Ham’s Hoops Roundup Thursday 1/18: THE VIOLENCE IN CHICAGO (And Also The Refs Stink)

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Things get violent in Chicago. NBA Officiating reaches it’s boiling point in Knicks-Grizzlies. Kawhi is out but the Spurs are still kicking. And Jalen Rose calls Paul Pierce petty right to his goddamn face. It’s the Hoops Roundup for Thursday, January 18th. Let’s get it…

Scores from Wednesday, January 17th:

Washington 109  –  Charlotte 133
New Orleans 93  –  Atlanta 94
San Antonio 100  –  Brooklyn 95
Detroit 91  –  Toronto 96
New York 99  –  Memphis 105
Golden State 119  –  Chicago 112
Miami 106  –  Milwaukee 101
LA Lakers 90  –  Oklahoma City 114
Utah 120  –  Sacramento 105
Denver 104  –  LA Clippers 109

Around The Association

Jalen Rose Calling Paul Pierce “Petty” To His Face Was My Favorite Moment Of A WILD Week In The NBA

I took this to a separate blog because it’s just too goddamn good.

What an incredible week for the NBA. I didn’t write about this in that blog and I’ll keep it quick… but holy shit did the NBA dunk on the NFL’s head this week. We’re coming off maybe the greatest Playoff Sunday ever with for sure the craziest playoff ending ever and by Monday night the Rockets were storming the tunnels of Staples like The Bastille and I haven’t thought thrice about the Conference Championships since then. This should be the second biggest week in the NFL season and right now they’re an afterthought. The NBA has had so many stories that the craziest moment since Summer 2015 is now the third biggest story of the day two days later. I love this league so goddamn much.


The Spurs are putting Kawhi back on the shelf for an indefinite period of time after playing just 9 of 18 games since returning on December 12th. Does it suck? Yeah. But if it means a healthy and fresh Kawhi coming back for the playoffs to wreak havoc then that’s a good thing. So long as San Antonio stays in that two/three spot then why not play it safe.

Washington 109  –  Charlotte 133

Washington  (25-20)  5th in East
Charlotte  (18-25)  11th in East

Steve Clifford returned to the sidelines last night, and the Hornets responded by hanging a franchise-record 77 points on Washington in the first half. Dwight (16p/15r) and Kemba (19p/7a) led the way, and the Hornets have quietly won 5 of 7 to start the New Year. They’re only four games out of the eight spot in the East. The Knicks could fall off quickly these next few weeks. Philly is Philly until they prove otherwise. And I just do not trust that Pistons team. Keep an eye on Charlotte.

New Orleans 93  –  Atlanta 94

New Orleans  (23-21)  6th in West
Atlanta  (13-31)  14th in East

Hey you guys remember when I said Anthony Davis (8 points on 2-8 shooting last night) was taking the leap and that New Orleans was a lock playoff team yesterday? Me neither.

San Antonio 100  –  Brooklyn 95

San Antonio  (30-16)  3rd in West
Brooklyn  (16-29)  13th in East

I wrote about the Kawhi news at the top (Around The Association) if you missed it.

I think they’re gonna be fine.

Patty Mills went for 25 points on 7 threes and LaMarcus (34p/8r on 13-24 shooting) continues to make the case for All Star stater and All NBA guy.

Detroit 91  –  Toronto 96

Detroit  (22-21)  8th in East
Toronto  (30-13)  2nd in East

Nothing personal against Andre Drummond–who was very good (25p/14r/4s) in the loss last night–but I’m glad the “Andre Drummond top 20 player” noise has died off. The guy jumped up to 62.5% at the line and is passing it more. That’s great. I’m still not claiming Andre Drummond even a top 30 player with all the talent in this league, let alone top 20. Glad he’s improved. Good for him. But let’s all relax here. He barely outplayed Jonas Valenciunas (17p/16r) last night.

New York 99  –  Memphis 105

New York  (20-25)  10th in East
Memphis  (15-28)  12th in West

The NBA Officiating situation is starting to reach a boiling point right now.

We all know the deal… The NBA has lost a lot of high profile officials in recent years… these new young guys aren’t communicating with players the same way… players–especially stars–are getting more confrontational on the court… there’s less back and forth… and about five times a week someone is openly complaining about the officiating to the media.

I think implementing Monty McCutchen as the one in charge of teaching these new guys will be a good thing in the long term. And I also do think there’s a certain element here where things are so good and so healthy with the NBA that… while it’s definitely an issue… it’s getting a little overblown because there’s so little else to complain about.

But it’s still bad. And right now I think everyone’s at fault. Bad calls are bad calls. That will happen from now until forever. Officiating basketball is just too subjective for that to ever change. But the relationship between players and officials is abysmal right now.

The refs themselves obviously have to be more engaging with the players. But the players themselves also have to help ease these guys in. No, it’s not their role to baby the officials. But right now there’s clearly a communication disconnect and it’s impossible for the refs to close that gap all by themselves.

Everyone relax. Everyone make an effort here. Because if this isn’t fixed now, in the dregs of January and February, then all hell is going to break loose in the Playoffs. Figure it out… everyone.

With all that said, Derrick Stafford was a fucking joke last night.

Derrick Stafford single-handily decided a basketball game with 1) an abominable loose ball foul call on KP that should never be called, let alone with a minute left in a three point game… 2) completely fucking up the jump ball, leading to… 3) the single pettiest tech that has ever been handed out ever.

It was as embarrassing a stretch of officiating as I’ve ever seen and if he isn’t reprimanded for it I’d be floored. He was mad at how Lee reacted to his (AWFUL) call against Porzingis, then chose to decide the basketball game by retaliating with a NOTHING tech just out of spite. Against, by the way, a guy who at that point had two (2) career techs in ten (10) seasons and is probably in the bottom 2% of NBA players who should be T’d up to “stop and incident” or “send a message” in that situation. It was the pettiest thing I’ve ever seen. What a fucking joke.

