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Are you not entertained? Is this not what you wanted? Cavs-Celtics Tie Series. A Reality Check.

Are you not entertained? Is this not what you wanted? Cavs-Celtics Tie Series. A Reality Check.

Cavaliers- Celtics was the closest game, in terms of final score, out of all the games so far, or was it? LeBron James dominated and from time to time seems to be toying with the Boston Celtics.  Did anybody else notice LeBron check in with about 8 minutes left in the game, as if he was just going through the motions into another win?  LeBron makes it look too easy at times and it is really unfair compared to a Boston Team that seem to be struggling with the easiest things (Tatum missed dunk, Brown wide open shot).

Marcus Morris was the LeBron stopper and for 2 games Brad Stevens had the formula to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers. Stephen A Smith was yelling sweep.  The only talks were off the outcome of losing to the Boston Celtics would have on LeBron James’ epic career.  Then Saturday happen and yea that happen, good memories will forget the score.  Monday is gone and now we have gotten to a reality check.  Unlike the Warriors-Rockets series we are just hoping for a competition from one side of the equation.

3 games left tilt the bells are rang and one team has to move forward to the next round. 2 games are a must win, luckily for Boston, they play 2 games at home where they have played their best.  History is amazing, the Boston Celtics are 37-0 after leading 2-0 in a series, and LeBron James is now 7-0 winning the next games after being down 2-0.

We are experiencing history in sports whichever team wins. It is true poetic justice if the Celtics are the team that dethrones LeBron James especially without Kyrie Irving.  Also Historic would be if LeBron James once again makes it to the NBA finals.

The Celtics shouldn’t embraced full panic mode lose and go home mentality, because if they don’t is going to be Cavs in 6. There is not a scenario that doesn’t favor the Cavaliers, win game 5 and series is over in 6.  Cavs lose game 5, play a team that has only won 1 game on the road and go back to Boston with fiery LeBron James to deal with.

How can the Boston Celtics survived or have they ran out of luck?

I wrote previously an article called “2-0 is not end game for LeBron & the Cavaliers. Is far from over.” Now the series at 2-2. What happens next??

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The Phoenix Suns Select… DeAndre Ayton??

The Phoenix Suns Select… DeAndre Ayton??

The Phoenix Suns will have the number 1 draft pick in the NBA in 2018.  Ryan Conlin, our Phoenix Suns fan and expert, tells us why the only right choice is Ayton.  Also rumors that Karl Anthony Towns is not happy with the Minnesota Timberwolves organization, could that open up some doors for the Suns? it has been noted that Devin Booker and Karl Anthony Towns have good chemistry.

Watch The Video!! Tell Us What You Think!!

James Harden or Russell Westbrook?

James Harden or Russell Westbrook?

Note: Since certain stats weren’t around 5 yrs ago, I will compare the two based off the last 3 seasons.  Ever since the 2016-2017 NBA MVP race, the NBA community has been debating who the superior player was, both have great cases so it isn’t as easy to pick one as some may think it is.

OFFENSE

Scoring Russell Westbrook James Harden
2017-2018 25.4 ppg

9.5/21.1 = 44.9%

1.2/4.1 on 3s = 29.8%

5.3/7.1 on FTs = 73.7%

30.4 ppg

9/20.1 = 44.9%

3.7/ 10 on 3s = 37%

8.7/10 on FTs

2016-2017 31.6 ppg

10.2/24 = 42.5%

2.5/7.2 = 34.3%

8.8/10.4 = 84.5 %

29.1 ppg

8.3/18.9 = 44%

3.2/9.3 on 3s = 34.7%

9.2/10.9 on FTs

2015-2016 23.5 ppg

8.2/18.1 = 45.4%

1.3/ 4.3 = 29.6%

5.8/7.2 = 81.2%

29.0 ppg

8.7/19.7 = 43.9%

2.9/8.0 on 3s = 35.9%

8.8/10.2 on FTs = 86%

 

Midrange Russell Westbrook James Harden
2017-2018 211/530 = 39.8% 50/128 = 39.1%
2016-2017 216/595 = 36.3% 65/158 = 41.1%
2015-2016 144/336 = 42.9% 128/316 = 40.5%

 

Restricted Area Russell Westbrook James Harden
2017-2018 395/667 = 59.2% 281/450 = 62.4%
2016-2017 341/596 = 57.2% 275/420 = 65.5%
2015-2016 334/577 = 57.9% 277/456 = 60.7%

