Ham’s Hoops Roundup Wednesday 1/24: LeBron Hits A Milestone… Cleveland Hits Rock Bottom

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The All Star Reserves are announced and they got some things WRONG. LeBron reaches 30,000 as the Cavs sink further into the abyss. And Kuzmania hits the floundering Celtics It’s the Hoops Roundup for Wednesday, January 24th. Let’s get it…


Scores from Tuesday, January 23rd:

Sacramento 105  –  Orlando 99
Cleveland 102  –  San Antonio 114
Brooklyn 108  –  Oklahoma City 109
Boston 107  –  LA Lakers 108
New York 112  –  Golden State 123


Around The Association

We started the night with the All Star reserves.

I’ll start with the East because… well… I actually didn’t have a problem with it.

With respect to Ben Simmons and Kemba Walker, the only one anyone considers a genuine snub was Andre Drummond. Andre for sure agrees

Basically it comes down to Love vs. Drummond. Love, who is quietly having an great offensive season, is far from their biggest problem defensively, and has basically been the only one other than LeBron keeping Cleveland afloat. Or Drummond, the centerpiece of a hot starting but since fading Detroit team who has improved his passing and free throw shooting and anchors a good defense.

I get it. I get rewarding improvement. I get wanting new blood. But at the end of the day I just don’t care that much about Andre Drummond. He brings nothing to the table at All Star and would unquestionably be the last pick. And if you want to go eye test: Detroit is 8-17 since November… no coach would take Drummond over any of these guys for a game, season, contract, whatever… and other than a 26/22 game in one of two against Boston he’s be outplayed by every other big in the East in their matchups. That’s it. Sorry Andre, I’m not fucking kidding.


Out West, it’s more confusing. I think Jimmy, LaMarcus, Russ, and Draymond were the only genuine, stone cold, have to be there locks.

The other three are toss ups. You have three spots here for eight players (Klay, KAT, Dame, Chris Paul, Paul George, Lou Will, Nikola Jokic, and Devin Booker)

Yes, Devin Booker is in that group. He’s posting nearly 25/5/5 a night on 44/38/89 splits. He’s carried a garbage Suns roster to a 14-23 record when he’s in the lineup. But he has missed ten games, and the Suns are just too far back for him to jump the other six, so he’s out. But shoutout to him.

So then it really just comes down to the other seven.

I think the coaches just went with consistency. Chris has been a borderline Starter when he’s played, but he missed 17 games. Lou Will has been un-fucking-real since November, but his first month and a half was choppy and far from All Star worthy. Paul George has been a monster defensively, but offensively he’s been as up and down as his team. Jokic is a beast, but he posts too many nothing games.

So instead they went with Dame, Klay, and Towns, who have all played the vast majority of their games (although Dame has missed 7) and do the same thing night in and night out.

I don’t agree, I’m just telling you what I think their thought process was.

Personally I would have gone with the locks (Jimmy, LaMarcus, Russ, Draymond) plus Chris Paul, Lou Will, and Towns

Klay doesn’t have to be there. He’s awesome, but he’s just not being asked to do what the rest of these guys are. And guys like Lou Will with better numbers and bigger roles deserve to be credited when they do what Lou Will has done. He carried the Clippers through a very dark stretch, took on a massive new role, and basically saved their season. That should be rewarded.

As happy as I am for Dame making it, Chris Paul is still washing him when they play, posting better numbers, and is a significantly better defender. And while Paul missing 17 matters, Dame has still missed 7. That gap isn’t big enough to overcome the gap in performance, and Chris has been unreal.

And I’m leaving Karl in.

This was the toughest. As much as I genuinely care about and want to reward PG’s defense, I just care a little more about wanting to reward an overachieving Minnesota team than I do an underachieving OKC team. Karl is posting 20p/12r a night on 54/41/84 splits and has significantly improved as a defender since Embiid disgraced him in early December. Minnesota is 15-6 since then and Karl’s jump defensively is a major reason fro that.

And as far as Jokic… dude go score the fucking basketball. There are too many Denver losses and unnecessarily close games where he’s scoring in the single digits or low teens. I totally understand his value as a distributor, but since October the Nuggets are undefeated when he scores 24 or more. It’s usually not that simple… but in this case it kind of is. The Nuggets not knowing if they’re getting 8 or 38 from Jokic every night has to, HAS TO throw the rest of them off. Go post a consistent 24 a night (which he can) and that gives the rest of the guys a clearer idea of what they need to do.

I feel you Lou. I feel you.


Sacramento 105  –  Orlando 99

Sacramento  (14-33)  15th in East
Orlando  (14-33)  15th in East

The two worst teams in the NBA played last night.

