Ham’s Hoops Roundup February 7th – An Instant Classic In D.C

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Scores and ATS Results:

Cleveland 140 – Washington 135 (OT)   (Cleveland +1)

Los Angeles 121 – New York 107   (LA Lakers +5)

Oklahoma City 90 – Indiana 93   (Oklahoma City +4)

LA Clippers 109 – Toronto 118   (Toronto -5.5)

Utah 120 – Atlanta 95   (Utah Pick Em)

Philadelphia 96 – Detroit 113   (Detroit -9)

Miami 115 – Minnesota 113   (Miami +1)

Phoenix 106 – New Orleans 111   (Phoenix +6)

Dallas 87 – Denver 110   (Denver -3.5)

San Antonio 74 – Memphis 89   (Memphis -3)

Chicago 112 – Sacramento 107   (Chicago +1.5)

Have A Night Lebron James… and Bradley Beal…and Kevin Love… and John Wall… and Kyrie Irving… and Otto Porter… and Tristan Thompson… and Everyone Involved In That Cavs-Wizards Game

Game of the year in Washington last night. An absolute classic between the defending champs and the league’s hottest team. For starters, look at some of these stat lines. Kyrie might have had the seventh most notable line and he scored 11 points in overtime. Lebron, Beal, Love, Wall, Thompson, Porter… big game after big game after big game.

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 10.21.05 AM.pngScreen Shot 2017-02-07 at 10.21.31 AM.png

Let’s run through some thoughts and takes:

– What really made this the game of the year was that it was a barn-burner from the start. Both teams came to play, and you could tell that from the jump. The last few minutes of the second quarter were equally as exciting as the fourth, save for the additional drama. Hell of a game – and a series that right now would be the most fun potential Conference Finals

That fourth quarter was incredible. Big players making big plays everywhere. Lebron 3 – Wall layup – Lebron 3 – Beal 3 – Porter 3 – Lebron 3 – Korver 3 – Love 3 – Beal 3. Back and forth and back and forth it went. Stars stepping up, role players like Korver and Morris stepping up. Great defense, better offense. And it all set up a potential Lebron game winner with 12 seconds left…

– Folks this is why we say Ball Don’t Lie. Blatant travel goes uncalled? Layup gets missed. It’s serendipity. And it’s the type of stuff that get’s balanced out over the course of a game in basketball much more so than any other sport. Ball Don’t Lie indeed.

– That of course resulted in two free throws for Washington and a three point lead.

– Then Kevin love threw this pass, and lebron hit this shot. One of the most preposterous plays you’ll ever see. Whether Lebron called bank or not, we’ll never know. But that pass? Good LORD Kevin. Dude turned blind at the baseline and fired a chest pass seventy-something feet to the exact spot he needed to. That’s stupid. That shouldn’t be possible. And if Lebron had to get lucky on a bank shot for us to recognize that pass, then so be it.

– I may be (absolutely am) looking too much into this, but part of me feels like Lebron fouled out on purpose in overtime. This game, while highly competitive and important for each team in the moment, means little in the grand scheme. Maybe Lebron thinks “there’s a very good chance we play Washington in the playoffs, lets test the rest of this team out and see if they can win this game without me.” Yes, I know I’m overthinking that. But why else would Lebron go so aggressively for two straight blocks with five fouls on the opening possession of overtime?  Think on that


– And guess what? The rest of the Cavs stepped the hell up. Tristan and Love crashed the glass, Korver hit a moster three, Jefferson defended his ass off. And yes, Kyrie was Kyrie. 11 points in Overtime. Absolutely took the game over down the stretch as he went into unguardable Kyrie god mode. It was something the watch, man.

– I get the “Wall is better than Kyrie” arguement, and most of the time I tend to agree with that. John Wall is a better overall player. Better passer, better set-up guy, Better rebounder, better defender, better (just barely) in transition. Kyrie is probably the most complete, best individual scorer in the world right now. But the difference there doesn’t outweigh Wall’s leadership, distribution, defensive prowess, etc. advantage there over the course of a season. Put Kyrie in Wall’s place for the course of a season, and the Wiz aren’t where they are now. I don’t think that’s crazy to say.

But any Wall-Kyrie argument has to… HAS to… take into account what happened in overtime last night. Kyrie took that game over. Kyrie outplayed Wall and Beal and won that game by himself. And there might not be two other players in the league who can do it the way he did last night. Yes, he was on cruise control for much of the game. Yes, Wall carried a bigger load to that point. But that’s kind of a microcosm of their differences. Give me John Wall for a season. Give me Kyrie for a big game. Dude is a stone cold killer.

– Despite the loss, this Wizards team is very much for real. Beal has turned into an absolute killer. Wall belongs right on the fringe of the MVP discussion. Porter and Oubre have proved themselves to be gamers. Morris is a great talent when the situation around him isn’t chaotic. And Gortat, while not the greatest center you’ll find in this league, is still a rock in the middle. If they can find a way to acquire a little more depth with the deadline approaching, that’s a pretty complete team. If I’m Cleveland, I’m more scared of Washington than of Toronto or Boston.

Have A Night Blake Griffin

First triple double in two years. Yes, this was in a losing effort. They’ve lost 7 of their last 9 and continue to fall down the Western Conference Standings. It’s not inconceivable that the Clippers could sit at the 7th seed by next Thursday’s All Star Break. But the one bright spot in there is that Blake seems to be back to old Blake since returning from injury. Dude is balling right now.

Have A Night Karl-Anthony Towns

After a nice stretch to claw back towards the eight seed, the Baby Wolves have tumbled right back down to the bottom of the west with four straight losses. Really

On the flip side, Goran Dragic and Heat have been BALLING. 11 striaght wins. ELEVEN. They actually just passed the Knicks in the east stranding and sit two back of the eight seed. It’s one of the more remarkable runs I’ve ever seen, and it’s flying completely under the radar right now. So shoutout to Goran. You know what, you get the Have A Night award. I take it back, Karl.

Around The Association

The Knicks are… um… in absolute shambles right now.

I’m in a very bad place with this team right now. Very, very bad. We’ll get to this later. You know, after I’m done puking from this basket.

Dwyane Wade took over down the stretch. Hell of a night for the Banana Boat Crew (Except Melo. Always except Melo)

“Okay pass Dwyane the ball and go stand in the corner. Yes, literally in the corner.”

Vince Carter or as he’s otherwise know – Half Dead, Still Amazing

“Better find some Combobulation”

Boogie took another two tech’s last night. His 15th and 16th on the season. We haven’t even reached the All Star Break and Boogie will already be suspended for a game for hitting 16 techs. And you know what? I’m here for it. #BoogieForever*

*Except Wednesday. He can’t play on Wednesday.

Kyrie. SAUCE.

Watch Kelly Oubre’s face

Schedule for Tuesday, February 7th

Brooklyn – Charlotte   (-10.5)

Orlando – Houston   (-11)

Portland – Dallas   (-1)

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