 

Catch and shoot Russell Westbrook James Harden
2017-2018 34/95 = 35.8%

26/76 on 3s = 34.2%

45/123 = 36.6%

44/120 on 3s = 36.7%

2016-2017 66/184 = 35.9%

54/155 on 3s = 34.8%

80/202 = 39.6%

77/195 on 3s = 39.5%

2015-2016 36/108 = 33.3%

32/96 on 3s = 33.3%

106/262 = 40.5%

104/251 on 3s = 41.4%

 

Pull up Jumpers Russell Westbrook James Harden
2017-2018 284/781 = 35.9%

63/225 on 3s = 28%

282/704 = 40.1%

213/549 on 3s = 38.8%

2016-2017 378/1006 = 37.6%

139/401 on 3s = 34.7%

269/740 = 36.4%

181/536 on 3s = 33.8%

2015-2016 243/643 = 37.8%

67/235 on 3s = 28.5%

281/731 = 38.4%

126/378 on 3s = 33.3%

 

Off Screen Russell Westbrook James Harden
2017-2018 25 points

9/20

45% FG

39 points

10/16

62.5% FG

2016-2017 50 points

18/39

46.2% FG

46 points

16/46

34.8% FG

2015-2016 21 points

9/18

50% FG

83 points

25/68

36.8% FG

 

Isolation Russell Westbrook James Harden
2017-2018 122/335 = 36.4%

7.5% tov frequency

38.8% score frequency

251/567 = 44.3%

4.7% tov frequency

51% score frequency

2016-2017 172/443 = 38.8%

6.0 TOV Frequency

41.5% score frequency

157/421 = 37.3=

10.3 tov frequency

41.1% score frequency

2015-2016 73/206 = 35.4%

11.8% tov frequency

35.4% score frequency

159/430 = 37%

10.2% tov frequency

41.5% score frequency

Thoughts: James Harden is the better scorer, he has that deadly step back, better shooter all around, he’s even better at finishing around the rim, Russ does have the edge in midrange Js and off screen points, but that’s it. Russ may score more points in a big game, but not efficiently.

Iso DEFENSE Russell Westbrook James Harden
2017-2018 46 points

15/45 = 33.3%

10.3% tov frequency

36.2% score frequency

91 points

35/96 = 36.5%

7.9% tov frequency

38.6% score frequency

2016-2017 51 points

20/47 = 42.6%

12.3% tov frequency

38.6% score frequency

86 points

25/67 = 37%

8.7% tov frequency

44.6% score frequency

2015-2016 49 points

20/51 = 39.2%

10% tov frequency

38.3% score frequency

78 points

28/87 = 32.2%

8.4% tov frequency

36.4% score frequency

 

Defensive efforts Russell Westbrook
2017-2018 265 deflections

174 loose balls recovered

281 contested shots

146 stls

104.4 DRTG

206 deflections

98 loose balls recovered

542 contested shots

126 steals

104.7 DRTG

2016-2017 231 deflections

113 loose balls recovered

296 contested shots

132 stls

104.6 DRTG

237 deflections

93 loose balls recovered

666 contested shots

121 steals

107.3 DRTG

Thoughts: Both get criticized for their lack of defense but when needed to get a key defensive stop, both are very capable of doing so. Russ is the better 1 on 1 defender, Harden does contest more shots but when Westbrook does hustle more on defense, it’s kinda close but I give Russ the edge.

 

Playmaking Russell Westbrook James Harden
2017-2018 10.3 apg

2.15 ast/tov ratio

33.2% usage rate

81 secondary assists

1586 potential asts

7492 touches

8.8 apg

2 ast/tov ratio

36.1% usage rate

56 secondary assists

1177 potential asts

6007 touches

2016-2017 10.4 apg

1.92 ast/tov ratio

40.8% usage rate

67 secondary assists

1810 potential asts

7679 touches

11.2 apg

1.95 ast/tov ratio

34.1% usage rate

66 secondary assists

1810 potential asts

7782 touches

2015-2016 10.4 apg

2.44 ast/tov ratio

31.3% usage rate

58 secondary assists

1561 potential asts

6927 touches

7.5 apg

1.64 ast/tov ratio

32.5% usage rate

58 secondary assists

1216 potential asts

6898 touches

Thoughts: Sure Westbrook is a point guard so he should be a better playmaker, however Harden basically has been one since 2013, both turn it over a lot but make it up with countless asts. It’s safe to say that as far as the numbers go and eye test, Westbrook is the better floor general. Sure Harden knows how to slow it down better, and is better at finding the open man, but Harden has better teammates shooting wise, in other words he has more snipers that are great at catch and shoot compared to some of Westbrook’s teammates.

