Ham’s Hoops Roundup March 7th – Kawhi Leonard Is A Goddamn Alien

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Scores and ATS Results

New York 113 – Orlando 105   (Knicks +3)

Miami 106 – Cleveland 98   (Miami +9.5)

Milwaukee 112 – Philadelphia 98   (Milwaukee -5.5)

Chicago 95 – Detroit 109   (Detroit -6)

Golden State 119 – Atlanta 111   (Golden State -6)

Indiana 88 – Charlotte 100   (Charlotte -4.5)

Brooklyn 122 – Memphis 109   (Brooklyn +11)

Houston 110 – San Antonio 112   (Houston +3.5)

New Orleans 83  – Utah 88   (Push -5)

Sacramento 96 – Denver 108   (Denver -10.5)

Boston 102 – LA Clippers 116   (LA Clippers -7)

Portland – Minnesota   (Postponed)


Have A Night Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi is another species.

Kawhi against the other MVP Candidates this year?

3-1 against Harden, taking over down the stretch while also guarding Harden each time. 1-0 against Westbrook, in a game that Kawhi took total control of down the stretch. 1-0 against LeBron, in a game where Kawhi scored 41, “held” Lebron to 29, and out-dueled Bron in Cleveland in an overtime classic. 1-0 against Durant in their lone matchup on opening night of the season. He’ll take on a Durant-less Golden State team again this Saturday. Plus combined 4-0 against Isaiah Thomas and John Wall.

That’s a 10-1 record against the rest of the MVP race. Flukish record like that can happen, yes. But TEN AND ONE? That’s no coincidence. It has to count for something in this MVP race.

I understand the absurdity of Westbrook’s and Harden’s respective nightly stat lines. I understand the load they’re both carrying. And I understand the narratives that make each guy’s case so enticing. Westbrook with no Durant ant etc. etc. etc. Harden finding some level of redemption while leading this historic D’Antonio offense. Both these guys having been on the same team. I get it.

I just have a hard time not giving this award to Kawhi. If he’s not carrying quite the same load as Harden and Westbrook offensively, he’s more than making up for that on the other end. He’ll walk out there and give you 32-7-5 on 50-40-90 splits, guard your best player, and anchor the best defense in the league. And he’ll win every big game against the other premier players in this league. I can’t get over that 10-1 record man. That’s ridiculous.

He’ll have a chance to add to that this weekend. The Spurs will go to OKC Thursday and host Golden State Saturday. And if the Spurs sweep those two games, they’ll be that much closer to overtaking Golden State for the one seed. If he pulls that off? I don’t see how you don’t hand him the trophy.

 

The thing is… we shouldn’t want San Antonio to get the one seed. Let Golden State keep that and dismantle LA or Utah, regardless of Durant’s health. I need seven games of San Antonio-Houston. We all need it.

Their four games this season have been decided by 2, 6, 2, and 2. The back and forth between them down the stretch is as good a two team matchup as you’ll find outside Golden State and Cleveland. The two contrasting styles, the ball movement, the shooting. These teams would make for an incredible seven game series in May. And as of now, we’re on the right path for it.

Here’s the individual Kawhi-Harden video from last night. But while I love FreeDawkins for all the highlight videos (I literally use them in every post), I’d highly recommend going back to watch the full game or at least the condensed 15 minute version of this game on League Pass.

Speaking quickly of playoff matchups, we could see some really good second round series come May. Houston-San Antonio and Boston-Washington would be incredible. Highly competitive, great individual matchups, fantastic narratives (especially Wiz-C’s). And right now we’re slated for both.

But if we get Cleveland without a healthy Kevin Love and/or Golden State without a healthy Kevin Durant — both of which are very real possibilities — we could see some interesting series from both. Toronto is much improved with Ibaka and Tucker. Chicago, if they can jump up to the five seed, has proven they can hang with Cleveland. And while neither Utah nor LA would push a Durant-less Golden State more than five, maaaaybe six games, those would at least be some competitive games without a healthy Durant in the mix.

 

But we could get a much better, more well-rounded second round that we’ve been used to the last few years.


Have A Night Dion Waiters

Dion is transcendent.

Watching this man tear apart the premier teams in this league is like something else man. It’s like an old western or something. Dion is the Revenant. Out here in the wilderness dressed like Takeoff in the T-Shirt video

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Cast aside by Cleveland and OKC. Passed over by literally everyone until Pat Riley threw him an extra million out of what seemed to be pity. Out for revenge.

The only difference is that there’s actually dialogue in this movie.

A LOT of dialogue.

Je Suis Dion


Have A Night Wilson Chandler

Another Knicks castoff continuing to thrive in the league. Dope.


Around The Association

This family. Good lord what an atrociously beautifully family.

Andrew Bogut broke his leg two minutes into his first game with the cavs. That’s not an exxageration. It was literally the second minute. Even less surprisingly, it was a dirty play from Bogut himself that caused it. I don’t want to sit here and say “karma” for an injury… but come on. That is karma for all the dirty little things Bogut does. And maybe also for being an asshole of a human. That too.


Find someone who looks at you like Jamal Crawford looks at Blake Griffin’s dunks


YEET


Things are going well for Boogie in New Orleans so far

Tough sequence here for Dwight and Dennis. Hate to see two great competitors like this get embarrassed. Real shame.


Schedule for Tuesday, March 7th

Portland – Oklahoma City   (-7)     8:00   NBATV

LA Lakers – Dallas   (-10)     8:30

Washington – Phoenix   (+3.5)     9:00



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