Ham’s Hoops Roundup June 2nd – Thanks, Kevin. Thanks A Lot.

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I don’t begrudge Kevin Durant for doing what he did.

It’s a free market. The NBA is a competitive industry and he joined the best possible company to both fully actualize his professional potential and maximize his quality of life.

He’s doing what he wants to do in life, and it’s working. He’s playing the best basketball of his career and he’s happy. As a member of society, and more specifically the world of the NBA, he’s allowed and encouraged to do that. And while the pursuit of happiness does not actually have to be *earned* necessarily, he’s worked his fucking ass off from the age of nine to reach the height of his field. He’s “earned” the right to make the decision he made as much as anyone.

Regardless of what you think of the move in the vacuum of NBA parity and competitiveness, there’s no denying his right to do what he did from a logical standpoint. I didn’t hate Garnett and Allen for teaming up in Boston. I didn’t hate LeBron for going to Miami, despite how preposterous all the theatrics of “The Decision” and the ceremony were when he did it. They have every right in the world to do what they did and I’ll never begrudge them for that. I can hate what Kevin Durant did. But I won’t hate on him for doing it.

But like… fuck this guy, man

Fuck Kevin Durant.

Because what he did was genuinely bad for the NBA. It’s bad. It’s bad no matter how you look at it. And while it’s not his responsibility to maintain parity in the league, that doesn’t change how much it sucks that he did ruin it. It sucks so much. Because with this one move, he ruined everything.

Cavs-Warriors was an incredible rivalry. It was perfectly matched, contentious, petty, thrilling, physical, skillful, polarizing. It was everything you want from a rivalry. EVERYTHING. Two superduperstars. Six all stars. Incredible role players. Compelling matchups. Fascinating lineup countermeasures. It was so great. And we were headed for such a perfect trilogy until Durant came along.

But it’s not just Cavs-Warriors. It was Warriors-Thunder. Cavs-Thunder. Thunder-Spurs. Warriors-Spurs. Thunder-Clippers. Warriors-Clippers. Thunder-Rockets. Warriors-Rockets. Warriors-Jazz. Thunder-Jazz.

All of these incredible rivalries and matchups… all of them ruined. Ruined now. And ruined so long as this Warriors team is there waiting at the end.

You can’t beat them in a seven game series. You just can’t. Not LeBron. Not Jordan. Shit, not even Lebron and Jordan together (okay not really). They won a game by 22 points last night in which one of top twenty players in the league and five greatest shooters ever just scored 6 points on 3/16 shooting. And it’s cool because he’s the FOURTH option.

 

The Warriors ruined basketball. Thanks a lot Kevin.


Ok… fine… maybe I overreacted a little bit there.

I don’t actually think the series is over. I said Cavs in 7 before the series and while, yes, I was really counting on the Cavs stealing that game, I’m still sticking to it.

The Cavs were awful last night. Absolutely awful. They turned it over one million times. They lost EVERY SINGLE loose ball. Their transition defense stunk. And I can remember maybe one instance of a role player hitting a shot and I think it was a Shump pull up two. It was about as bad a game as you could play as Cleveland.

And yet it was still an eight point game at the half. Despite a turnover differential of 11 and absolutely nothing from the 4 through 8 of the roster, Cleveland was in that game. Yes, the Warriors did miss some point blank shots. Yes, Klay never got it going. But I left that first half thinking “Okay, this could be a relatively even matchup.”

There is still an avenue for the Cavs to win games in this series. It’s not a stretch to think Lebron will be better and Durant will cool down. It’s not a stretch to think the Cavs role players will start hitting shots. It’s not a stretch to think Cleveland will take better care of the ball. These are very fixable problems.

Cleveland will win two of the next three games. Lock that in. One will be a LeBron masterpiece with the Cavs role players going unconscious from three and winning big. Another will be an ugly slugfest with a Kyrie 40+ point takeover down the stretch. I think we get the Kyrie game Sunday in Golden State and the Lebron game Wednesday in Cleveland, with the Warriors coming back to tie it up on Friday on the road after two days of STRONG Warriors panic mode Takes.

We’re still in for a very, very good series.

See you back here Sunday night.


Game 2 is this Sunday, June 4th at 8:00pm on ABC. Golden State (-9)



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