Westbrook or Harden!

If you’re living and breathing in 2017, you’ve heard the talk: Westbrook vs. Harden for MVP. Both players are having incredible seasons, playing at historic rates. Ex-player Kobe Bryant struggles so much to pick a definite winner that he argues there should be a “Co-MVP” award for the first time ever. Before I give my input on the winner, let me first say “Co-MVP? This is the NBA, not UPWARD sports. There ARE winner and losers.”

The votes are already in and will be revealed by Drake at an awards ceremony June 26. To prevent a Steve Harvey situation, I think it’s important that I give my opinion on who should be the 2016-2017 regular season MVP.

Standing at 6’3”, weighing 200 lbs from the University of California in Los Angeles, number zero, RUUUUUUUSSSEELLLL WESTBROOK!!! There is NO question that Russell Westbrook, in my opinion, is the MVP.

 

 

brook.gifThe Rockets improved to 55-27, third place in the West after finishing 41-41 last season. The Thunder finished 47-35, sixth place in the West after going 55-27.

Westbrook finished the season averaging a triple double, 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.4 assists. Harden, in a switch to point guard, averaged 29.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 11.2 assists.

Below, I’m going to address a few fan tweets and give my take on why Russell Westbrook is most deserving of the award.

BHazMr. Hazouri, you tried to refute the argument that Russell has very little support players surrounding him. I would simply have to disagree. Neither player is on a “superteam” like our friends in the Bay and in the Land. But based on support players alone, the Rockets have Lou Williams and Eric Gordon coming off the bench, averaging a combined 33 points per game. Westbrook has the help of Victor Oladipo on the wing and the Stache bros in the post, but they don’t bring that much offense. The Thunder, with Russ on the floor, averaged 107.9 points per 100 possessions, whereas when he is on the bench, they only score 97.4 points per 100. The latter is similar to the 10-win 76ers from 2015 (96.6). The Rockets, with Harden scored 111.8 points per 100 possessions versus 106.5 points without Harden. That being said, Mr. Hazouri, the Rockets are better statistically than the Thunder, even without Harden on the floor.

JPeeds.pngDr. Pederson, it was your audacious statement that actually prompted me to give my input on the subject. You are correct in your statement, but far from convincing. James Harden did lead the NBA in double-doubles this year with 64 total. Right behind him, though, in second place is Mr. Westbrook with 62. As for triple doubles, the gap is significantly larger. Westbrook finished the season with 42 triple doubles compared to Harden’s 22. As you always say, “To effectively persuade an audience, organizations must provide evidence that coincides with the audience’s existing beliefs”.

KirkDr. Kirkpatrick, I appreciate your tweet, but refuse to buy your argument. When it comes to the crunch time of games, defined as the final five minutes with the game within 5 points either way, Russell Westbrook is an absolute monster. We all remember the game against the Denver Nuggets on April 9 where Russ willed the Thunder to victory. He scored 18 of his teams’ final 21 points, including the buzzerbeater from 35 feet out. In the crunch time of games, Westbrook leads the league shooting 44% from the field and points per 100 possessions, at 72.4. During these final minutes, OKC is +24.9 points when he is on the court.

Please provide your comments below if you agree or disagree but don’t @ me.

Statistics from ESPN.com

 

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What If…

A Hypothetical NCAA Basketball Tournament

March Madness is coming to an end and with Gonzaga and North Carolina playing tomorrow in the College Basketball National Championship, it is only fitting to imagine a “What if” tournament with some of the greatest teams that NEVER played together. With college basketball’s “One-and-Done” rule, players are allowed to “declare for the NBA Draft once they’ve competed a year of college or been out of high school for a year”.1 This rule has hurt the current system of college basketball due its new players coming and going every year. But what if, we made a bracket consisting of some of the best “one-and-dones”, which school would win the tournament? Below are four teams, Kentucky, Duke, UCLA, and Texas, all prominent teams affected by the “one-and-done” and are now collaborated into a dream team. Each team will be broken down against their opponent in a tournament-style bracket to determine the most dominant “Could’ve Been” team from the past decade.


