Ham’s Hoops Roundup Tuesday 1/9: Last Night Was A Movie

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LeBron and the Cavs get routed. The Hickory High Pacers roll. And Steph stays scorching hot. It’s the Hoops Roundup for Tuesday, January 9th. Let’s get it…


Scores from Monday, January 8th

Milwaukee 96  –  Indiana 109
Toronto 114  –  Brooklyn 113  (OT)
Houston 116  –  Chicago 107
Cleveland 99  –  Minnesota 127
Detroit 109  –  New Orleans 112
San Antonio 107  –  Sacramento 100
Denver 114  –  Golden State 124
Atlanta 107  –  LA Clippers 108


Milwaukee 96  –  Indiana 109

Milwaukee  (21-18)  6th in East
Indiana  (21-19)  8th in East

Seven Pacers scored in double digits–none higher than 17–and the ball movement was Hickory High-esque with 30 total assists as the Pacers ball movemented their way to a redemption win over a Bucks team that smoked them by 21 last Wednesday.

Highlighted by Lance doing the most Lance things imaginable

Though to be fair to Milwaukee you simply do not beat the Hickory High Pacers on Hickory night.


Toronto 114  –  Brooklyn 113  (OT)

Toronto  (28-10)  2nd in East
Brooklyn  (15-25)  12th in East

Lord, carry that peach now…

Peach aside, the Raps survived an OT thriller in Brooklyn on another monster game from DeMar (35p/3r/6a).

Spencer Dinwiddie (31p/5r/8a) still had himself a game in the loss, his third straight 20+ point night. Spencer Dinwiddie isn’t an All Star, but I think we’re well past the point that this is in any way flukey. He’s smart, he’s patient, and he’s made the absolute most of this opportunity. And if I’m the Cavs I cannot be too juiced about how competitive this team has been these last five games (two wins, three losses of six total points to the top two seeds in the East) and what their schedule looks like moving forward. They’ve got less injury concerns and less incentive to lose than the three teams (Philly, New York, Charlotte) above them. That pick ain’t a lottery lock by any means.


Houston 116  –  Chicago 107

Houston  (28-11)  2nd in West
Chicago  (14-27)  13th in East

The Gerald Green show rolls on. 22 points, 8-15 shooting. 4-9 from three. Off the couch and into this Rockets lineup like he’d been there since August. And when you’ve got guys like Chris Paul and eventually a healthy James Harden running the show, all Green really needs to do is keep hitting threes at league-average rate (he’s shooting an absurd 50% right now) to be a real contributor.

Chris Paul (24p/8r/9a), Eric Gordon (24p/6r/9a), Clint Capela (15p/16r/2b), and Trevor Ariza (18p/9r/4a on 6 threes) did their thing and the Rockets rolled over the still frisky Bulls to get back on track.


Cleveland 99  –  Minnesota 127

Cleveland  (26-14)  3rd in East
Minnesota  (26-16)  4th in West

👑Last night was mad real, fresh out of Advil- Jesus grab the wheel👑Sheesh!!!

You had to be there to truly Understand

 

Minnesota came out and absolutely romped Cleveland last night on the backs of Jimmy (21p/8r/9a/3s), Karl (19p/12r/4a), and a possibly ready to break out Andrew Wiggins (25p/6r), who has had a thoroughly underwhelming first half of the season go relatively unnoticed.

I’m still not entirely sure what to make of Minnesota. I guess you’d call it encouraging that they are where they are (26-16, 4th in the West) despite it feeling like they haven’t really figured it out and gelled yet. Their defense is still bad, their bench is still shallow, and watching them it still doesn’t feel like there’s a ton of chemistry for a team thats scoring and winning like they are. But they are still winning. They’re still winning even though it feels like Jimmy and Taj are the only two guys on this team meeting or exceeding expectations.

And for the love of god can we give Jimmy his due in the MVP conversation. I know the top of the list is crowded but when you factor in the defense and the fourth quarter heroics he’s put up there’s no reason to have him anywhere outside the top five (LeBron, Harden, Durant, Giannis, Jimmy) right now. This team is in the lottery without him.

I like Isaiah. I think if you’re a basketball fan it’s almost impossible not to appreciate his competitiveness. But dude also doesn’t get nearly enough flak for sneaky being an asshole sometimes.


Detroit 109  –  New Orleans 112

Detroit  (21-18)  7th in East
New Orleans  (20-19)  8th in West

AD (30p/10r) and Boogie (20p/10r/4a/2s/2b) did their thing.

And Rondo racked up 15 assists and the two game-sealing buckets for a nice bounce-back victory for New Orleans after their Saturday night stinker in Minnesota.


San Antonio 107  –  Sacramento 100

San Antonio  (28-14)  3rd in West
Sacramento  (13-26)  12th in West

The dynamic Spurs front court of LaMarcus Aldridge (31p/12r on 13-20 shooting) and… Davis… Bertans? (28p on 11-15 shooting and 6-9 from three) lit up the Kings last night. Because of course they did.

Nick Saban won with the best recruits in the country again. Wow. Pop just won a game by getting Davis Bertans to play like Dirk. Don’t speak to me about whomst the better coach is.

De’Aaron Fox played well in the loss with 11p/10a. Tonight we get the second iteration of the Lonzo-DeAaron rivalry – one that comes with both guys healthy and thriving. Fox has averaged 15.3p/7.0a on 50% shooting in three games since returning from a quad injury. Lonzo in two games back has averaged 12.0p/7.0r/5.5a and hit 6 of 16 threes. Both teams have… well they’ve sucked. But this is the first time since last March that we’ll get the two PG’s healthy and confident going into a game together. Should be fun tonight.

 


Denver 114  –  Golden State 124

Denver  (21-19)  7th in West
Golden State  (33-8)  1st in West

Steph has been in the fucking zone since coming back last Saturday, averaging 35.2p/5.6r/5.6a and 6.6 threes per game at a 53.2% clip. Last night was no different – going for 32p/4r/9a with 5 threes, tearing apart the Nuggets defense with comical ease.

Nikola Jokic kept Denver in shouting distance last night with a 22p/12r/11a triple double and some preposterous assists. The numbers haven’t always reflected it, but Jokic does seem to be one of the only bigs who can handle the Draymond defensive experience both physically and mentally. In a way he was almost made exactly to handle it. Won’t get phased. Is tough but never relies on strength. Will take what he’s given in the lane. Knows how and when to utilize his length advantage. And is smart enough to move the ball and get rid of it so that Draymond can’t ever really get in his kitchen. Impressive night from him even in the loss.

Draymond still did his thing though, going for 23p/5r/10a/3b and one hilarious passed up layup that would make Rajon Rondo blush.

All worked out in the end though. For the Warriors, it rarely ever doesn’t.

 

Atlanta 107  –  LA Clippers 108

Atlanta  (10-30)  15th in West
LA Clippers  (18-21)  9th in West

I jinxed the Clippers last week by talking about health as if that was ever a realistic possibility and then watching Blake go out with a concussion 24 hours later, so I’ll just leave these highlights here and shut my mouth.


Schedule for Tuesday, January 9th

7:30   Miami  @  Toronto
8:00   Portland  @  Oklahoma City   NBATV
8:30   Orlando  @  Dallas
10:30   Sacramento  @  LA Lakers   NBATV



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