Ham’s Hoops Roundup Thursday 12/21 – Clutch Genes? Kelly Olynyk Wears A Canadian Tuxedo. Folks,,

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The Kelly Olynyk Revenge Game in Boston. OG Anunoby lights it up for Toronto. And Kyle Kuzma goes OFF for 38 to end Houston’s streak at fourteen. It’s the Hoops Roundup for Thursday, Dec. 21. Let’s get it…

Scores from Wednesday, Dec. 21st

Toronto 129  –  Charlotte 111
Indiana 105  –  Atlanta 95
Miami 90  –  Boston 89
Sacramento 104  –  Brooklyn 99
Orlando 94  –  Chicago 112
LA Lakers 122  –  Houston 116
Utah 79  –  Oklahoma City 107
Detroit 93  –  Dallas 110
Minnesota 112  –  Denver 104
San Antonio 93  –  Portland 91
Memphis  –  Golden State
Phoenix  –  LA Clippers

Toronto 129  –  Charlotte 111

Toronto  (21-8)
Charlotte  (11-20)

Every single team in the NBA is looking for a hyper-athletic 3&D wing. Every single one. Freakishly athletic and hyper-competitive. Active and engaged defensively. Able to shoot the three, with room to develop offensively. The Spurs have the prototype in Kawhi. The Warriors Death Lineup is built on having four hyper-athletic shooters who can switch defensively. The Rockets went out and added Luc Mbah-a-Moute and PJ Tucker to add to Trevor Ariza to counter the Warriors. The Celtics drafted Jaylen Brown last year, signed Hayward, and drafted Jayson Tatum trying to copy that Warriors mold. Six of the ten best players in the world (LeBron, KD, Kawhi, Harden, Giannis, Jimmy) are big, physical wings and you need big, physical wing defenders to throw at them.

Which is why it BLOWS MY MIND that a guy like OG Anunoby can slip to 23 in the draft. It actually numbs my senses. All because of what? A torn ACL? Dudes recover from that in six months now. He wasn’t a creator? He shot 45% from three as a freshman and can defend four positions. He was raw offensively? HE HAS AN EIGHT FOOT WINGSPAN AND WAS JUSTIFIABLY COMPARED TO KAWHI.

Which one of the 11 teams that passed on OG last June couldn’t have used a hyper-athletic 3 and D guy? Denver couldn’t use a big 3&D wing to go between their overly crowded back and front courts? Minnesota couldn’t draft OG to learn under Jimmy after that trade? OKC didn’t want to put a defensive-minded wing who just shot threes next to Russ?

OG Anunoby probably won’t become Kawhi Leonard. He doesn’t have the feel of a creator (yet) and doesn’t crash the boards the same way. But he’s a better shooter than Kawhi was, and has a full foot longer of a wingspan. He’s with a great great franchise and will have plenty time to develop. At worst this dude is gonna be an elite 3&D wing for the next decade. 

We’re over two months into the season now… shit like this is not a fluke. Dude makes a massive impact defensively and works perfectly in his role as a floor spacer offensively.

And amazingly enough… after all 100,000 words I just wrote… and after a 20p/4r/2a night hitting 6 of 7 threes… he’s not even the mid-20’s draft pick that had the biggest impact last night (see below re: Kuzma, Kyle). The NBA is the smartest league in the world. But sometimes it’s so stupid.

Indiana 105  –  Atlanta 95

Indiana  (18-14)
Atlanta  (7-24)

Oladipo (23p/5r) and Turner (20p/6r) got Indy back on track after their last second meltdown against Boston on Monday.

John Collins continues to be one of the lone bright spots on this Hawks season, racking up 18p/9r on 6-7 shooting.

Miami 90  –  Boston 89

Miami  (16-15)
Boston  (26-8)

Wild one in Boston. Kyrie (33p/4r/5a) doing his thing, trading buckets with Josh Richardson (19p/4r/6a) down the stretch. Brown and Tatum added 27 points on 10-19 shooting between them. Marcus Smart went for 15p/6r on 5 threes. Big shots back and forth. Wild finish.

But this night belonged to one man and one man only…


32 points. 12-15 shooting. 6-8 from distance. And that sneaky ferocious and dangerously awkward dunk to end it that perfectly encapsulates his whole aesthetic. Dude has score over 14 points one time since Halloween – an 18 point night against a Porzingis-less Knicks team in a loss. But when the time called for him to rise to the occasion in his old parquet stomping grounds, he hangs 32 on one of the best big defenders in the league and dunks on the entire Celtics franchise for what would be the game winner, almost Willis McGahee-ing his knee on the landing. Between this and last years Game 7 dismantling of Washington I’m honestly starting to think this dude is just a killer.