Rebounding Russell Westbrook James Harden
2017-2018 10.1rpg

162 contested rebs

546 uncontested rebs

5.4 rpg

63 contested rebs

325   uncontested rebs

2016-2017 10.6 rpg

679 uncontested rebs

180 contested rebounds

8.1 rpg

500 uncontested rebs

154 contested rebounds

2015-2016 7.8 rpg

473 uncontested rebs

151 contested rebs

 

6.2 rpg

388 uncontested rebs

117 contested rebounds

Thoughts: Clearly Westbrook is the better rebounder even with a height disadvantage, both tend to stand there to get the reb and not defend their man, but that is because their team is better on the fastbreak when russ gets the reb as well as James. Once again Russ gets the edge.

Crunch time (last 2 mins game within 5) Russell Westbrook James Harden
2017-2018 94 points

34/83 = 41%

28 rebs

6 tovs

12 asts

50 points

13/37 = 35%

6 rebs

5 tovs

3 asts

2016-2017 136 points

42/101% 41%

25 rebs

8 asts

7 tovs

63 points

11/42 = 26%

17 rebs

10 asts

8 tovs

 

2015-2016 66 points

12/46 = 26%

22 rebs

13 asts

10 tovs

83 points

17/56

28 rebs 30%

20 asts

8 tovs

 

Thoughts: Clearly Westbrook is the better better in crunch time, outside 2016, Russ the past few years has been more efficient in big time moments. Even with a cold hand I trust Russ to take over a game than Harden eh2ose a deadly scorer……up until crunch time, no disrespect to James but he’s no closer, no shocker that Russ gets the edge.

Head to head stats Russell Westbrook James Harden
2017-2018 87 points

37/79 = 47%

17 rebs

28 asts

14 tovs

78 points

22/47 = 47%

17 rebs

34 asts

16 tovs

2016-2017 145 points

46/103 = 45%

36 rebs

37 asts

24 tovs

82 points

24/70 = 34%

29 rebs

49 asts

25 tovs

2015-2016 95 points

34/70 = 48%

43 rebs

49 asts

27 tovs

135 points

39/90 = 43%

23 rebs

35 asts

15 tovs

Thoughts: Sure HOU has beaten OKC more times (by 2) but that is a team stat and we’re looking at individual statistics something Russ has been superior at. Outscoring on a higher percentage and out rebounding James was no shocker as he is the better all around player.

Head to head playoffs Russell Westbrook James Harden
2016-2017 187   points (37.4ppg)

59/152 = 39%

58 rebs (11.6 rpg)

54 asts (10.8 apg)

30 tovs (6)

166 points (33.2ppg)

44/107= 41%

32 rebs (6.4 rpg)

35 asts (7 apg)

28 tovs (5.6)

Thoughts: Despite Harden having way more help, Russ who as you can see averaged a TRIPLE DUB which kept OKC close and 4/5 games were decided by single digits even though HOU was more stacked. Russ who was forced to chuck with limited help clear as day outplayed the MVP runner up all around.

Conclusion

Take it how you see it, numbers clearly point to Westbrook as he got the edge is just about every category, but if you think Harden is still the better player that’s fine.

Leave A Comment Who Do You Think Is Better??

