Posts Tagged With: Golden State Warriors

MVP Race: Steph or James?

The other day, a co-worker asked me who I think is the MVP between Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry and Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden. He’s a Rockets fan, so naturally, he said Harden. I disagreed and chose Curry because I felt he’s more consistent (and I like him more as a player, 99 percent of the reason I chose him). My co-worker raised some good points in favor of the bearded shooter, but I couldn’t bring myself to concede, which got me thinking: without any bias, which one is more MVP-worthy?

After further thinking and taking their roles on the court into consideration, I have to stick with Steph for five reasons:

1. The obvious — check the record. The Warriors are currently first in the Pacific Division with a 34-6 record and only one home loss. Golden State also went on a 16-game win streak in November and December. The Rockets, however, are 29-14 with a 15-7 home record and third in the Southwestern Division. Basketball is a team sport, so you can’t attribute the Warriors’ better record to just Curry like you can’t say Harden does it all by himself. However, you have to take each team’s wins and losses into consideration. Edge: Curry.

2. Scoring: Harden has led the last 12 of 18 games in scoring, averaging 27.2 points per game on the season compared to Curry, who has only led the last seven of 17 in scoring and averages 23.2. But, Curry’s field goal percentage is better on the season at 50.1 percent, with Harden not too far behind at 45.2 percent. Curry also has Harden beat in three-point field goal percentage, 40.2 percent to 38.3 percent. So, although Harden scores more, Curry is more accurate. Edge: Curry.

3. Assists: In the last 10 games, Harden is averaging seven assists per game and has a game-high in assists in the last 10 of 18 games. Steph has dished out 9.2 dimes in the last 10 games and led in assists in 10 of the last 17 games. It also helps Curry is a point guard, so naturally, he knows how to distribute the ball and get it where it needs to go. Edge: Curry.

4. People’s Choice: Curry leads the starting lineups for the 2015 NBA All Star Game in votes with 1,513,324. Harden finished fifth overall, but may earn a starting spot at the two after news of Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant’s torn rotator cuff. Edge: Curry.

5. Four just seemed like an odd number to end with, so I’ve decided to think of another qualification (five is a much more absolute number). Going back to the teams, as a whole, the Warriors have a better chance of going further come playoff time. In the past, Golden State has made some deep runs in the playoffs for the past few years and looks as though this could be the year for the team to go all the way. Houston has had its struggles and even with the addition of Josh Smith, the team will have stiff competition being in the Western Conference. Because, he has a better chance of getting ring number one first… Edge: Curry.

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NBA on Christmas Day

Football is to Thanksgiving as basketball is to Christmas: they just work together. Throughout the day, five games will be played, starting at noon ET on ESPN with the New York Knicks hosting the Washington Wizards in Madison Square Garden. The NBA-filled day ends at 10:30 ET on TNT in Los Angeles as the Clippers take on their rivals, the Golden State Warriors, which will hopefully be a good game. Between spending time with family, I plan to watch as many games as possible. Here are my picks for each game:

