Ham’s Hoops Roundup February 14th – NIKOLAAAAAAA

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Scores and ATS Results:

Philadelphia 105 – Charlotte 99   (Philadelphia+8)

San Antonio 110 – Indiana 106   (PUSH +4)

Orlando 116 – Miami 107   (Orlando +8)

Memphis 112 – Brooklyn 103   (Memphis -8.5)

Oklahoma City 98 – Washington 120   (Washington -5)

Detroit 89 – Milwaukee 102   (Milwaukee -3)

Boston 111 – Dallas 98   (Boston -2)

New Orleans 110 – Phoenix 108   (New Orleans +3)

Golden State 110 – Denver 132   (Denver +12)

LA Clippers 88 – Utah 72   (LA Clippers +8)

Atlanta 109 – Portland 104 (OT)   (Atlanta +2)


Have A Night Nikola Jokic, Juancho Hernangomez, and basically the entire Denver Nuggets team

Look at this first half box score. LOOK AT IT.

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79 points. 16 three pointers. (+24) plus/minus from Jokic and Juancho each. 57/70/100 shooting splits. Just an absolutely outrageous half from Denver. One that they thankfully followed up on despite allowing their lead to slip to single digits

This Denver team is fun as hell, man. While by no means a serious contender out West, there’s no reason they can’t sneak into the eight seed and give this Golden State team fits–albeit in a likely sweep–in the first round. No, they can’t defend a lick. But this offense can score with the best of them. They move the ball, crash the hell out of the glass on both ends, and can heat up at a moments notice.

And it all starts with Nikola Jokic.

Dude had himself a NIGHT last night. 17-21-12 from the Point Center position, in control of the game from the tip. Bent the pace of play to his will and absolutely destroyed the entire frontline of the Warriors.

 

Jokic has now posted 40-9-5 against the Knicks, 27-13-4 against the Cavs, and 17-21-12 against the Warriors in his last three games. I was in person for that Knicks game – he was the best player on the floor.

Oh and shoutout to Juancho, the younger brother of my young large adult son Willy. Big couple of weeks for the Hernangomez family.

Have A Night Isaiah and Yogi

Fun battle between to little guys in Dallas. Isaiah continued his MVP run with 29 and 8. And Yogi continued his surprise emergence with 20 and 5 of his own.

I’ve talked at length and Isaiah on here, so let’s give a little love to Yogi even in a loss.

Since getting called back up from the D-League he’s averaged 15 and 5 and spurred the Mavs to 6 wins in those 9 games. He’s given them a monster boost off the bench, and with each passing game looks less like a flash in the pan and more like a real contributor in this league.

 

This is a weird point in time for Dallas, a team that hasn’t gone the traditional “tanking” route since Dirk came in nearly two decades ago. With Dirk likely retiring this year, or at least indicating as much, the Mavs seem to feel an obligation to chase the eight seed. Is that the right long term decision? Maybe not. They need to rebuild, and in such a loaded draft class, they have a real shot to bottom out for a top five pick.But if they do choose to chase the eight seed, it will give these young guys like Yogi, Seth Curry, Justin Anderson, and Dorian Finney-Smith a chance to prove they do belong around for the rebuild. And who knows, maybe karma rewards them for not bottoming out in Dirk’s last year.

 

Have A Night Wizards Starters

Nice balanced effort from the Washington Wizards starting five as they dismantled the Oklahoma City Thunder. Their depth may be as questionable as any contender in either conference, but god damn can their start five (and Kelly Oubre on most nights) play with the best of em. Here’s hoping the can find some bench help next week, because the return of Ian Mahinmi isn’t exactly creating waves in the East.

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Game Of The Night: Kawhi Leonard vs. Paul George

Awesome battle between two of the best and most well-rounded players in the game. You want to see two dudes compete their asses off in an individual matchup? This is as good a duel as you’ll find. George and Leonard are two of the only superstars you’ll see stay on the opposing team’s star for all 40 minutes they’re on the court. Last night, they did just that.

27 and 6 from George. 32-6-3 with 4 steals from Leonard. Guarded each other all night. And gave us some awesome, awesome basketball.

I’ll talk more about Kawhi’s extremely low key MVP season at another time, but for now let’s just appreciate that matchup for the two times we get it per year. Great stuff.


Around The Association

– The Oklahoma City Thunder missed 24 consecutive shots in the second and third quarter. TWENTY FOUR MISSES IN A ROW. I’d post a video but I think the internet was too collectively embarrassed to put one together. Instead, let’s just watch John Wall playing games with them instead. I think that’s embarrassment enough, wouldn’t you say?

WHOOP

– Paul Millsap sent it to OT and won it last night for the Hawks but who cares it’s the Hawks.

– Congrats on the Grammys, Chance

– Blake still scorching hot headed into the All Star break. Would be dope if he could keep this up and not get injured.

– HIT THEM FOLKS

– Super Cool Beas looking god damn explosive. Maybe the Bucks won’t miss Jabari after all (only half kidding)

– Nobody has hit or will ever hit more stupid shots than Jamal. Ever.

– Derrick Jones Jr. gave us a little preview of Saturday night.


Schedule for Tuesday, February 14th

Toronto – Chicago   (+6)     8:00

Cleveland – Minnesota   (+3.5)     8:00   NBATV

Sacramento – LA Lakers   (-1)     10:30   NBATV



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