State of the Site 2022

The 2022 NBA season was a return to normalcy in more ways than one. For the first time since 2019, the league played an 82-game season. And like 2019, the Golden State Warriors ended up being the class of the Western Conference and ultimately won the title. The Celtics were contenders in the East and made the conference finals, this time actually breaking through to the big show at the end before falling short. Pace and Space chugged along, even though the site’s content dropped to weekly once my return to in-office work last fall officially put an end to …

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Kevin Durant, Stephen A. Smith, and Eleanor Roosevelt

“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt Kevin Durant and Stephen A. Smith got into a beef on Twitter last week over the former accusing the latter of ruining the NBA while the latter complained that the league’s shift toward marketing personalities—Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and every other star great and small—in the 1990s set the league up for its issues in the past couple of years where TV ratings fell off a cliff in as much time as it took LeBron’s Lakers to collapse. Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics, a team that …

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The 2022 Boston Celtics Broke NBA Playoff History

A funny thing happened in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Boston Celtics, a team that has perennially been not quite good enough to win a title but good enough to make a serious run at one since 2017, a team right out of the 1980s in the sense of “every Western Conference team other than the Rockets that couldn’t beat Magic Johnson in the conference finals”, finally broke through. And when they beat the Miami Heat in Game 7, the team that had thwarted them in the COVID bubble in 2020, they absolutely turned on its head everything we all …

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2022 Playoffs: Too Many Series, Not Enough Drama

Between having a full-time job with one heck of a commute between the city and the suburbs, living on the West Coast, and having had my evenings occupied with getting my new apartment set up the way I like it, I have generally been too busy to watch many games this past week. But checking in with ESPN and Basketball Reference and committing that cardinal sin of the writer of letting the box score do the job of actually watching the games, I can’t help but think I haven’t missed anything important. Sure, Minnesota’s giving Memphis all they wanted in …

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The Boston Celtics’ “Only Very Good” Problem

The Boston Celtics, by virtue of having won a convoluted three-way tiebreaker, took the 2 seed in the 2022 Eastern Conference. If they can get past the 7-seed Brooklyn Nets and the winner of the 3-seed Milwaukee Bucks and 6-seed Chicago Bulls in the second round, it will be Boston’s fourth appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals in the past six seasons stretching back to 2017. The problem is that Boston hasn’t broken through and gone to the NBA Finals since 2010. And for a franchise whose 17 championships stand tied with the rival Los Angeles Lakers for the most …

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5 Ways to Fix the Broken NBA Playoffs

The NBA playoffs are nearly upon us, and with them come a couple of games guaranteed to involve a team that posted a losing record (the two West play-in game teams, plus the Clippers if they lose their last two; they’re 40-40 at this writing.) The play-in games are pointless, and if the 34-46 Spurs lose their last two regular-season games and somehow turn it around in the play-in tournament, that 34-48 record will be the worst record by a playoff team since the 1988 Spurs got in after going 31-51. On the other hand, the East is showing why …

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With the #LOLakers Dead, What’s LeBron Got Left?

LeBron James is, at this point, playing purely for his legacy, putting any finishing touches he can on his GOAT argument before age catches up with him for good and sends him into retirement. Bron’s got four rings, including a ring in Cleveland in 2016 that came for his hometown against a team that went 73-9 in the regular season and had a 3-1 lead in the Finals. He’s got a “career triple double”, having notched his 10,000th rebound and 10,000th assist during this 2021-22 season to put the finishing touches on an accomplishment that no other player in NBA …

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The Annual Anti-Play-In Games Rant

If ever there were a concept in sports that bore repeating until the sun burned out its supply of hydrogen and the Earth burned up in the corona of a red giant star enveloping it in five or ten or however many billion years the solar system has left, it is this: The NBA Play-In Tournament is STUPID with a capital stupid. You could make the argument that the Eastern Conference at least hasn’t made a complete garbage fire out of it this year, as the 10th-place Atlanta Hawks stand 37-37, making all four play-in teams at least over .500. …

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The NBA Dunk Contest Is Obsolete

I am, by the standards of NBA fans, an old man. Even though I’m just 44, basketball’s demographic has always skewed more toward the Millennials, Zoomers, and whatever they’re going to call the generation that’s already started but who are going to be defined by being too young to have watched LeBron James play basketball—or if they do remember him, they’ll remember him the way kids born in the mid-’90s remember Michael Jordan, as “that old guy on the Wizards who used to be good.” Unlike baseball, where being a 44-year-old MLB fan makes you a kid by that league’s …

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The NBA’s “Omicron Asterisk” in 2022

The last three seasons of NBA basketball have been challenging to sort out if you’re the kind of person who isn’t a fan of making apples and oranges occupy the same history book. The 2019-20 season had a five-month hiatus, an eight-game abbreviated finish, and playoffs conducted entirely within a “bubble” where home court advantage instantly evaporated in a puff of COVID-scented smoke as all the games were in the same place and played to empty houses. Indeed, fans of the Phoenix Suns, who won all eight of their bubble games, stood at 34-39, and in any other season would’ve …

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