problem

Consider a tale of two NBA franchises, one whose fans suffered a seeming eternity of futility packed into just five years or so, the other which suffered hardly at all as their rock bottom coincided with the departure of an old superstar and the arrival of a new hope. Now consider that the Philadelphia 76ers, whose protracted period of being so bad that “putrid” would be overrating them, have a core consisting of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Tobias Harris, solid veterans off the bench in Danny Green and Dwight Howard, and a spot in the second round of the …

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The Great Portland Trail Blazers Postmortem 2021

The Portland Trail Blazers have been an object of fascination for this here site ever since they got off to a spectacular 28-18 start despite at that point in the season having a negative Net Rating from having gotten their butts kicked by 20 points or more on seven separate occasions while having just two wins of that margin to their name. They seemed to spit in the face of the logic that great teams win big and lose close, and at the time I predicted that it would come back to bite them hard in the playoffs. And sure …

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You, Readers, Are Predictable And I Love You All For It

Sometimes, due to the fact that Pace and Space is not my primary (or even secondary; if you’re seeing ads on this site, they’re not because I’ve tried to monetize it, so there shouldn’t be ads here and you can block them with my blessing) source of income, I get sidetracked from basketball and get a little behind on the news. Like, for example, Damian Lillard scoring 55 points in a 147-140 loss to the Denver Nuggets in Game 5 of the Portland Trail Blazers’ ongoing first-round playoff series Tuesday night. I did not twig to this because I checked …

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The NBA Play-In Games Were Pointless And Dumb

LeBron James, talking about the play-in tournament that his Lakers were unable to avoid as a result of tiebreakers in their three-way tie for fifth place in the Western Conference, said “whoever thought of it should be fired.” For the Lakers, this made sense, because in any normal season where the top eight teams simply get into the playoffs, James and Anthony Davis could’ve been shut down for the regular season, and if the Lakers finished seventh, so what? They’d still be in the playoffs with no concern. As it stood, they had to make a stretch run to stay …

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In Search of the WNBA Goat Part 3: The Winner!

Welcome, the small and dedicated subset of you who care about my thoughts about women’s basketball. When last we left off, we’d narrowed down the WNBA GOAT debate to two names, one with an impressive advanced stat profile across a long career, the other the face of a championship franchise without a men’s team to divide the city’s attention. The former is Tamika Catchings, longtime Indiana Fever stalwart and 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame inductee. The latter is Lauren Jackson, who if nothing else has on lock the greatest-of-all-time moniker in her native Australia. Let’s put them together for a …

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In Search of the WNBA GOAT (Part 2: WS/40)

Trying to rank the greatest men in NBA history by Win Shares produces an interesting magic number of sorts. Every NBA player who has at least 125 career Win Shares is either in the Hall of Fame already or will be once he is eligible—the list of those latter guys includes LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Paul, Paul Pierce, Pau Gasol, James Harden, Dwight Howard, and Vince Carter. Nobody in WNBA history has 125 career Win Shares. The seasons are only 34 games long, after all, but there’s still a Mendoza Line of sorts. If we assume that Diana Taurasi …

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In Search of the WNBA GOAT (Part 1: Rings and Counting Stats)

The men’s NBA has a pretty well-settled debate on who its true greatest of the great are, the players who go beyond the Hall of Fame and onto discussions of a would-be Mount Rushmore. If you’re the type to count rings, Bill Russell is (and will quite possibly always be) the greatest. Nobody is ever winning 11 championships again. Even LeBron James reaching Russell’s 12 career NBA Finals will be tainted by “Russell went 11-1 and James went (if he wins them all from here out) however many-and-6.” If you want to deal in counting stats, until someone scores their …

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The COVID Vaccine and the NBA Feeling Like Itself Again

As this goes to press, my arm hurts like hell at the injection site where I got my second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine a couple of days ago. I woke up this morning feeling like I’d been hit by a car; that was apparently what the great random number generator that powers the universe rolled on the dice for me. But as I shook it off, I read a report in the New York Times that suggested that the US Centers for Disease Control is finally coming around to the idea that fully vaccinated people are safer than …

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