  • Wizards at Knicks: Wizards. I think this one is a give-me game for the Wizards. The Washington team is doing well, with John Wall averaging 17.8 points, 10.4 assists and 4.6 rebounds. Their team gels well together and are currently 19-8, making them third in the Eastern Conference. The 5-25 Knicks, however continue to struggle and even though Carmelo Anthony is putting up big numbers, 23.7 points per game, it’s not enough. Wizards win 100-89.
  • Thunder at Spurs: Thunder. Even with Kevin Durant out, I give Oklahoma City the advantage. Kawhi Leonard is still out for the Spurs and Tony Parker may be out as well. Russell Westbrook seems to be running on all cylinders. If he plays the point, Cory Joseph is going to have a rough time trying to contain him. It will, of course, be a more competitive game than the one before, but I give the Thunder the edge 99-95.
  • Cavaliers at Heat: Cavaliers. Well, this will certainly be an interesting (and tense) game. It will be LeBron James’ first time back in South Beach since he decided to leave earlier this year. No doubt, he will be showered with boos, but still play well. The Cavs are still getting used to playing with one another, but at 17-10, I think they can arrange to do some good things on the offensive end to get the victory. With Chris Bosh out indefinitely, the Heat’s front court will take a hit. Kevin Love is currently averaging a double-double, making him a threat when it comes to shooting and crashing the boards. Kyrie Irving’s quickness will be too much for Mario Chalmers, allowing him to get the ball where it needs to be in a timely manner. Even with the home court advantage, Miami falls to Cleveland 94-110.
  • Lakers at Bulls: Chi-town. Derrick Rose is back. *drops mic* …*picks mic back up* But seriously, even if Kobe Bryant plays, it won’t be enough for the Lakers to get the win in Chicago. The Bulls have a good thing going and I don’t see the LA team messing that up. If Nick Young gets hot, he can put up some major points, but on the other side, there’s Rose and Jimmy Butler at the other end ready to fire at will with former Laker Pau Gasol getting it done in the paint. Being that Gasol is playing his former team and Carlos Boozer his former team, it will be interesting to see how each does. Chicago has the advantage 103-97.
  • Warriors at Clippers: Clippers. This is heart over head decision. The 19-10 Clippers have to keep it moving and get the win. Golden State is coming off a 115-105 loss to the Kobe-less Lakers, which could work in either team’s favor. The Warriors could use it as motivation to get the next win. The Clippers can be motivated by it because if a struggling Lakers team can win without Bryant, they should be able to get the job done with the squad they have. Being at home on Christmas Day, I trust that everyone will step up and put on a great show. Clippers take care of business and win 118-113.

Merry Christmas!

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Christmas Match-up Predictions

       Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, but not for the reasons that some may think. Other than spending time with family and 24 hours of “A Christmas Story,” there are back-to-back basketball games on all day, starting at 9 a.m. PT with the Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets. Here are my picks for each game:

  • Bulls vs. Nets – Bulls. The Nets are having a hard time this season with all of the new adjustments and are 5-8 at home. They are also having a hard time putting the pieces together to win and have yet to get over .500. With the absence of Derrick Rose, the Bulls have also struggled in the season. However, they have key players like Joakim Noah who have stepped up to help. Noah averages 10.6 points and leads the team with 9.9 rebounds per game. Another reason why I think the Bulls will win is because they are more familiar and have better chemistry with each other than the Nets do, especially with all of the drama surrounding the team, most recently including Kevin Garnett’s recent remarks.
  • Thunder vs. Knicks – Thunder. I think this one is self-explanatory, but I’ll explain anyway. The Thunder are one of the best teams in the league right now, while the Knicks are one of the worst. It also doesn’t help that Carmelo Anthony is a game-time decision after rolling his left ankle against the Orlando Magic Monday night. With both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook healthy and ready to play, I don’t think a Knicks blowout  is anything less than realistic.
  • Heat vs. Lakers – Heat. The Heat are on a five-game winning streak and coming off of an overtime win against the Atlanta Hawks. LeBron James is only improving and leads the team in points, rebounds and assists per game. The team has all the weapons it needs to beat a restructuring Lakers team. Not only are they still rebuilding, the Lakers are an inconsistent team. Some nights Nick Young can shoot the lights out in the Staples Center, while other times, it looks like the lights are out while he’s shooting. It’s also important to mention that Kobe Bryant will be out, so they have no real dominant force on the court. They may put up a good fight being that they’ll be at home, but I don’t see the Lakers beating the fiery Miami Heat.
  • Rockets vs. Spurs – Spurs. Both teams are doing well, as Dwight Howard seems to be adjusting better to Houston than he did to LA. It should be a good game, but I think the Spurs will be able to get the win over the Rockets. As the best team in Texas, the San Antonio Spurs have the experience and skill to defeat the young team. They also have the home court advantage, only losing three at home so far this season.
  • Clippers vs. Warriors – Clippers. This will probably be the most competitive game. Although Steph Curry has been a dynamic shooter for the Bay Area team, the Clippers have several clutch shooters and are improving defensively. The Clippers are also first in the Pacific Division, while Golden State is third. The two teams are tied for most points allowed with 99.1, but the Clippers average more points per game. After the Clippers’ outstanding comeback overtime win against the Minnesota Timberwolves, there’s no telling how far this team can go (NBA Finals maybe?).

