NBA Playoff Discussion; The Bulls Are Doing It, Bucks Could Create an Upset, MVP Battle Taking Place

The NBA Playoffs are well underway, and we are truly being treated to some great series’. LeBron James is back to being his playoff dominant self, but the Pacers are still fighting hard, led by Paul George. The Jazz are trying to figure out a new strategy against the Clippers now that Rudy Gobert is down indefinitely. Even the Blazers are fighting against the heavy firepower squad in Golden State, fuelled by their incredible back-court, who are an incredible scoring night in Game 1. But there’s a few playoff series which carry more weight than the rest. The 8th seed Bulls have something to prove with their experienced backcourt, and the Celtics are out to show they deserve that 1st seed place. The young Bucks squad are trying to show that they are not to be messed with, while Kyle Lowry returns to fuel DeMar DeRozan and the Toronto Raptors. And the MVP battle continues as Russell Westbrook and James Harden duel it out, trying to prove they both deserve that MVP award by progressing to the second round.

The Chicago Bulls are putting in work in the post-season, despite their 8th seed place in the regular season, and are showing the 1st seed Celtics that placement doesn’t mean a thing when you’ve got players like Jimmy Butler on your squad. And what’s funny is, a lot of people predicted this upset when the match-ups were set, because the Bulls have the ability to beat most teams in the league, although their regular season record shows otherwise. If I had to bet on an upset at the beginning of the playoffs, I would have put my money on Chicago taking down Boston, and for many reasons. Al Horford is pretty much diminished by Robin Lopez, Isaiah Thomas is slowed down relatively by Jimmy Butler, while he puts up anywhere between 20-40 points at the other end. Rajon Rondo is showing up for the first time this season, being just 1 rebound off a triple double, and tying the Bulls record for most assists inn a playoff game. For the first time, we’ve seen the Bulls’ “Big Three” show some chemistry and work together, which is why they’ve got a 2-0 lead heading back to Chicago. I’ve got to give a ton of credit to Isaiah Thomas for playing those first two games, despite the tragic loss of his sister Chyna in a car accident just a few days previous. It’s probably one of the hardest things a player will ever have to do – playing through grief, so respect to IT for showing up. And there’s a lot of people of Twitter saying it’s due to Thomas’ grief that the Celtics are unable to win, but I don’t think that’s the case. I mean, it’s awful what happened to Chyna, and if Isaiah was to play poorly, it would be understandable. But IT is still playing fantastic, I mean, he put up 33 in Game 1, only a day after Chyna’s death, so the blame cannot fall in Isaiah’s hands by any means. If you want to play the blame game, throw it at Al Horford and the rest of the Boston squad. Horford’s on a $110 million contract, yet he’s practically invisible while on the court, and is having little to no impact in the paint with the presence of Bulls mascot bully, Robin Lopez. So, despite the tragedy and grief he’s obviously playing with, IT is still showing up with a desire to win, but the rest of the Celtics are playing like a real 8th seed team, and not the kings of the East, and that’s why they’re heading to the Chicago 2-0 down, with a big mountain to climb. The way I see it, the Bulls could quite easily sweep the struggling Celtics, if they’re stars and supporting cast continue to play as they have been. A repeat of last night’s performance from Rajon Rondo, combined with another 20+ point game for Flash, and a typical night from Jimmy Buckets, could mean a swift exit from the playoffs for Boston, crushing Isaiah Thomas’ season-long effort.

