Ham’s Hoops Roundup February 16th – A Picture Says A Thousand Words

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Scores and ATS Results:

Indiana 104 – Cleveland 113   (Cleveland -6)

San Antonio 107 – Orlando 79   (San Antonio +10)

Dallas 91 – Detroit 98   (Detroit -4.5)

Milwaukee 129 – Brooklyn 125   (Brooklyn +5)

Philadelphia 108 – Boston 116   (Philadelphia +10)

Charlotte 85 – Toronto 90   (Charlotte +6)

Miami 117 – Houston 109   (Miami +10.5)

New Orleans 95 – Memphis 91   (New Orleans +8)

Minnesota 112 – Denver 99   (Minnesota +6.5)

LA Lakers 101 – Phoenix 137   (Phoenix -4.5)

Portland 88 – Utah 111   (Utah -8.5)

New York 105 – Oklahoma City 116   (Oklahoma City -7)

Atlanta 84 – LA Clippers 99   (LA Clippers -3.5)

Sacramento 86 – Golden State 109   (Golden State -18.5)

Have A Night Dave Pasch, Dick Vitale, and Bill Walton

A picture says a thousand words…

Dick Vitale and Bill Walton said the other Nine Hundred and Ninety Nine Thousand.

What a night

Have A Night Each Of The Top 5 MVP Candidates

38-12-12 with 4 threes for Harden
38-14-12 with 3 steals for Westbrook
31-5-4 with 4 threes for Lebron
33 points, 13 in the fourth for Isaiah
22 and 5 in three quarters for Kawhi

Five big nights from the five guys I’d throw at the top of the MVP race right now. Harden and Westbrook are forever flipping back and forth at the top spot. Isaiah is somewhere right behind them. And Kawhi, for a quiet as he always is, absolutely has to be included in the top five. He’s leading a 43-13 Spurs team while posting 26-6-3-1-2 a night with 50/40/85 splits, all while firmly maintaining his position as the world’s best defender.

The real question is where Lebron is going to land. Up until last week, you could talk me into anywhere from 5 to 1 for him. Now that Kevin Love is gone until the Playoffs, the door is open for Lebron to make a real push for it. If he continues to do what he’s done the last two nights and carries the Cavs to… say… a 22-5 record after the break while posting 27-8-12 every night on 55% shooting, he’s going to win.

(Apologies to John Wall, who’s right outside the top five. And reluctantly to Kevin Durant, who is having an outrageous season but won’t get any consideration considering who he plays for and with.)

Have A Night Giannis Antetokounmpo 

Haven’t mentioned Giannis name much on here lately, thanks in large part to the Bucks 4-14 stretch over the last month. They’ve now won three straight heading into the All Star Break.

If there’s anyone on the outskirts who can sneak into that MVP discussion, it’s Giannis. Milwaukee sits a game out of eight in the East and just lost Jabari for the season. If Giannis can get back to translating his numbers into wins, he could sneak into the discussion.

Have A Night Carmelo Anthony… I guess

I don’t want to turn this into a five paragraph Knicks thing. I really don’t and I’ll try not to.

Melo is Melo. Is he without blame for the Knicks failures? Of course not. He’s been selfish, he’s made the team cater to his needs as a player rather than boost up the players around him, he’s been lazy defensively. We know all that. He’s as responsible as any one player for how bad the Knicks have been.

But at some point you have to acknowledge what’s gone on around him. You can’t talk about Carmelo without also discussing the disgraceful franchise and incompetent front office he’s had to deal with. Is part of it his fault? Of course. But for all that can be said about Carmelo, the guy has handled the off-court side of things as well as, if not better than you could possibly expect someone in this position to. James Dolan is a disgraceful human being. Phil Jackson is an arrogant asshole. Carmelo Anthony is ten times the human being either of those guys are.

Do I hate his game? Of course. Do I hate having him hold this franchise hostage? Of course. But as far as the the blame pie goes around MSG, Melo’s little slice pales in comparison to the seven whole slices shared by Dolan and Phil.

Yesterday Adam Silver named Melo as Kevin Love’s replacement for the All Star Game. Bradley Beal, Joel Embiid, my large adult son Kristaps Porzingis – you can make the case that all of these guys are more deserving.

Adam Silver named Melo because Adam Silver wanted to make it a point to take care of a guy who’s meant a lot to the league. People in the NBA respect Melo the person. They understand what he means to the NBA outside of the lines of play and what kind of an ambassador he is for the game. And while James Dolan obviously benefits in a way from having one of his guys make the All Star Game, you can bet your ass this was a direct message from Silver about how to treat the guys who helped shape this league after all that’s gone on the last week or so.


Around The Association

This is long enough already, nothing left to see here.

Two games tonight, then we head into the All Star Break. Gonna have one last HHR tomorrow, plus a little first half of the NBA season Roundup to catch up on everything before the break.

Shoutout to everyone who’s been riding with the HHR through the first half. Things are gonna ramp up big time starting next week, starting specifically with the Trade Deadline on Thursday.

Big things coming for this little morning NBA Recap Blog.

See you back here tomorrow.

Schedule for Thursday, February 16th

Washington – Indiana   (+1.5)     7:00

Boston – Chicago   (Pick Em)     8:00   TNT

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