Ham’s Hoops Roundup January 27th – Trouble In Chicago, and New York, and Cleveland

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NBA All-Star Game 2015

Scores and ATS Results:

Indiana 109 – Minnesota 103   (Indiana -3)

Dallas 98 – Oklahoma City 109   (Oklahoma City -9.5)

Phoenix 120 – Denver 127   (PUSH -7)

LA Lakers 88 – Utah 96   (LA Lakers -13)

Have A Night Russell Westbrook

Have A Night Paul George

Around The Association

Very few highlights from last night, but a LOT of off-court stories. Here we go…

– Good Morning to everyone except Rajon Rondo, who ripped Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler for going to the media by going to the media, among other hypocritical things. The Bulls are in absolute shambles right now. Jimmy and Dwyane are calling our their teammates for not caring. Jerian Grant is taking shots on them on twitter about playing for a paycheck. Nobody on that team respects Fred Hoiberg. The roster is completely disjointed and can’t sustain success with how the game is played these days. And the Bulls management is too scared/incompetent to rebuild despite being in one of the largest markets in the country and having a fanbase smart and willing and devoted enough to support the team and attend games throughout a rebuild.

– The Bulls are basically the Knicks right now. An enigmatic point guard not nearly worth his fading talent with all the issues he brings, a former superstar who would be best served on a better team/playing with LeBron, a wildly disjointed roster ill-fitted to run the system they’d like to play, and a incompetent front office who decided to bring in over-the-hill stars rather than go for the obvious tank/rebuild season. The only difference is the Bulls are a 40 win roster with a franchise centerpiece in his prime and the Knicks are a 30 win roster with a franchise centerpiece just in his second year.

– Speaking of the Knicks… the Carmelo trade situation is an absolute disaster right now. Phil is openly shopping him and letting it be known to the media, hoping to strong-arm Melo into dropping his no-trade clause. Melo is attached to New York and has handled this recent media circus like a pro, but has to be considering the move after the team’s recent play. It’s all a disaster, and I have more on this in a longer piece coming out later today.

– All Star Reserves were announced last night, with Joel Embiid, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Mike Conley the biggest snubs in their respective conferences. Chris Paul, who would have been al All Star if not for his recent injury, was left off the team rather than go through the charade of naming him an All Star

West Reserves:

  • Russell Westbrook
  • Klay Thompson
  • Gordon Hayward
  • DeMarcus Cousins
  • Marc Gasol
  • Draymond Green
  • DeAndre Jordan

East Reserves:

  • Isaiah Thomas
  • Kyle Lowry
  • John Wall
  • Kemba Walker
  • Paul George
  • Kevin Love
  • Paul Millsap

– Zach Lavine won’t return to defend his (questionable) Slam Dunk title. But Aaron Gordon will be there, along with Glenn Robinson III, Derrick Jones, and a fourth person to be named later

– Enes Kanter punched a chair out of frustration, broke his arm, and is now out 6-8 weeks. Look I’m always here for hitting things out of frustration. Sorry Enes and I are so competitive. But drink some milk or something dude. Your forearm shouldn’t be snapping like a twin at one little punch.

– The Banana Boat crew is up to something. I can smell it from a mile away. Right now things seem murky. Lebron is the only one of them in the All Star Game. He’s unhappy with Cleveland and their willingness to trade for more talent. Wade, as mentioned above, is unhappy with everyone except Jimmy Butler in Chicago. Chris Paul is injured and staring at another season cut short before the Conference Finals. And the New York media circus surrounding Melo is as crazy as ever right now.

All I’m saying is that I genuinely think their friendship extends wayyy beyond friendship. Chris and Lebron were the most influential figures in the restructuring of the Collective Bargaining Agreement for a reason, and it wasn’t just to get an extension of the “Over 36 rule” to “Over 38”. Lebron is the most powerful person in basketball. Chris and Dwyane are right behind him. And Melo has more of a stranglehold on his team than any player outside Lebron. Just take this last paragraph and file it away for now. Keep it in the back of your mind. Because more likely than not, this will matter a lot over the next seven months.

Schedule for Friday, January 27th

Houston – Philadelphia   (No Line)

Sacramento – Indiana   (-4.5

Milwaukee – Toronto   (No Line)

Brooklyn – Cleveland   (-14.5)

Orlando – Boston   (No Line)

Charlotte – New York   (Pick Em)

Washington – Atlanta   (-4)

Miami – Chicago   (-6)

San Antonio – New Orleans   (No Line)

Memphis – Portland   (-1)

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