I’m just going to say it now; Giannis Antetokounmpo is a freak in the playoffs. I mean, obviously he’s a freak all season long, hence the nickname – “The Greek Freak” – but he’s even more incredible when games truly matter. The Bucks, led by this freak of nature, are tied with the Toronto Raptors after last night’s narrow loss, thanks to huge games from Serge Ibaka, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. But they are tied, and heading to Milwaukee for Game 3, and Giannis is showing no signs of slowing down. He genuinely does everything on the court, hence why he led the Bucks in every major statistic during the regular season. But despite his incredible performance, the Bucks fell just short of a 2-0 lead heading home, as Ibaka and Lowry led the Raptors to this narrow victory, with Kyle hitting a clutch game winning two to seal the deal, and Serge hitting some important threes and defending the paint against an eager Bucks’ squad. Ibaka even swatted one of the Greek Freak’s attempts to get to the basket, which just seemed to drive him more, to be quite honest. The Bucks have surprised many watchers, including myself, who believed the Raptors would steamroll to a 4-1/ 4-2 victory over the inexperienced squad. But I’ve changed my mind, following their performance in Game 1 and 2, and am starting to think the Bucks could advance to the second round, or at the very least, force a Game 7. It’s probably the closest match up, second maybe to the Clippers – Jazz without Rudy Gobert, and is proving to be one of the most exciting to watch. I mean, they’ve held the Raptors to one loss and a very, very narrow win, a set of circumstances which I would never have forseen, even with my love for the game of Giannis. Maybe they can force an upset here, if Middleton and Thon Maker step up for some big performances. But, in saying that, the Raptors could easily throw the Bucks to the curb, if these big games from Lowry, DeRozan, and last night’s Serge Ibaka continue for the rest of the series, especially DeRozan has one of his many 40 point games. Ibaka defended the paint extremely well last night, even forcing Antetokounmpo to hesitate, and even avoid the paint, while he stood there, ready to swat anything that came nearby. It’s quite a pity that Jabari Parker is struggling with that knee injury, as adding an extra slasher to the mix would make this playoff series even more exciting than it already is. One thing’s for sure, though; if this series carries on the way it has for the initial two games, we’re in for the one of the closest first round matchups in recent history, fuelled by huge performances from the respective stars of each squad.

Russell Westbrook, James Harden, or Patrick Beverley. Who is the most important player in that series? Obviously, Pat Bev shouldn’t be in that conversation, by any means, but my God, he locked down Russ so bad. Going into that Game 1, I was expecting a 50 – 15 – 15 game from Brodie, and anything less hadn’t even crossed my mind. Then I remembered that rivalry that started between Pat and Russ that instigated two years ago when Westbrook and Beverley clashed knees, forcing Russ to sit for the rest of the series. I also remembered that Pat is one of the toughest defenders in the league. But I had never imagined that he’d agitate Westbrook so much, holding him to less than 25, and preventing a triple double (it’s odd how I expect a triple double from Russ, I realise), which has gotten my hopes up for a better performance from the other MVP candidate, that lad, James Harden. A poor first-half shooting performance was made unapparent by continuous drives to the basket and superb passing, as well as cooking up Enes Kanter that one time, leading to an outstanding 37 point outburst. And as important as The Beard will be throughout this playoff series, Pat Beverley will be equally as important in locking down Russell Westbrook, preventing those amazing 40/50 point triple doubles we’ve almost become accustomed to seeing from the Brodie. He antagonised Westbrook to an extreme extent in Game 1, and will prove to be a vital tool in stopping the league’s most explosive player. It’s hard not to see that Beverley’s tough, almost illegally aggressive, defense is getting to Westbrook, as that screen which completely levelled Pat, from Steven Adams was clearly a shot in retaliation for Beverly locking down and getting into the head of Russ on several occasions. His defense aside, Pat had a breakout game in terms of shooting, putting up a great 22 points on 4 buckets from downtown, proving that he can be a force on both ends when he’s feeling it. Coming from a Houston fan, this probably sounds biased, but after that thirty point blowout in Game 1, I’m starting to believe Di’Antoni’s Rockets can blowout the Thunder, but their performance in Game 2 tonight will be important in finalising my thoughts on the match up.

NBA Discussion; Beastbrook.

