You can get this content every morning in your email inbox. Click here to subscribe to the HoopsHype Daily newsletter.
LE-MVP? Just when it seemed like one player was running away with the MVP award for this season, LeBron James flipped the discussion on its head over the weekend after winning two hugely important contests, first against the supposed MVP frontrunner Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks and then versus inner-city rivals, the Clippers, yesterday.
Against Milwaukee, James was spectacular, dropping 37 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in what was a 113-103 win for the Lakers. James followed that up with 28 points, seven rebounds, nine assists and two blocks against Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers, a 112-103 win for LeBron and Co., dictating the flow of the game throughout the contest and playing some of the best defense he has all season long.
Now, will these two outings be enough for James to win MVP at year’s end, and tie Karl Malone and Michael Jordan as the only 35-year-olds to win the prestigious award in league history? It probably depends on how the rest of the season shakes out, though it should be noted that Antetokounmpo still greatly outpaces James in various advanced metrics, including BPM, WS/48 and PER, with only VORP being close between the two superstars, as well as the fact that the Bucks still own the league’s best record.
Regardless, what James is doing at his age is truly special, and if the Lakers are close to Milwaukee record-wise towards the end of the campaign, the race between the reigning MVP and the four-time winner of the award will get very interesting.
SHOCKING DISMISSAL: A complete shocker occurred when it was announced that the Nets and Kenny Atkinson mutually agreed to part ways. Brooklyn is having a disappointing season at 29-34, but they’ve been without Kevin Durant for all of it and Kyrie Irving for most of it, so this was an extremely surprising move, and sort of seems like a player-dictated move.
😲 For what it’s worth, Irving reportedly wants Clippers’ assistant Ty Lue to take the job.
THE NITTY GRITTY: There were rumors last week regarding Chris Paul and the Knicks, so we decided to get detailed on the matter to determine how a CP3-to-New-York trade might look.
VALUE SIGNING: Mizzou product and younger brother of Denver’s Michael Porter, Jontay Porter, was on his way to becoming a lottery pick a few years ago prior to two devastating injuries. He’s healthy now, though, and Memphis just signed him to a team-friendly deal.
GETTING BACK TOGETHER? The Pacers and Lance Stephenson are reportedly in advanced talks on a potential deal. Stephenson is averaging 26.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists in China this season.
THERE TO STAY: Though he’s been talked about as a trade candidate before, Bradley Beal says he’s loyal to a fault, and that if he can control it, he’d finish his career with the Wizards.
BIG-NAME RESERVE: The Clippers are reportedly set to make a low-risk signing in Joakim Noah. Noah last played in the NBA last season, averaging 7.1 points and 5.7 rebounds over 42 games with Memphis.
MAJOR RETURN: Portland is set to re-add a major piece to their puzzle this week when Jusuf Nurkic returns on Mar. 15. It might be too little, too late for the Blazers’ playoff hopes, but Nurkic was excellent last season and could provide them a huge boost if and when he regains his form.
CORONA RESPONSE: The Athletic breaks down how various NBA players are adjusting their habits due to the coronavirus outbreak – if they are at all.
ALWAYS GRINDING: Although he has six years of pro experience under his belt, Cavs guard Matthew Dellavedova continues to fight to prove he belongs in the NBA.
SUPPORT SYSTEM: Even though he’s had an up-and-down season, Damion Lee has always received strong support from his teammates, and it paid off over the weekend when Lee led the Warriors to a surprising win over Philadelphia.