Breakfast Special: Better Than the Oscars

If the Academy Awards taught us anything last night, it’s that there’s nothing Hollywood loves more than performative wokeness in the service of its own racism.

But this is a basketball column, so I’m not going to rant about “Green Book” winning Best Picture, instead choosing to rant about the NBA sticking us with three games that were anything but Oscar bait.

But on the other hand…

The Knicks Are an Ed Wood Jr. Movie

New York beat San Antonio because they can’t even tank right (or San Antonio is a disaster on the road, take your pick.)

Earlier this year, I said that the Spurs’ lack of willingness to play modern basketball and get three-point shots up at anything resembling an acceptable rate in 2019 would come back to bite them hard on the Rodeo Road Trip.

On the trip in question, San Antonio is 1-6, the lone win a one-point victory at Memphis before the All-Star Game.

And now they just gave up 130 points to the Knicks in a 130-118 defeat.

The Knicks shot 16-of-37 for three; the Spurs shot 6-of-24.

Damyean Dotson led the Knicks with 27 points, hitting more threes by himself (8-of-13) than the Spurs did as a team.

Dennis Smith Jr. added 19 points and 13 assists, while Kevin Knox kept the double-double train rolling with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

The only thing keeping the Spurs in this game at all were free throws; they made 28-of-31 (90.3 percent) to keep what would otherwise have been a blowout score respectable.

Dotson’s your man of the match:

Denver Clips the Clips

The Nuggets beat the Clippers 123-96, riding 22 points and 16 rebounds from Nikola Jokic plus 21 points and 16 rebounds from Paul Millsap to a brutal beatdown that was as good as over after three quarters, when the Nuggets, leading 97-77, already had enough points to win the game.

The Clippers, a team that like San Antonio has a conceptual problem with three-pointers (seriously, Doc Rivers‘ case of Scott-Hollins Syndrome is very real), shot just 3-of-21 from long range.

The Nuggets, meanwhile, shot 12-of-34. Denver won the game by 27 points and made nine more threes. You do the math.

And once again, the only reason this game wasn’t even uglier was free throws; the Clippers made 33-of-37.

Give it up for the big guys:

Raptors Embarrassed

Losing at home during an NBA season happens. No team can be laser-focused and knife-edge sharp for all 82 games.

But losing at home to the Orlando Magic by 15 points? C’mon, Toronto, you’re better than that 113-98 scoreline.

Toronto just flat-out couldn’t shoot the ball, hitting just 41.8 percent of their shots from the field, and they got bullied on the boards to the tune of a 52-42 rebounding deficit.

Nikola Vucevic hit 10-of-17 shots to post 23 points, Terrence Ross went wild off the bench for 28, and Aaron Gordon made up for an awful 2-of-11 shooting night by posting seven points, seven rebounds, six assists, and a team-best plus-12.

Meanwhile, a team that has both Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka on the roster got beaten for blocked shots 8-2. Nice work getting clean shots, Orlando.

Ross is the man of the match, powering a big fourth quarter for the win:

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a good rant, hasn’t it? Lucky for you folks, I’ve seen a catchphrase of the casuals making the social media rounds, and I put it in the crosshairs later today.

Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!