I had planned to give my award to the Defensive Player of the Year this evening, but Russell Westbrook has just completely changed my schedule after doing the one thing that would truly set him aside from the other MVP candidates (I’m still voting for James Harden, however) – he has finally joined Oscar Robertson to become the second person in NBA history to average a triple double for an entire season. Not only that, but he is currently tied with the Big O’s NBA record of 41 triple doubles in a single season, and with 3 games to go, I’m extremely confident that Brodie will hold that record come April 12th. It’s just too hard to believe that he’d go five games without a triple double, which has sort of locked in my belief that he will become the true triple double king at the end of the season.

Like I said, James Harden is still getting my vote for MVP, but, being a Rockets fan, that’s understandable. But the hate Westbrook is getting on social media, on the NBA’s official page and off-brand meme pages and such, is just ridiculous. I’m not a Thunder fan by any means, but it’s hard not to like Westbrook, both as a player and as a personality. He’s such a happy and fun person to watch, I mean, it’s difficult not to smile, or even laugh, when you watch Brodie do his pre-game dances, laughing and joking around with his teammates, particularly Cameron Payne. I watched a video of his pre-game dance while sitting on a chair before the Suns game last night, and I couldn’t help but laugh as he danced around and lip-synced to Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Humble.’ It’s really what sets him and Harden apart from the likes of Kawhi and LeBron – they relate to the fans, and genuinely look like they’re having fun while they’re doing what they’re paid to do, which is why you see them dancing and celebrating when they hit tough shots. You just don’t see Kawhi doing that, and it’s rare to see LeBron doing it, and when he does celebrate, it’s generally his signature angry face and shoulder brush. So the hate Westbrook’s getting, I really don’t understand it. From the perspective of a basketball fan and a person, I think people should just praise Westbrook for his amazing accomplishments this season, rather than finding ways to put him down while they talk up other players.

What Westbrook has done, and is doing still, this season, is absolutely phenomenal, to the extent that no other player has come close to matching up to him in terms of out-of-this-world achievements. Whether you’re voting for Harden, LeBron of Kawhi, if you can’t appreciate the things Brodie is doing this season, you’re not a true fan of the NBA. Aside from carrying the Thunder to a playoff seed, virtually all by himself, he’s breaking near-impossible records while he’s doing it. He became the only player to join Oscar Robertson triple double average club, and has done it with the weight of an awfully atrocious Thunder squad on his shoulders, which hasn’t seemed to slow him down. And while this stat would be amazing for any player with the ability to achieve, it’s much better that we see it coming from Westbrook. He was abandoned by superstar teammate Kevin Durant at the start of the season, left all alone to carry a poor team, against an 11-12th place projection by most fans. But he’s showed everyone that he wasn’t ready to give up like KD was, and has brought the Thunder to the playoffs, and at full speed as always, I might add. He could potentially be the first MVP, that isn’t part of a top 3 seeded team, in over 20. So if you needed another argument for Westbrook’s MVP case, there you go. And look, I’m completely for Harden winning MVP this season, but I certainly won’t be mad if it’s given to Westbrook, because he is just as deserving of the award as The Beard.

Just a quick word on how close this season’s MVP race is – it’s recently come to light that the regular season MVP won’t be announced until after the Finals, in an “Award Show,” likely to give the league a chance to total up their results from social media votes and such. But I have a theory; what if the league are holding off handing out the award until the end of the playoffs, because they still don’t know who’s more deserving between Harden and Westbrook, and are going to use the playoffs as a further measure of each player’s ability and value to their team? I know the MVP award is based on regular season performances, but doesn’t it make sense? Anyway, it’s just a thought I had while trying to think of ways Harden can outshine Westbrook’s beast of a season. Congratulations to Beastbrook on officially averaging a triple double for the season, and I’m sure I’ll be talking about holding the record for most single season triple doubles in a few days.

Let me know what you think of Russ’ amazing season so far down below, and follow my blog for more NBA Discussions and to see me complete my end of season awards. The DPOY award will be handed out tomorrow evening, apologies again for the delay, but I couldn’t not talk about Westbrook after what he’s done. Check out my Twitter for updates on the blog and just my general shite posting. Enjoy your day!