Semi-Final 1: 2010-2013 Kentucky Wildcats vs. 2006-2008 Texas Longhorns

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 Kentucky

Point Guard John Wall (SR)
Shooting Guard Brandon Knight (JR)
Shooting Guard Eric Bledsoe (SR)
Power Forward Anthony Davis (SO)
Center DeMarcus Cousins (SR)
Forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (SO)
Forward Terrence Jones (JR)
Forward Willie Cauley-Stein (FR)
Guard Archie Goodwin (FR)
Forward Nerlens Noel (FR)

Unknown

Texas

Point Guard DJ Augustin (SO)
Shooting Guard Daniel Gibson (JR)
Small Forward PJ Tucker (SR)
Power Forward Kevin Durant (SO)
Center LaMarcus Aldridge (JR)
Guard AJ Abrams (JR)
Forward Dexter Pittman (SO)

This matchup is very intriguing. Obviously, everyone knows Kentucky and being notorious for pumping players into the NBA. For Texas, everyone recognizes Kevin Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge. Although, they are both very talented and having lucrative NBA careers, it’s hard to see how Kentucky would lose this game. With the athleticism of John Wall and Eric Bledsoe, combined with the inside brutality of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, they would be extremely difficult to stop. Not to even mention the strong bench with five notable NBA role players. Their depth and size gives them the edge and it’s not even close. Score: Kentucky 85 – Texas 71


Semi-Final 2: 2014-2015 Duke vs. 2007-2009 UCLA

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 Duke

Point Guard Austin Rivers (SR)
Shooting Guard Rodney Hood (JR)
Small Forward Justise Winslow (FR)
Power Forward Jabari Parker (SO)
Center Jahlil Okafor (FR)
Guard Grayson Allen (FR)
Guard Quinn Cook (SR)
Guard Tyus Jones (FR)

Unknown-3.jpeg

UCLA

Point Guard Darren Collison (SR)
Shooting Guard Jrue Holliday (FR)
Small Forward Russell Westbrook (JR)
Power Forward Luc Mbah a Moute (SR)
Center Kevin Love (SO)
Guard Josh Shipp (SR)
Forward Alfred Aboya (SR)

Again, another very exciting matchup. This is a relatively young Duke team based on professional experience. From UCLA’s standpoint, everyone knows Russell Westbrook and what he is capable of doing every single night. That being said, UCLA gets the upset here almost single handedly due to Westbrook. Winslow is a good, scrappy defender, but would be unable to slow down #0. This Duke team would be very exciting with the athletic Jabari Parker and outside shooting of Rodney Hood and Allen, Cook, and Jones, off the bench. The Bruins just have too much offense for  the Blue Devils to slow down. Even if the game was close, who can stop Russell Westbrook in the final seconds? Score: UCLA 92 – Duke 84.


Championship: 2010-2013 Kentucky Wildcats vs. 2007-2009 UCLA Bruins

images-2

 Kentucky

Point Guard John Wall (SR)
Shooting Guard Brandon Knight (JR)
Shooting Guard Eric Bledsoe (SR)
Power Forward Anthony Davis (SO)
Center DeMarcus Cousins (SR)
Forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (SO)
Forward Terrence Jones (JR)
Forward Willie Cauley-Stein (FR)
Guard Archie Goodwin (FR)
Forward Nerlens Noel (FR)

russell-westbrook-and-kevin-love

UCLA

Point Guard Darren Collison (SR)
Shooting Guard Jrue Holliday (FR)
Small Forward Russell Westbrook (JR)
Power Forward Luc Mbah a Moute (SR)
Center Kevin Love (SO)
Guard Josh Shipp (SR)
Forward Alfred Aboya (SR)

