Ham’s Hoops Roundup Friday 1/19: Hey Now, You’re An All Star, Curve Rihanna, Trust The Processss

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All Star Starters are announced. Embiid shines in Boston after making his first All Star team. Isaiah barely gets the Cavs back in the Win column. Harden returns and so does Houston’s mojo. And Jusuf Nurkic bullies the Pacers. It’s the Hoops Roundup for Friday, January 19th. Let’s get it…


Scores from Thursday, January 18th:

Philadelphia 89  –  Boston 80
Orlando 103  –  Cleveland 104
Minnesota 98  –  Houston 116
Indiana 86  –  Portland 100


Around The Association

The All Star Starters were announced last night on Inside The NBA.

I’m definitely 100% absolutely not mad that Embiid was voted in over Porzingis by a bunch of stupid fans and biased media members when the players voted for Porzingis because game recognize game. Absolutely not mad.

But I think we all know this thing is a sham and stupid I hate all of you I hope you have an awful Friday by the way totally unrelated Lets Go Vikings. SKOL.

 

I’m gonna pick my All Stars… the actual All Stars next week when the reserves are announced.

And I’ll also say that as a weirdo basketball junkie who cares entirely too much about the dynamics of star players and rivalries and the inner workings of the NBA’s illuminati, I am JUICED for this picking teams thing and I will absolutely be predicting the teams based on my own insane rational before we see who LeBron and Steph pick.

Jesus H. Christ I am a fucking loser.

Speaking of Inside The NBA… Chuck attempted to read last night…

…which brought back one of the funnier Chuck moments on Inside the NBA.

Between this and the laugh out loud “police presence” moment on Monday after the Clippers-Rockets fiasco this has been a monster comeback week for Inside The NBA.


Philadelphia 89  –  Boston 80

Philadelphia  (21-20)  8th in East
Boston  (34-12)  1st in East

No Kyrie for Boston and it showed last night. The C’s shot just 40.5% from the field,  24.1% from three, and racked up just 13 assists on their way to a season-low 80 points.

I know that Brad Stevens is Brad Stevens, but you do have to question how and why Jayson Tatum is still getting only 11 shots in 37 minutes without Kyrie out there. It’s not like he was super efficient with those shots last night (4-11 from the field, 1-3 from three for 11 points), and I know Stevens doesn’t want to turn his offense into iso ball… but when you clearly need a bucket and you’ve got a kid with stuff like this in his bag, maybe just let him go out there and chuck up 20+ shots for one night.

Aaron Baynes is a good defender. Al Horford is a great defender. The Celtics play awesome defense. And yet almost every time a big, strong, traditional-ish Center comes in there he’ll tear the Celtics up. You saw it with Towns going for 25p/23r last week on them. Gasol, Drummond, Jokic, Boogie. And then Embiid (26p/16r/6a) last night.

It’s just funny to be reminded that no matter how brilliant you are schematically or how much the game has changed or how different the Center position has become, size is still just… indefensible. A big as dude who is just taller and stronger than everyone can still just bully everyone out there. It’s changed over time for a multitude of reasons. But it still even applies with guys like Davis and Giannis and of course LeBron who are still a lot of times the biggest, strongest guy on the floor. Size… *deeply sighs*… matters, folks.

Speaking of that (what a goddamn transition)… Joel has no more time for Ri Ri.

Gotta respect that confidence from 2nd year teammate of T.J. McConnell, Joel Embiid.


Orlando 103  –  Cleveland 104

Orlando  (13-32)  15th in East
Cleveland  (27-17)  3rd in East

The Cavs finally (and barely) got themselves back on track last night, getting a Celtics style fourth quarter from Isaiah (21p/4a/2s) to barely squeak out a win over the last place Magic. Congrats guys.

LeBron had a quiet night (15p/5r/6a) for him, but did have one of the more absurd assists you’ll see this season.

Prompting this hilarious face from Dwyane Wade – which is pretty amazing when you consider that he’s probably seen LeBron do more amazing shit firsthand than anyone.

Derrick Rose returned from… I don’t even know… from an injury probably… or from not loving basketball anymore or something… I don’t know.

He looked good (9p/3r/1a/1b on 3-6 shooting) in 13 minutes of work. Which will of course last for two weeks before he gets injured again or feels unwanted or runs away from home to get back at his parents or something. I don’t know. And I don’t really care. I want to feel bad for how much his career has fallen apart but then I remembered he’s at best a sketchy, shitty person and at worst a rapist so fuck Derrick Rose.


Minnesota 98  –  Houston 116

Minnesota  (29-18)  4th in West
Houston  (31-12)  2nd in West

James Harden returned to the court after a two week absence, and the Rockets immediately went back to looking like the pre-Christmas Rockets team that was running through the league – hitting 17 of 39 threes (43.6%) and racking up 24 assists on their way to blowing out another very real contender in the West.

Harden went for 10p/7a in just 26 minutes, but added 2 steals and 2 blocks. Paul added 19p/6r/9a/3s.

But it was Eric Gordon (30p with 7 threes) off the bench and Clint Capela (20p on 7/9 shooting) who carried the scoring load.

Karl (22p/16r/3a/2s/5b) and Jimmy (23p/4r/2a/2s) were great, but Minnesota just did not and have the three point shooting (8/24 from three for Minnesota compared to 17/39 from Houston) to score with Houston.


Indiana 86  –  Portland 100

Indiana  (24-21)  6th in East
Portland  (24-21)  6th in West

Matchup of the respective 6 seeds, and probably a pretty good indicator of where each conference is at right now. Stack up the four teams competing for the last three playoff spots in the East (Indiana, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Detroit) vs. in the West (Portland, New Orleans, LA Clippers, Denver) and team by team it’s really not much of a competition. I’d probably even say all four West teams are better than any of those East teams, save for Giannis going full Giannis for Milwaukee on a given night. But I’m getting sidetracked here…

On a night where you’d expect Portland’s backcourt to be the advantage here, Indy actually got a good Darren Collison (23p with 5 threes) night to help Oladipo (23p/7r/3a/2b) match and even outscore Dame (26p/5r/8a) and CJ (16p on just 6-18 shooting). 

But as good as Oladipo was–especially defensively on CJ all night–he took a big time L on this yeet from Nurk.

Speaking of Jusuf Nurkic… the difference last night was inside with Nurk (19p/17r/2s/2b on 8-14 shooting) – who simply bullied a weaker Indy front court that has been without Myles Turner for five games and will be for at least another week.

 


Schedule for Friday, January 19th

7:00   San Antonio  –  Toronto
7:30   Miami  –  Brooklyn
8:00   Washington  –  Detroit    ESPN
8:00   Sacramento  –  Memphis
9:00   Phoenix  –  Denver
10:30   New York  –  Utah    ESPN
10:30   Indiana  –  LA Lakers



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