NBA Discussion; Harden or Westbrook? – 30th March 2017

This years MVP race has been one of the closest in NBA history, at least in recent history anyway. Players like LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard and even Isaiah Thomas are in the conversation for the greatest individual award this season, and are creating their own campaigns for why they deserve the award through their outstanding play in the league. LeBron is, well LeBron, Kawhi is one of the greatest two way players in the league currently, and Isaiah is proving his doubters wrong with his spectacular performances in the 4th quarter of tight games. But there’s really only two true competitors for the 2016-2017 MVP award, and I shouldn’t even have to say who are they, but I will anyway. Russell Westbook and James Harden are the clear contenders for MVP this season, with both point guards basically carrying their entire teams on their shoulders, racing to playoff spots despite the doubts both teams received at the beginning of the season. But who deserves the MVP award, Harden or Westbrook?

*Before I begin I should clarify that my decision on this years MVP is my personal opinion, and should not be taken as an experts thoughts in any way. I don’t wish to aggravate any fans of either player, please don’t kill me.*

Both Harden and Westbrook are phenomenal players, their ability to carry what would otherwise be extremely weak teams, which were both predicted to be lottery teams, is unmatched by almost any other player in the league, and is certainly not comparable at the level of sheer amazement they display on a nightly basis. Harden is currently leading votes for the award, according to the #KIAMVPRace on the NBA Facebook page, with an astonishing 40% of the votes over his peers. But with still 9 games to go before the end of the season, and Westbrook being only 5 triple doubles away from beating Oscar Robinson’s NBA record of 41, The Beard’s MVP campaign is definitely not a done deal.

Westbrook is having one of the greatest statistical seasons in NBA history, averaging 31 PPG, 10.6 RPG and 10.4 APG, that being a triple double, which obviously is the main argument for Russ’ MVP case. This sensational feat has only been achieved once before, when Oscar Robinson did so back in 1962. But The Big O also lost out on the MVP award that season, despite averaging a triple double, when he finished third behind Wilt Chamberlain, who averaged over 50 points and 25 rebounds, and Bill Russell, the winner of the award and NBA title of that season. His ability to carry an otherwise extremely awful OKC Thunder is what puts him in this top two front-runner for MVP. What he lacks in defence, he more than makes up for it with his explosive offensive capabilities. Despite being criticised for being a ‘ballhog,’ as stated by almost every nobody on Twitter, Westbrook actually has pretty phenomenal vision, I mean, did you see his crazy half-court pass to Oladipo that went through the defender’s legs? You can’t be a poor passer and manage to pull a pass like that off in-game. And maybe he does force his stats a little, particularly in the rebounding front when you see the likes of Adams and Kanter just allow him to rebound the ball over them, but wouldn’t you if you had the chance to break a 55 year-old, nearly impossible record? Of course you would. Westbrook has this weird knack for making everything he does look extremely difficult, what with the crazy layups and pull-up threes from stupidly deep range. He seems to always be in full charge mode, for example, Sports Illustrated journalist Ben Golliver made a great point about the difference between Harden and Westbrook, basically saying that Harden makes everything he does seem so easy, gliding up and down the court, while Westbrook just looks freakishly athletic with this ability to do the impossible, which is why most casual NBA fans would choose Westbrook over Harden. This obviously makes a lot of sense, these, what are they called, ‘highlight watchers,’ only watch out for spectacular plays as their motive for choosing an MVP, and when you look at Russell Westbrook’s highlights, they seem a hell of a lot more impressive than Harden’s.

