State of the Site 2021

The NBA Finals have come and gone, and we will once again return to 82-game seasons and mid-October starts in the season to come. For the first time since 2019, stats won’t have to be prorated to compare to other seasons—with 72 games for everyone in 2021 and a variety of game totals from 64 to 75 in 2020, matching everything to 82-game rate stats has been a mess. Which means good things for basketball fans; we don’t have to wait until Christmas for the season to start or end up sitting on our hands for five months while a …

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The Weird, Wacky Past of the 1970s Bucks and Suns

As the Phoenix Suns jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 2021 NBA Finals, handily beating the Milwaukee Bucks 118-105 on Tuesday, I got to thinking if they’d ever met in the playoffs before. “But Fox,” you may object, “the Bucks haven’t been to the Finals since 1974, and the other two times they played for the title, it was against the Celtics and the Bullets. What do the Suns have to do with that?” Well, you’ll notice for one thing that those two prior Finals appearances featured the Bucks as champions of the Western Conference. You’ll also notice …

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The Changing Face of Chris Paul’s Legacy

Chris Paul is officially out of the discussion of “greatest player never to make the NBA Finals.” On the one hand, that’s a nice little backhanded compliment to Steve Nash, who resumes his place as the holder of that honor, depending on how you feel about Pete Maravich or Dominique Wilkins. CP3 was and is better than any of those guys, but now that he’s made the Finals, he’s graduated off the list for that dubious honor. The question now becomes whether Paul can get over the hump, beat the Bucks or Hawks (Milwaukee leads the East finals 3-2 as …

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Speaking Too Soon: The 2021 Eastern Conference Finals

You ever read something and think “man, I need an editor?” Because in my piece “The Terrible Coach Redemption Tour”, I asserted that Steve Nash was coaching in the conference finals. This is what happens when you have a deadline, Game 7 of the conference semis are still to be played, and of course you’re going to be spending the next five days working a contract gig full-time that’s nowhere near your home studio. The Milwaukee Bucks won Game 7 over the Brooklyn Nets. And of course I didn’t get time to write about it until Saturday. Gods help me. …

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2021 Playoffs: The Terrible Coach Redemption Tour

Editor’s Note: I made the mistake of assuming Brooklyn would win Game 7 of the East semis and wrote this column accordingly. Of course, Milwaukee won that game, so Mike Budenholzer, not Steve Nash, is coaching against McMillan and the Hawks in the ECF. Pace and Space regrets the error. The NBA was, for decades, a coaches’ league. Great leaders like Gregg Popovich, Phil Jackson, and Pat Riley became synonymous with the teams they led to greatness and were linked to the careers of their star players in Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan (and later Kobe Bryant), and Magic Johnson. In …

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Atlanta Hawks: Living and Dying by Trae Young

Trae Young is simultaneously the most promising and frustrating young scorer in the NBA, and the Atlanta Hawks, as much as they’ve shocked the world as a 5 seed first by destroying the equally upstart 4 seed New York Knicks in the first round and then by taking a 3-2 lead on the Philadelphia 76ers so far in Round 2, are living and dying by him. Young, even though he’s three years into his career, all but guaranteed a giant extension this offseason as he enters the final year of his rookie contract, and has an All-Star appearance under his …

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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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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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