Best Conference Finals performances since 1984

Best Conference Finals performances since 1984

Note: As of May 12th

  1.    With the series split at 2 apiece against the 93 Sonics, Charles Barkley had a monster triple double of 43 15 and 10 on 16/22 shooting in 47 minutes. W
  2. Down 3-2 with Game 6 at Boston, the Miami Heat needed LeBron to have a perfect game, and he did just that. Scoring 45 points very efficiently, out rebounding KG and Pierce 15-12 and dished out 5 asts, the Heat were able to survive and force a Game 7. W
  3. With 1 win away from reaching the NBA Finals back to back, Hakeem Olajuwon not only locked up David Robinson, but had a great all around game of 39 points, collected 17 rebs, 3 asts and 5 blocks while shooting 64%. W
  4. Looking to steal Game 3 on the road, the 2003 NBA MVP Tim Duncan not only had 34 points, 24 rebounds, and 6 asts, but he also had 6 blocks as well. W
  5. With limited help offensively, LeBron James in Game 5 against the 07 Pistons took over and at one point scored 25 of the team’s last 29 points. He was super clutch and finished with 48 points, 9 rebs and 7 asts. W
  6. In Game 7 of the 93 Western Conference Finals against the Sonics, Charles Barkley was on another level of greatness, scoring 44 points, gobbled 24 rebs and shot 60% was enough to get the win. W
  7. With Game 1 at Cleveland against Dwight’s Orlando Magic, LeBron James carried the team by dropping 49 points, grabbed rebounds, dished out 8 asts but still took the 1 point loss. L
  8. Although he’s not known for scoring, Rajon Rondo in Game 2 of the 2012 ECF dropped a playoff career high in pts, grabbed 8 rebs and still assisted on 10 shots, not to mention he shot 16/24 shooting. L
  9. Looking to tie the series at two apiece, Russell Westbrook erupted against the Spurs in 2014. Scoring 40 points on 50% shooting, grabbed 5 rebounds, dished out 10 asts AND stole the ball 5x. W
  10. With Game 2 at Oracle Arena, the 2015 NBA MVP runner up James Harden was fantastic all around scoring 38 points, collected 10 rebs and still assisted on 9 shots. L

Honorable mention; Dirk’s 48 points on 12/15 shooting 2011 WCF.

Who did we leave out??

2-0 is not end game for LeBron & The Cavaliers. Is far from over.

Another win by the Boston Celtics over the Cavaliers making it a 2-0 series in a best of 7.  Honestly aside from LeBron James and Kevin Love the Cavs are really hard to watch, especially Tristan Thompson-Kardashian and JR Smith.  Boston looks so good and somehow the talks are more about next year “trading Tatum-Brown for Kwahi” or “Kyrie-Hayward for Kwahi” then how good this team is right now.  How interesting is it that Brad Stevens didn’t get any votes despite the team success.

2 games down and the celebrations, the memes, the conclusions and all the nonsense of the NBA playoffs are coming to live.  The “LeBron haters” bandwagon has to either be at full capacity or at least looking into upgrading to a greyhound bus.  The NBA playoffs are fun to watch and they are even more appealing when one of the greats (LeBron James) is losing.  People are more surprised, intrigued and involved in the Celtics-Cavaliers than the Rockets-Warriors.

The Celtics are playing great right now, but truly won’t know that until they win the fourth game. At no point in time can they let their guard down.  Game 1 a 25 point victory, game 2 a 13 point victory, both victories at home.  The Celtics have not lost at home this post-season, also they have only won 1 game outside of their home.  They have been deadly at home, taking full advantage and adding to the argument on how important it is to have home court.

Game 1 the Cavaliers looked lost, like they didn’t want to be there at all.  Game 2 looked a little better like they started to get it going (for about 2 quarters) and then went back to just kicking back.  The 2 performances from the Cavaliers is exactly what they have been doing all season.  LeBron putting up great or even amazing numbers and the team is still ending with a loss is nothing new, it has been happening all season.

Should the Cavaliers be worried? Yes, you are down 2-0. Is true that the Celtics are 37-0 all time in series when they lead the series 2-0.  So should the Celtics still be worried? Yes.  They are going to Cleveland to play a pair of games, which could even the series up (just like it happen with the Bucks series).  The Celtics have struggled winning on the road this post season.  Have we forgotten about the Bucks series that went to 7 games, last game played in Boston, hopefully not?  The series vs the Bucks showed the Celtics true colors and how dependent they are on home court.

While the Celtics have only won 1 game away from home, the Cavaliers have won 3, now why does this even matter? Because if we follow the pattern and Celtics don’t win at home then is 2-2 series going back to the Celtics (like with the Bucks).  Game 5, will be decisive, if the Celtics can’t get the win then we look at a game 6 on the road down 3-2.  Best case scenario for the Celtics is for them to close it out the next 2 games because if they don’t win on the road they could be looking at game 7 Vs LeBron James.

Would you bet against LeBron James on a Game 7?

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