But let’s look at his flaws. Obviously, Russ is the Thunder’s go-to-guy down the stretch of close games, so naturally, his usage rate skies when this is the case. And let’s be completely honest, he hits some incredible shots in clutch time, last night, for example, he hit that crazy pull-up three off the glass from about 10 or 11 feet behind the line to send the game to overtime against the Mavs, and then continued to take over and secure the W for the second close Thunder game this week. But he is heavily flawed in failing to trust his team mates in close moments, settling for a contested three to seal the deal, rather than passing the ball to another Thunder player who is, in most cases, in a better position. He doesn’t necessarily make his team mates better like a LeBron or James Harden, which is probably why he wasn’t heavily voted for by players in the All Star voting, because, as sad as it is to say, he just isn’t a great team mate. No doubt, Westbrook is when of the most passionately driven players in NBA history, and his desire to win is second only to playoff LeBron James, and as an individual, he’s extremely good at taking over games when it matters. But he’s not like James Harden, he can’t take less than average team mates and turn them into a second or third seed team. Yes, he makes the Thunder better, but only by his individual performances night in and night out, which is why his team are now looking at the bottom end of the playoff picture, while his peers are sitting comfortably with clinched playoff spots. His inability to make his team mates better players is why he has to do everything himself, unlike Harden’s ability to do so with an otherwise equally bad team, and is why, for me, Westbrook just is not the MVP this season. You can talk about his turnovers and missed shots when criticising Westbrook, but the two leading MVP vote getters are also the highest ranked in TOPG, mainly because of their huge usage rates, so for me, the main argument against Russ’ MVP campaign is that, his team are sitting in the 6th seed in the West, which obviously isn’t the worse place they could be considering their projections at the start of the season, but his inability to improve the play of his team, as a team, is why they won’t move from that sixth seed, and why Harden is my choice, as both a fan of the Houston Rockets and of the NBA in general, for the MVP for this season.

I’ll probably take some backlash for my choice of Harden as MVP, because, like I said, I am a Rockets fan, which probably makes me slightly biased, but he is receiving 40% of fan votes for the award, so I’m definitely not the only one considering him the clear winner. The Beard is averaging 29.3 PPG, 8 RPG, combined the assist leader with 11.4 per game, which is, while obviously not as good statistically as Westbrook’s triple double average, is still off the charts. I mean, Harden could probably get those extra 2 rebounds a game if Clint Capela did what Adams and Kanter do with Westbrook, and just allowed Harden to grab a couple of extra boards each game, but I doubt those rebounds are as important to Harden as winning is, which he and the Rockets are doing at a fairly better rate the Westbrook’s Thunder, being 9 games ahead of them in the standings. This has gotten them to the 3rd seed in a tough Western Conference, and clinched them a playoff spot over two weeks ago. When watching a Rockets game, it’s almost instantly clear that Harden has this unique ability to connect with the players around, an ability seen in LeBron and Chris Paul, which is pretty special considering he doesn’t even have a years experience as a point guard. He makes his team mates better, and despite him being a scorer at heart, he’s adapted that dimer vision, which allows him to find his team mates even, when driving to the board, which is why he’s became so skilled at the pass and kick tendency we saw so often from him. He and the Rockets are leading the season series against the Thunder 2-1, which automatically gives him a standing point over Westbrook. Like I said earlier, Harden has this crazy ability to make everything he does seem so easy, which is why he’s overlooked as the MVP, because, when you look at Westbrook’s highlights, Harden’s almost don’t seem like highlights as he just glides around the court, sliding off pick and rolls and throwing effortless lobs to Clint Capela, or firing a bullet to a corner shooter like Ariza or Anderson. For this reason alone, I believe Harden could be, no, should be, MVP. And yes, he’s turnover prone, but as is Westbrook, so that argument is kind of invalid here. And the argument that ‘James Harden plays no defence,’ also can’t be used this year, because, for the first time I’ve seen in a season, Harden is actually playing decent defence, and while it not be better than Westbrook’s, it certainly isn’t worse. And I know, the MVP award is based on regular season performance, but if you had to take the Thunder or the Rockets for the NBA Finals come April, who would you take? For me, the choice of that battle, and the battle for MVP, is quite clearly the Rockets and James Harden.

I’ve made my case for why I believe Harden is more deserving for MVP this year, but, to be quite honest, I wouldn’t be mad if either of these players won the award, because, quite frankly, they’re both extremely deserving. Like NBA legend Kobe Byrant said, we could have co-MVP’s this season. Let me know who you think should be the MVP down below, and why. Follow my blog for more NBA Discussions, and check out my Twitter for my general shite posting. Enjoy your day!

