Gagne and Matthew Boudreau, who forced extra time with a goal at 19:27
#1
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork. George Gervin Jersey .com) - The Orlando Magic are the only team in the NBA who have reached the halfway point in the season. So, if its good enough for one team out of 30, then we shall declare it the midpoint of the 2014-15 NBA season. In doing so, lets examine where the awards would go if the campaign was drastically shortened, which, no one would cry a single tear about. MVP - JAMES HARDEN, HOUSTON ROCKETS Almost every other pundit has tabbed Steph Curry from the Golden State Warriors for this honor and I get it. Curry is the best player from the best team in the league, and, in the absence of a runaway contender, that formula is a solid means to an answer. However, I believe Harden has been a more valuable player for the Rockets. The statistics bare out pretty equal seasons. Harden is ahead in scoring, but Curry is up in assists. Pretty standard stuff since one is a shooting guard and the other is a point guard. (Although, I love that Harden is averaging a career-high 6.6 assists per game, which is second to LeBron James among non- point guards, and a near 90 percent clip from the foul line while leading the league in attempts.) Here are the three things that give Harden an edge for me: First, the Warriors are a much better, more complete team. Sounds like a plus for Curry, but Harden has done most of the heavy lifting in keeping the Rockets within four of the Warriors for the best record in the league. Curry is magnificent, but his team is loaded with two-way athletes in a manner that the Rockets are not. The overall talent is stronger in Golden State than in Houston, thus, making Hardens achievements this season more impressive. Second, when you are literally the butt of social media jokes about how horrendous a defender you are, it shows something to improve. Harden is not quite Gary Payton, but his defense has improved tremendously. Hes 12th in defensive rating and second in defensive win shares. Granted, those numbers changed with the arrival of Trevor Ariza and the continued solid defense from Dwight Howard, but Harden went from punch line to serviceable. The Rockets are third in opponents scoring and fourth in opponents field goal percentage. Last season, they were 23rd and seventh in those same categories. Harden isnt at the heart of the turnaround, but hes no longer weighing them down defensively like an anvil chained to the leg of a mob informant. Finally, during an 11-game stretch when Howard was down with a knee injury from mid-November to mid-December, Harden kept the Rockets afloat, going 8-3 in the process. During that stretch, Harden averaged 29 points and 6.1 assists per game. Curry hasnt had to deal with anything like that. Adversity shouldnt translate into automatic MVP victory. Its not the Oscars, where an actress will win if she plays an alcoholic, single-mother stripper, whose daughter is a piano prodigy and mom must find a way to work a third job to pay for a good teacher as well as trips abroad so the daughter can perform in recitals. Harden has kept the Rockets near the top of the league without a supporting cast like Currys. While Ariza has been a revelation, Howard is averaging nine- season lows in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots. Harden has taken a team, Ill admit, I had missing the playoffs, and got them the fourth-best record in the NBA. With less around him, I go Harden over Curry. COACH OF THE YEAR - STEVE KERR, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS This is possibly the closest competition for an award I can remember. How could you not like Mike Budenholzer of the Atlanta Hawks? With a stunningly similar roster that finished under .500 last season, Bud has the Hawks atop the Eastern Conference by four games (Al Horford is really important, too). However, Kerr gets my nod for the simple fact that he made extraordinary coaching decisions that paid massive dividends. He started Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green over Andre Iguodala and David Lee. Kerr put two infants in there at the expense of 21 combined seasons, three All-Star appearances and $27 million in 2014-15 salary. And its worked unbelievably. His lineup changed meant the Warriors starters can switch almost any time without massive consequence. Kerr had the hard job of replacing Mark Jackson, who is not quite Phil Jackson, but had the eternal respect of his players. Kerr erased any doubts, and quickly. I will fault no one who votes Budenholzer, but I think Kerr has done just a little more. ROOKIE OF THE YEAR - ANDREW WIGGINS, MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES Since Jabari Parkers injury, Wiggins was destined to pull away