Hey so anyway… yesterday I wrote about the Cavs team meeting, Kidd’s firing and it’s impact on Giannis, Kawhi’s friction with the Spurs, Dame’s future, Durant’s lack of self awareness, Kemba’s trade prospects, and everything else that happened on a wild NBA Monday. ICYMI…


Cleveland 102  –  San Antonio 114

Cleveland  (27-19)  3rd in East
San Antonio  (31-18)  4th in West

In the midst of Cleveland’s collapse, Lebron posted this now infamous Instagram to his younger self. I don’t know how he managed to fuck up the same “Letter To My Younger Self” that every athlete in the world has written, but he did. And he got dragged for not only the absurdity of the letter, but for doing it in the middle of the most tumultuous stretch ever for a team of his.

But you know what? I think it was a visionary move. Not only did it distract away from the chaos yesterday (great teammate), it also prevented him from having to post it after a loss (thinking ahead). He knew they were getting washed last night and got it out early to make sure his Younger Self saw it during a happy time (not after a loss) and not at an unhappy time (after a loss). Honestly I don’t even know where I’m going with this anymore. Let’s just move on.

So… yeah… the Cavs are fucked.

Isaiah is a snitch and is so bad defensively that calling him a liability is an understatement. I love this meme so goddamn much.

I wrote in a blog after his first game that I’ve since deleted and burned the files that he had a chance to be LeBron’s best regular season sidekick. My reasoning was that the Cavs play so much through LeBron and that Isaiah could step in and play the mini LeBron roll without really changing or abandoning the offense the way they had in the past. I was very fucking wrong. And also didn’t take into account that whole other side of the ball where LeBron is the most physically gifted player ever and makes an insane defensive impact while Isaiah is 5’3″ and the biggest physical liability defensively in NBA history.

But hey, keep reading for more NBA takes!

 


The Cavs hate each other and clearly nothing stuck from that team meeting. I don’t know who exactly Jae Crowder and his 114 defensive rating and 41/32 shooting splits thinks he is with this move. On the list of Cleveland’s problems Kevin Love is the second to last name on the list and 3&D specialist Jae Crowder’s trash defense and brick shooting is right up there at the top.

As far as the Spurs, Dejounte Murray stole the show with 19p/10r/3a/7s and a ton of love from LeBron.

And LaMarcus followed up his All Star selection with 30p/8r on 12-18 shooting.

I’m gonna take this to another blog. But I’ll tell you now, I am a LeBron-Pop truther. More later.

 


Brooklyn 108  –  Oklahoma City 109

Brooklyn  (18-30)  13th in East
Oklahoma City  (27-20)  5th in West

This blog is long so I’ll breeze through this…

Russ (32p/5r/6a/2s) hit the game winner

Paul George (28p/9r) had himself a night after his All Star snub. The end.


New York 112  –  Golden State 123

New York  (21-27)  10th in East
Golden State  (38-10)  1st in West

The Knicks are in a bad place right now.

But also it’s like… it’s the Warriors. And KP didn’t play. So whatever.

Steph hit eight threes on his way to a 32p/6r/7a night.

And Bad Boy KD posted 14p/14a before getting himself ejected to prove his toughness or something.

It’s basically like Draymond is the class clown and gets himself sent to the principle for stuff that makes the whole class laugh. And KD is the kid who saw that and then does some shit that nobody thought was funny but gets himself in just as much trouble. Just sit in class and get your 30/6/6 in your very easy role and let Draymond be the class clown.


Boston 107  –  LA Lakers 108

Boston  (34-14)  1st in East
LA Lakers  (18-29)  11th in West

KUZZZZZZZZ

28 points on 10-16 shooting from Kuz, with 17 in the fourth.

 

 

This was a wild game that ended exactly the way it should have – with a missed Marcus Smart fallaway three that was quite literally the only bad shot for Boston in that situation.

Kyrie had 33, but Boston dropped it’s fourth straight. And since, again, this has been entirely too long I’ll just say this.

  1. For all the talk about Cleveland, Boston isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire right now. They’ve got the Clippers tonight, Golden State Saturday, and a Denver team that’s given them issues on Monday. It’s not far fetched to imagine this Boston team coming back home to play the Knicks next Wednesday on a seven game losing streak.
  2. Watching Boston fans delight in Cleveland’s demise, only to turn around and have that all doused by the Lakers on National TV? Ohhhhhh baby. It shined a beautiful ray of hope on my otherwise dark and pathetic existence.

And then I remembered the Knicks are pathetic and the Patriots are gonna win another Super Bowl next week and went right back to being sad.

See you guys tomorrow!


 


Schedule for Wednesday, January 24th:

7:00   New Orleans  @  Charlotte
7:00   Utah  @  Detroit
7:00   Phoenix  @  Indiana
7:00   Chicago  @  Philadelphia
7:30   Toronto  @  Atlanta
8:00   Houston  @  Dallas    ESPN
8:00   San Antonio  @  Memphis
10:00   Minnesota  @  Portland
10:30   Boston  @  LA Clippers    ESPN



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