This years MVP race has been one of the closest in NBA history, at least in recent history anyway. Players like LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard and even Isaiah Thomas are in the conversation for the greatest individual award this season, and are creating their own campaigns for why they deserve the award through their outstanding play in the league. LeBron is, well LeBron, Kawhi is one of the greatest two way players in the league currently, and Isaiah is proving his doubters wrong with his spectacular performances in the 4th quarter of tight games. But there’s really only two true competitors for the 2016-2017 MVP award, and I shouldn’t even have to say who are they, but I will anyway. Russell Westbook and James Harden are the clear contenders for MVP this season, with both point guards basically carrying their entire teams on their shoulders, racing to playoff spots despite the doubts both teams received at the beginning of the season. But who deserves the MVP award, Harden or Westbrook?

*Before I begin I should clarify that my decision on this years MVP is my personal opinion, and should not be taken as an experts thoughts in any way. I don’t wish to aggravate any fans of either player, please don’t kill me.*

Both Harden and Westbrook are phenomenal players, their ability to carry what would otherwise be extremely weak teams, which were both predicted to be lottery teams, is unmatched by almost any other player in the league, and is certainly not comparable at the level of sheer amazement they display on a nightly basis. Harden is currently leading votes for the award, according to the #KIAMVPRace on the NBA Facebook page, with an astonishing 40% of the votes over his peers. But with still 9 games to go before the end of the season, and Westbrook being only 5 triple doubles away from beating Oscar Robinson’s NBA record of 41, The Beard’s MVP campaign is definitely not a done deal.

Westbrook is having one of the greatest statistical seasons in NBA history, averaging 31 PPG, 10.6 RPG and 10.4 APG, that being a triple double, which obviously is the main argument for Russ’ MVP case. This sensational feat has only been achieved once before, when Oscar Robinson did so back in 1962. But The Big O also lost out on the MVP award that season, despite averaging a triple double, when he finished third behind Wilt Chamberlain, who averaged over 50 points and 25 rebounds, and Bill Russell, the winner of the award and NBA title of that season. His ability to carry an otherwise extremely awful OKC Thunder is what puts him in this top two front-runner for MVP. What he lacks in defence, he more than makes up for it with his explosive offensive capabilities. Despite being criticised for being a ‘ballhog,’ as stated by almost every nobody on Twitter, Westbrook actually has pretty phenomenal vision, I mean, did you see his crazy half-court pass to Oladipo that went through the defender’s legs? You can’t be a poor passer and manage to pull a pass like that off in-game. And maybe he does force his stats a little, particularly in the rebounding front when you see the likes of Adams and Kanter just allow him to rebound the ball over them, but wouldn’t you if you had the chance to break a 55 year-old, nearly impossible record? Of course you would. Westbrook has this weird knack for making everything he does look extremely difficult, what with the crazy layups and pull-up threes from stupidly deep range. He seems to always be in full charge mode, for example, Sports Illustrated journalist Ben Golliver made a great point about the difference between Harden and Westbrook, basically saying that Harden makes everything he does seem so easy, gliding up and down the court, while Westbrook just looks freakishly athletic with this ability to do the impossible, which is why most casual NBA fans would choose Westbrook over Harden. This obviously makes a lot of sense, these, what are they called, ‘highlight watchers,’ only watch out for spectacular plays as their motive for choosing an MVP, and when you look at Russell Westbrook’s highlights, they seem a hell of a lot more impressive than Harden’s.

