Stephen Curry was awarded the Most Valuable Player award this past week, and it was well deserved. James Harden finished second in the MVP race and as I scrolled through my Twitter timeline, many people weren’t happy about it; even going as far as to say he got “robbed.” Personally, I feel that’s going a step too far. As the regular season ended, I felt as if Harden would win the award because numbers wise, he had some of the bigger games and at times, he literally did it by himself. However, I don’t believe the league could’ve gone wrong picking either player. The league could’ve even said “hey, let’s give them co-MVPs;” but I know the world would’ve went into an uproar calling it a cop-out. But what makes this even better is that if they can both win their respective series, they can go at each other in the Western Conference Finals to prove who the real MVP is.
How can you be mad though? The best player on the best team in the league; his numbers speak for themselves. Curry averaged 23.7 points a game to go along with 7.7 assists and 2 steals a game. He had a PER of 28.06 which ranked 3rd in the league and when talking about how much a player means to his team; Steph had a usage rate of 28.3 with a +/- of 16.9 which leads his team. When you hear players of the Golden State Warriors talk about Stephen Curry, they always describe how humble he is and we really got to see that in his MVP speech. He gave a lot of credit to his teammates, all of the coaches that have taught him over the years, and even his father, Dell Curry; in which he got emotional explaining how much of an influence he was.
The MVP award was greatly deserved after a remarkable season. Now it’s up to Curry and the rest of the Warriors to cap it off with a NBA Championship as they fight to take down the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 3 of the Semifinals.
Crossed the Line
Reports came out this past week that Matt Barnes was caught trash-talking to James Harden’s mother, Monja Willis during Game 2. Surprising? No! This seems like something Barnes would do as he’s gotten into trouble previously for trash-talking to fans. No one really knows exactly what he said as there’s only some speculation, but the only people who really know are Barnes and Harden’s mom. It was later reported that Matt apologized after being forced by Harden’s brother.
Willis tells us … “My older son walked over to him and told him to apologize … and he did.”
Monja says, “What he told me was that he would never want to disrespect anyone’s mother because his mother passed from cancer … and that he was sorry.”
We all know that Matt Barnes is the enforcer of the Los Angeles Clippers and he likes to get under players’ skin but come on now! When it comes to talking to or about someone else’s ‘momma’ we all know that you’re asking for trouble. Barnes flat-out crossed the line in my opinion. It’s okay to talk smack to your opponent; I’m all for trash-talking but when it extends to the mother of the opponent then that’s when a big problem arises. I’m not sure if Barnes knew that was Harden’s mother but I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if he did. Both Kevin McHale and Doc Rivers, coaches of the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Clippers spoke out on what they thought about the situation.
McHale: “You don’t say anything to [the mother]. If you got something to say, say it to the guy you’re playing against. I never thought of talking bad to Magic [Johnson’s] mother. It’s hard enough talking trash to Magic.”
Rivers: “They’re loud, they get on you, but in a nice way. So I think as long as you keep it that way, it’s good. But I don’t think you should ever get involved in an exchange with anyone, either way, both ways. … It’s not basketball, though.”
We’ve already seen a minor altercation take place in Game 2 between James Harden and Matt Barnes for which Barnes got a technical, but I’m sure we will see more going forward. I expect someone to go at Barnes and I’m pretty sure it won’t be Harden due to his importance to the team, but expect players to take shots at him during the next few games. ‘Chippy’ play is in store and I think Barnes may have ruffled the wrong feathers.
1st Team All-Defense
“1st Team All-Defense” is what we heard in Game 2 of the series between the Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors. Tony Allen, who was Mic’d Up for the game; made sure the world knew that he felt he was 1st Team All-Defense. He held Klay Thompson to 13 points in that game and came up with two big steals in the second half that were huge momentum shifters for the Grizzlies. They tied up the series 1-1, and now they look to protect homecourt in Memphis for Game 3. Despite all of this, Tony Allen might be a little upset with me if he sees who I believe is 1st Team All-Defense this season.
- Chris Paul – Making 1st Team All Defense last year, I believe Chris Paul deserves it this year as well. Paul has been locking up at the point guard position for years and years now. He brings it every night on the defensive end, making the opposition work.
- Kawhi Leonard – Defensive Player of the Year…..Defensive rating = 96.4 which is ranked #1….Enough Said!
- Draymond Green – My pick for DPOY, Green has brought it for the Golden State Warriors every night. I’ve been preaching that he’s the gut of that defense and I truly believe that. Draymond is 2nd in defensive win shares and the way he’s so active on defense causes a lot of commotion and disrupts his opponents’ offense which helps his team win.
- Anthony Davis – Davis is always in the discussion for the top defensive players in the league. His length along with his ability to block shots without fouling is so crucial to his game. He led the league in blocks this season with 2.9 per game, swatting almost everything that came to the basket.
- DeAndre Jordan – Statistically, there is no way you can’t put him on this list. Jordan lead the league in defensive win shares with 5.4 and he also led the league in rebounds with an impressive 15 per game. To go along with those numbers DeAndre was also top 5 in blocks and blocks per game.
Do you think James Harden was robbed of MVP? Did Matt Barnes take things too far by mouthing off to Harden’s mom? Who would make up your All-Defensive First Team this season? Hit us on Twitter with your thoughts and opinions! @BBallSociety_