UCLA enters the game off a fiery performance from Russell Westbrook, getting past a good Duke team. Awaiting the Bruins is not a good, but a great Kentucky team. Kevin Love is a good defender, but both Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins would prove to be too much. Wall, Knight, and Bledsoe will get up and down the court fast and match the energy of Westbrook. As good of a passer as Westbrook is, the goal is still to keep the ball out of his hands and make his other teammates make shots. The “Bigs” of Kentucky will do what they do best and that’s protect the rim. Between them, they averaged 6.09 blocks per game2 combined for their current NBA teams. The game will be competitive, but in the end, there’s no way Kentucky loses, even in the madness of March. Score: Kentucky 74 – UCLA 69

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Notes:

1: CBSSports.com

2: Stats from ESPN.com

Gold Bond, Pampers, and the NBA

Fresh off the NBA All-Star Weekend and we are half way through the NBA season. The headlines for the weekend could be the pathetic dunk contest on Saturday night or the lack of defense on Sunday night, but let’s take a look at some business deals that occurred throughout the weekend involving several marquee players.

Gold Bond has recently announced that they will begin sponsoring the Houston Rockets suffering from extreme cases of saddle sores due to constantly riding James Harden’s back. This summer, Harden signed a four-year, $117 million contract extension with the Houston Rockets. Gold Bond recently received several complaints via Twitter and other Social Media outlets from current Rocket players. Just this weekend, they produced a statement saying, “We have agreed to a 4 year contract with the entire Houston Rockets organization providing products and treatment to the players. We see this as a attainable market to help out NBA teams that seem to keep riding on the backs of their superstars and suffering from rashes and the itchiest of problems.” Honestly, if it were not for EVERYTHING James Harden has done, I would not even put them in the playoff picture! Eric Gordon, the winner of the JBL Three-Point Shootout tweeted, “Thankful for the dub, but shoulda finished it earlier had I not been suffering so bad…#goldbond”

gold-bond

Pampers released a new line of adult diapers during the All-Star Game on Sunday night. The featured photo on the new diapers will include Golden State Warriors, Point Guard, Stephen Curry. On the packaging, it says, “Ever wet the bed on your big day? Don’t worry, the Warriors blew a 3-1 series lead.” You can buy your limited Steph Curry Pampers at your local Walmart or Target for a limited offer of $24.99 per 100 diapers. Hurry while supplies last!

steph-curry

If you are the slightest sports fan, you have been aware of the Kevin Durant-Russell Westbrook drama. If have a social media account, you are bombarded with the KD-Russ drama. Heck, if you’ve even been alive in the past five months, you are aware of the KD-Russ drama. That being said, NBC’s Days of Our Lives, is doing a special break from the normal show and for Season 53, starting on June 1, will document the Kevin Durant-Russell Westbrook drama in a never-before-seen drama.

westbrook-durant

Judge Judy, the famous court case TV show, will be running a special court case with the two sides: Carmelo Anthony and Phil Jackson. The two have had a roller coaster type season with Carmelo’s mediocre performances and the Knick’s struggling record. There have been talks of “Carmelo here”, “Carmelo there”, “Carmelo everywhere”, yet he remains in New York. With the trade deadline approaching, expect Judge Judy to revoke his no-trade clause and make the decision on whether or not Carmelo lands in Cleveland, Los Angeles, or stays in New York. You can watch the newest episode on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. on the CW or stream it through the CW App.

        carmelo judge-judy

During the media interviews at the All Star Weekend, Kyrie Irving made the bodacious comment “This is not even a conspiracy theory. The Earth is flat.” The media has erupted in disbelief, kids all around the country are questioning what they believe, and Pythagoras is rolling in his Greek grave. Due to the egregious statement, Hooked on Phonics (HOP) has verbally committed to work with Kyrie after practices, during travel periods, and pregame. Having only completed one year at Duke University, they want to help him become more than a basketball player, but a well-educated member of society. The Cleveland Cavaliers have agreed in contract to pay HOP $500,000 for their services throughout the remainder of the 2016-2017 season and playoffs.

kyrie

Stay tuned for more breaking NBA business and sponsorships news.