But let’s look at his flaws. Obviously, Russ is the Thunder’s go-to-guy down the stretch of close games, so naturally, his usage rate skies when this is the case. And let’s be completely honest, he hits some incredible shots in clutch time, last night, for example, he hit that crazy pull-up three off the glass from about 10 or 11 feet behind the line to send the game to overtime against the Mavs, and then continued to take over and secure the W for the second close Thunder game this week. But he is heavily flawed in failing to trust his team mates in close moments, settling for a contested three to seal the deal, rather than passing the ball to another Thunder player who is, in most cases, in a better position. He doesn’t necessarily make his team mates better like a LeBron or James Harden, which is probably why he wasn’t heavily voted for by players in the All Star voting, because, as sad as it is to say, he just isn’t a great team mate. No doubt, Westbrook is when of the most passionately driven players in NBA history, and his desire to win is second only to playoff LeBron James, and as an individual, he’s extremely good at taking over games when it matters. But he’s not like James Harden, he can’t take less than average team mates and turn them into a second or third seed team. Yes, he makes the Thunder better, but only by his individual performances night in and night out, which is why his team are now looking at the bottom end of the playoff picture, while his peers are sitting comfortably with clinched playoff spots. His inability to make his team mates better players is why he has to do everything himself, unlike Harden’s ability to do so with an otherwise equally bad team, and is why, for me, Westbrook just is not the MVP this season. You can talk about his turnovers and missed shots when criticising Westbrook, but the two leading MVP vote getters are also the highest ranked in TOPG, mainly because of their huge usage rates, so for me, the main argument against Russ’ MVP campaign is that, his team are sitting in the 6th seed in the West, which obviously isn’t the worse place they could be considering their projections at the start of the season, but his inability to improve the play of his team, as a team, is why they won’t move from that sixth seed, and why Harden is my choice, as both a fan of the Houston Rockets and of the NBA in general, for the MVP for this season.

I’ll probably take some backlash for my choice of Harden as MVP, because, like I said, I am a Rockets fan, which probably makes me slightly biased, but he is receiving 40% of fan votes for the award, so I’m definitely not the only one considering him the clear winner. The Beard is averaging 29.3 PPG, 8 RPG, combined the assist leader with 11.4 per game, which is, while obviously not as good statistically as Westbrook’s triple double average, is still off the charts. I mean, Harden could probably get those extra 2 rebounds a game if Clint Capela did what Adams and Kanter do with Westbrook, and just allowed Harden to grab a couple of extra boards each game, but I doubt those rebounds are as important to Harden as winning is, which he and the Rockets are doing at a fairly better rate the Westbrook’s Thunder, being 9 games ahead of them in the standings. This has gotten them to the 3rd seed in a tough Western Conference, and clinched them a playoff spot over two weeks ago. When watching a Rockets game, it’s almost instantly clear that Harden has this unique ability to connect with the players around, an ability seen in LeBron and Chris Paul, which is pretty special considering he doesn’t even have a years experience as a point guard. He makes his team mates better, and despite him being a scorer at heart, he’s adapted that dimer vision, which allows him to find his team mates even, when driving to the board, which is why he’s became so skilled at the pass and kick tendency we saw so often from him. He and the Rockets are leading the season series against the Thunder 2-1, which automatically gives him a standing point over Westbrook. Like I said earlier, Harden has this crazy ability to make everything he does seem so easy, which is why he’s overlooked as the MVP, because, when you look at Westbrook’s highlights, Harden’s almost don’t seem like highlights as he just glides around the court, sliding off pick and rolls and throwing effortless lobs to Clint Capela, or firing a bullet to a corner shooter like Ariza or Anderson. For this reason alone, I believe Harden could be, no, should be, MVP. And yes, he’s turnover prone, but as is Westbrook, so that argument is kind of invalid here. And the argument that ‘James Harden plays no defence,’ also can’t be used this year, because, for the first time I’ve seen in a season, Harden is actually playing decent defence, and while it not be better than Westbrook’s, it certainly isn’t worse. And I know, the MVP award is based on regular season performance, but if you had to take the Thunder or the Rockets for the NBA Finals come April, who would you take? For me, the choice of that battle, and the battle for MVP, is quite clearly the Rockets and James Harden.