Was that why the Knicks lost last night? Yes it’s actually exactly why they lost. Knicks win that tip, Porzingis ties it with a three, Lee picks Tyreke’s pocket again, Super Cool Beas windmill yams it with 0.2 left, ballgame.

But if you want to take the boring, rational, realistic approach – they lost that game because they STUNK defensively for he first three quarters. Even as Porzingis went ’96 Mutumbo in the third and blocked no less than twenty shots, they still couldn’t lock in and stop Tyreke Evans (23p/6r/10a) and the goddamn Marc Gasol-less Grizzlies and fell down 18 midway through the third.

And then, wildly enough, Frankie Smokes a.k.a D’Artagnan the Demi Dog came in and stopped the bleeding.

I’m not anti Hornacek. My Horniness has died down over time – but hey hasn’t everyone’s? Am I right fellas? But I’m not calling for his head yet.

But his handling of Frank’s minutes is getting to the point that I’m starting to lose my fucking mind.

Frank is coming off his best game of the year, is clearly feeling as confident as he has all season, has five assists in the first half… and you give him eight second half minutes? EIGHT? 

You’re starting a six game road trip. After that 7 of your 9 games leading into the All Star break are against East playoff teams. This is the stretch that’s going to decide your season. You clearly care about making the playoffs – otherwise you’d be playing Frank more than 20 minutes a night. So you absolutely need him to go into this stretch with some confidence.

He comes in halfway through the third. Even though he hasn’t hit a shot, his defense and energy help close the gap from 18 to 10. There’s 9 minutes left. Porzingis is checking back in. You can steal a few minutes with those two and maybe that opens things up for Frank. Porzingis is significantly better with Frank on the court (see below). If you leave Frank out there to help close the gap even further that’s another huge confidence boost to start this road trip…

…and you pull him to play 34-year-old Jarrett Jack the last nine minutes. Awesome.

Porzingis (21p/9r/7b/3s) was good not great, even with the 10 block+steals.

I don’t want to keep beating this point into the ground – but Frank and KP have to play more together. Frank & Beas have developed a nice PNR chemistry in the second unit. But because Beas rolls more and is so good at getting positioning, it allows Frank to passively linger on the perimeter and be more of a passer.

That’s fine, and he’s getting much better at those interior passes. But if you want him to be more aggressive he has to play with Porzingis.

Porzingis will pop out more and will pull defenders with him and will open up that lane like a highway for Frank. If you want him to be more aggressive and get to the hole, utilizing the single most dangerous pick and pop big in the NBA will probably help that, Jeff.


Lastly… If Derrick Stafford was the LVP last night, our runaway MVP was the legend Walt Clyde Frazier taking a ball to the dome but absolutely trooping it out. Holding the ice but still ripping the mic. Cold compressin’ but never stressin’. Face numbin’ but never bumblin’. Folks I’m advil poppin’ but I’m never stoppin’ alright that’s enough. 

Golden State 119  –  Chicago 112

Golden State  (37-9)  1st in West
Chicago  (17-28)  12th in East

Hey speaking of injuries… how about the absolute bloodbath in Chicago last night?

*extremely All Lives Matter voice*


The Chicago kids continued to impress last night, Dunn (16p/5r/4a/3s and 2 chipped teeth), Markkanen (11p/8r and 1 homicide of Steph), and Mirotic (24p/6r/3a/3s) kept Chicago in it and even within 5 after the Dunn steal-dunk-faceplant with three minutes to go.

But Steph (30p/9r/4a) and Klay (38p/4r) hit 13 threes together because they’re still Steph and Klay.

Miami 106  –  Milwaukee 101

Miami  (26-18)  4th in East
Memphis  (15-28)  12th in West

I don’t give Hassan Whiteside (27p/13r/6b) much love here and I’m gonna continue to not do that.

LA Lakers 90  –  Oklahoma City 114

LA Lakers  (15-29)  13th in West
Oklahoma City  (25-20)  5th in West

Efficient Melo showed up last night with the triple 27 line of 27 points in 27 minutes for a +27 plus/minutes, hitting 10-15 from the field and 4-6 from three.

Utah 120  –  Sacramento 105

Utah  (18-26)  10th in West
Sacramento  (13-31)  15th in West

Donovan Mitchell (34p/3a/3s on 14-19 shooting) has probably jumped Ben Simmons by now for ROY. Simmons is great. They both are. But Mitchell has had no real lull or drop-off this season while basically carrying this Jazz team.

On god tho… Mitchell better pray to god that Jeff Hornacek continues to barely play Frank Ntiilikina on Friday. Let Frank mark Mitchell for 35 minutes and it’s OVER.

Bogdan Bogdanovic (25p/6r on 9-11 shooting) and Willie Cauley-Stein (26p/10r)

Denver 104  –  LA Clippers 109

Denver  (23-22)  9th in West
LA Clippers  (23-21)  7th in West


Jokic (18p/8r) and Teodosic (15p/4r/5a/3s) battled in LA last night and folks,, age over beauty am I right?

LA just keeps on climbing up the standings. THey’re in a three way tie for 6th with New Orleans and Portland right now, just 1.5 games behind OKC for 5th. They’ve got a real chance to make a statement these next two weeks (@Utah, vs. Minny, vs. Boston, @Memphis, @NO, vs. Portland) before an easy East Coast swing takes them into the break.

The Clippers are back guys.

You know… for now.

Schedule for Thursday, January 18th:

7:00   Philadelphia  –  Boston   TNT
7:00   Orlando  –  Cleveland
9:30   Minnesota  –  Houston   TNT
10:00   Indiana  –  Portland

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