Merry Christmas, everyone, and let the games begin!

Categories: basketball, Brooklyn Nets, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, National Basketball Association, NBA, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

NBA schedule will be released Tuesday

The NBA schedule is set to be released on Tuesday during an NBA TV special at 6 p.m. EST and posted on NBA.com. The show will highlight season openers and games of interest. Some teams have already listed their preseason games.

Some of those teams include the Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks.

The Miami Heat will open their season with a home game against the Atlanta Hawks on October 7. Before the game on that day, Miami will additionally get their rings.

The Heat will also play on Christmas Day in Los Angeles against the Lakers. The other LA team, the Clippers, will head to northern California to take on the Golden State Warriors on Christmas as well.

While the schedule has not been finalized, most of the season openers and Christmas games do not change between the initial and finalized schedule.

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NBA Playoffs

     After a long hiatus (school work calls), I felt it was necessary to get back on my blogging horse.

The playoffs are heating up as the Miami Heat and Memphis Grizzlies make their way to the Eastern and Western Conference Finals, respectively. Each series only lasted five games, but the losing teams were missing their key components.

After Russell Westbrook’s season-ending injury in the first round against the Houston Rockets, the  Oklahoma City Thunder has struggled to find a leader of the team. Westbrook also was an essential part to the Thunder’s scoring game. They were able to get past the Rockets, but the Grizzlies were too fast and physical to let the Thunder get through. Zach Randolph has been a focal point in the Grizzlies’ success during their playoff run.  Randolph averages 19 points and 9 rebounds per game. He’s been a dominant player and was able to shut Blake Griffin down in the first round of the playoffs and made big plays against the Thunder. The Grizzlies will go to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history and will face the winner of the Spurs/Warriors series.

The Heat were able to win in five games against the Chicago Bulls after two of the Bulls’ point guards (Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich) and forward Luol Deng were unable to play due to injuries and illness. Nate Robinson took over as the starting point guard. Robinson was able to come up big in the series, but it wasn’t enough. The Heat meshed well and were able to win decisively in three out of the five games of the series (they lost one). The Heat will go on to play the winner of the Pacers/ Knicks series.

My predictions for the remaining series: Spurs and Pacers.

The Golden State Warriors are a talented team and have been able to win two games against the seasoned veteran Spurs, but they are still very young. When Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson get hot, the Warriors are unstoppable. At the same time, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan are, for the most part, consistent and can make things happen on the offensive end. Kawhi Leonard also plays a major role on the Spurs’ team, averaging 14 points in the Western Conference Semifinals against the Warriors. Although I’m rooting for the Warriors (they’re the last team standing from my home state), I don’t think they’re experienced and prepared enough to win against the Spurs.

I pick the Pacers over the New York Knicks because the Pacers are on a hot streak. Paul George, George Hill, David West and Roy Hibbert are all big parts of the success of the Pacers’ team. They all contribute in a major way on both ends of the court. The Knicks have Carmelo Anthony and Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith, but they are not enough to keep the rising stars of Indiana down. The Pacers are up 3-1 and with the way that they’ve been playing, it’s not likely that the Knicks will be able to win three back-to-back games against them. There may be a chance that the Knicks win this game, as they are 31-10 at home, while the Pacers are 19-21 away. Even with that in mind, the Pacers did manage to win one game in Madison Square Garden. They play game five tonight, which should be a good one: the Pacers will be playing hard to end the series, while the Knicks will be playing hard to stay alive in the playoffs.

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