Does Kelly Olynyk has the Clutch Gene? No, he’s got a Canadian Tuxedo. Folks,,

Sacramento 104  –  Brooklyn 99

Sacramento  (11-20)
Brooklyn  (11-19)

Z-Bo followed up his big night in Philly by beating up on another young team, going for 21p/8r/3a on 8-11 shooting. #BullyBall is still alive and well folks.

Orlando 94  –  Chicago 112

Orlando  (11-21)
Chicago  (10-20)

16p/10r for Denzel Valentine. 13p/6a from Jerian Grant. And the Chicago mf-ing Bulls are now 7-0 with MVP frontrunner Nikola Mirotic (15p/10r) back in the lineup. I have no idea what is happening.

LA Lakers 122  –  Houston 116

LA Lakers  (11-18)
Houston  (25-5)

James Harden scored 51 points last night. James Harden scored 51 points and the Houston Rockets lost, snapping their 14 game win streak.

Why? Because Kyle Kuzma went OFF.

38p/7r/4a on 12-17 shooting with 7 threes. 38 points on 17 shots. Just an unreal night from a kid who’s been nothing short of spectacular this season. 17.4p/6.6r a game. 50/40/76 splits. Scoring on every which way from behind the arc to old school little skyhook runners. He’s jumped his three point shooting from 36% in October to 39% in November to now 46% through eight games in December.

He’s now gone for 20p/7r at Cleveland, 25p/6r/3a vs. Golden State, and 38p/7r/4a at Houston in these last three games, shooting 61% over the stretch. It’s not a new take, but these last three games have solidified to me that LA got something special with the 27th pick. Dude is a monster.

Utah 79  –  Oklahoma City 107

Utah  (14-18
Oklahoma City  (16-15)

Russ and the Thunder jumped out to a 19-3 lead in the first 7 minutes of this one and never looked back. Russ went for 24p/10r/7a/4s on 10-13 shooting in just 27 minutes.

Steven Adams came back from concussion protocol (He had a concussion) with that same energy, going for 11p/9r and re-anchoring the defense. And PG and Melo combined for 36p/11r/6a.

Sometimes the Thunder just play well and win and all we have to debate was which dunk was better: Paul George’s baptism of Derrick Favors or Jerami Grant’s shoulder-dislocation putback?

Detroit 93  –  Dallas 110

Detroit  (17-14)
Dallas  (9-23)

Dennis Smith Jr. returned from a five game absence with 15p/5r/5a. Harrison Barnes went for 25p/7r on 8-15 shooting. And the Mavs stopped a three game slide at the expense of a Detroit team who will go another week without Avery Bradley thanks to a “pubic stress injury”.

Pubic Stress? That’s an injury I’ll never have! HahahahaI’msolonely.

Minnesota 112  –  Denver 104

Minnesota  (19-13)
Denver  (16-15)

Jamal Murray took over without his running mate Gary Harris (elbow), going for 30p/4r/3a on 10-17 shooting.

But Jimmy (25p/4r/2a/2s), KAT (25p/10r/2a/3s), and Jamal Crawford (20p/7a) combined for 70 points on 26-45 shooting (58%).

And for what feels like the dozenth time this season, Minnesota got a Jimmy Butler takeover down the stretch (11 points in the last four minutes) to spur a 14 point comeback.

Defensive issues aside, Minnesota is still 19-13 and firmly entrenched in that 4th spot out West. Really interesting to see if and what they do about their depth leading up to the deadline. Which I guess would require GM Thibs to have a different mindset on minutes and depth than Coach Thibs so yeah never mind.

San Antonio 93  –  Portland 91

San Antonio  (22-10)
Portland  (16-15)

LaMarcus (22p/8r) and Pau (20p/17r) went bonkers on the Blazers bigs, shooting 58% together. And the Spurs hung on despite an uncharacteristic and insanely high 22 turnovers.

Kawhi sat on the front end of their back-to-back – they’ve got Utah tonight on TNT.

Memphis 84  –  Golden State 97

Memphis  (9-22)
Golden State  (25-6)

No Curry (won’t be back for Christmas Day) or Draymond (will be back for Chirstmas Day) for a fourth straight game, still the same results for Golden State.

Durant (22p/8a/2b) and Klay (29p/5a/2s) combined for 51 on 50% shooting.

And people started going AT IT in the crowd at Oracle as the W’s won the 10th straight.

Phoenix 95  –  LA Clippers 108

Phoenix  (11-22)
LA Clippers  (12-18)

Last game on a 12 game night and Christmas is around the corner man I do not care what happened in this game.

Around The Association

Last Roundup tomorrow before Christmas. Five games on the slate tonight. Boston-New York should be a fun one if Porzingis is back. See you right back here tomorrow.

Schedule for Thursday, Dec. 21st

7:00   Chicago  @  Cleveland
7:00   Toronto  @  Philadelphia
8:00   Boston  @  New York    TNT
9:00   Memphis  @  Phoenix
10:30   San Antonio  @  Utah    TNT

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