I’ve made my case for why I believe Harden is more deserving for MVP this year, but, to be quite honest, I wouldn’t be mad if either of these players won the award, because, quite frankly, they’re both extremely deserving. Like NBA legend Kobe Byrant said, we could have co-MVP’s this season. Let me know who you think should be the MVP down below, and why. Follow my blog for more NBA Discussions, and check out my Twitter for my general shite posting. Enjoy your day!

NBA Discussion; Miami Bringing the Heat, Melo Trade Rumours Continue, KowarD Shirts – 11th Feb 2017

The NBA’s been filled with drama and surprises lately, with the Miami Heat going on the biggest win streak this season, Carmelo Anthony’s trade rumours continuing to escalate as his performances get better and better, and the Thunder fans wearing the “KowarD” shirts to insult Kevin Durant. Safe to say it’s been a rather dramatic season so far, but previous weeks have topped it off for the 2016-2017 season, so let’s get into it.

First of all; the Miami Heat. Oh my God. How are they doing this? They’ve went on the longest winning streak of season (currently at 13 Ws). Not only that, but they’ve set the NBA record for longest winning streak for a team playing below .500 basketball after surpassing the previous record of 12 games. And the Heat aren’t beating just poor teams, they’ve taken down the Golden State Warriors, the Rockets and the Hawks on this crazy stretch of fantastic performances, so nobody can really say they’re at an easy part in the schedule. I must confess, I’d written off the Heat as a playoff team back in November, but recently I have to give credit to Waiters, Whiteside and even Dragic, who have been balling out lately as they’ve led the former NBA giants to just 1 game behind a playoff seed. If they can continue to play the way they’ve been playing, the Heat could shock some fans into making a playoff run, not a deep playoff run honestly, but second round isn’t completely out of the question if they keep this run up. Miami are really bringing the Heat to the league.

I genuinely feel sorry for Carmelo Anthony at this stage. These trade rumours are getting completely out of hand, despite Melo’s recent outstanding performances in clutch games on a struggling Knicks team. It doesn’t make much sense; when the Knicks lose, Melo’s to blame, but when they win, it’s because of Porzingis’ performance. These aren’t my thoughts, but the logic of Knicks fans, who show no love to the player stopping them for being dead last in the conference, even if they aren’t in the playoff picture. Melo’s been linked to several teams this season; the Clippers, the Cavs, and most recently, the Bulls. I feel Melo could actually fit well on a Bulls’ squad, as a secondary scorer behind Jimmy Butler, but it’s unlikely to happen as the Bulls don’t have a lot to trade for a player like Melo. Carmelo’s been balling out recently, clinching some much needed wins in close games for the Knicks, despite the rumours of him getting traded hanging over his head every day. Wherever he ends up, I give props to him for handling the speculation so well and playing to his full ability despite not being wanted by the majority of the Knicks fanbase, who I have absolutely no respect for anymore.

The Warriors are taking on the Thunder in Oklahoma tonight, which means the “beef” between Westbrook and KD has escalated as the former duo battle it out once again. Kevin Durant has reportedly hired extra security for the game in OKC tonight, tripling Golden State’s security for the night, as he is clearly anxious of being attacked or mobbed by angry fans. But the story of the night is this:

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This is the t-shirt OKC Thunder fans will be wearing to show their disgust at Kevin Durant’s departure to Golden State in the off-season. I genuinely laughed at the image, to be fair it’s very clever. But I think Thunder fans are taking this a bit too far now. Fair enough, Durant was obviously ring hunting when he made the decision to join the Warriors, turning them into the greatest team in NBA history, and it’s completely understandable to brand him a traitor. But he’s not the first player to do it, LeBron also did it when he joined Miami back in 2011, and many have done it in the past. But either way, whether you like or dislike KD, there’s no denying that he’s a fantastic player and scorer, and will most likely be the missing piece the Warriors were looking for to take down LBJ and the Cavs.

Let me know what you think about Miami’s winning streak, Melo’s trade speculation and the KowarD shirts down below. Follow my blog for more NBA Discussions and check out my Twitter for updates on my blog and to keep up with my general shite posting. Enjoy your day!