some. He has, but he would have even if Parkers ACL didnt tear. Over the last 10 games, Wiggins is averaging 21 ppg. Granted, they are all Timberwolves losses, but Wiggins game is rounding out nicely. Remember, he started slowly at Kansas, then emerged. As the T-wolves continue to be terrible, Wiggins is getting a chance to develop greatly. Shabazz Mohammeds insertion into the starting lineup, thus moving Wiggins to the shooting guard, paid off handsomely for the No. 1 pick as well. DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR - DRAYMOND GREEN, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS Know who leads the league in Defensive Rating and Defensive Win Shares? Draymond Green. Know how to calculate either of those? (Not rhetorical, please help me.) The Warriors rank first in opponents field goal percentage. Green is one integral piece of that team-oriented puzzle. Andrew Bogut is a top-five defensive big man. Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala are both upper echelon wing defenders. Steph Curry is underrated and leads the league in steals. But heres why I like Green so much for this award - hes a wonderful combination of all of those things and that versatility is what makes the Warriors a stout defense. Golden State can constantly switch anything because players like Green can cover all five positions. To have that kind of flexibility is huge. Green is the best demonstration of that. SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR - LOU WILLIAMS, TORONTO RAPTORS Jamal Crawford of the Los Angeles Clippers, Ryan Anderson of the New Orleans Pelicans, Williams, Reggie Jackson of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Isaiah Thomas of the Phoenix Suns are all close in scoring. I feel like Williams and Thomas have done more for their teams in terms of helping them win games. I feel like Williams did more when DeMar DeRozan was gone to help Toronto keep pace. Thomas missed a few too many games. MOST IMPROVED PLAYER - JIMMY BUTLER, CHICAGO BULLS Ill say it - I hate this award. Its too hard to figure out the meaning of a three-word award. Too many people vote for someone who gets more playing time than the season before. Is that technically improvement or did that player just receive a mountains worth of more run? Or did the player improve so much during camp, that he forced his way into this new-found time? Ive always favored the player who improves, not the one who receives more playing time, although, Ive softened on that. There is a reasonable argument to be made that a player like an Alex Len of the Suns improved enough to crack the rotation. But, Im going with a player who didnt receive a bump in minutes. That wouldve been next to impossible considering Jimmy Butler shared the league lead in minutes per game last season. Hes first again this season. In literally ONE MORE MINUTE of playing time per game this campaign than last, here is the tale of Jimmy Butler: 2013-14 2014-15 Points per game: 13.1 20.9 Assists per game: 2.6 3.4 Rebounds per game: 4.9 6.2 3-point percentage: 28.3 34.2 field goal percentage: 39.7 46.4 free throw percentage: 76.9 83.0 Thats with ONE MORE MINUTE a game. Theres not a better example of improvement in the league. Tim Duncan Spurs Jersey . -- Washingtons Bradley Beal seemed to make every shot he took in setting a career high with 37 points. George Gervin Spurs Jersey . The Raptors have to get through the pesky New York Knicks Wednesday at Madison Square Garden and can lock up the third spot in the Eastern Conference with a win or a Chicago loss in Charlotte. http://www.spursnbateamshop.com/ . Some will say that Martin is too sensitive while others will say that it is part of the way football is in the locker room. But to have to absorb what was said to him for any rational and intelligent person is too much.SYDNEY, N.S. -- Raphael Corriveau scored a hat trick as the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles snapped Halifaxs nine-game winning streak with a 4-3 victory over the Mooseheads in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League play Friday. Corriveau scored the first two goals of the game for Cape Breton (14-11-3) while Cameron Darcy capped the scoring with the game winner 11:37 into the third. Luca Ciampini, Jonathan Drouin and Max Lindsay scored for the Mooseheads (21-9-0). Screaming Eagles goaltender Alex Bureau finished with 28 saves, while Zachary Fucale stopped 27 shots for Halifax. HUSKIES 5 ISLANDERS 2 CHARLOTTETOWN -- Rouyn-Noranda scored three unanswered goals in the third period to beat the Islanders. Maxime St-Cyr scored twice for the Huskies (16-9-3), and Marcus Power, Julien Nantel and Jean-Sebastien Dea added singles. Alexandre Goulet scored both goals for Charlottetown (13-12-4). Alexandre Belanger stopped 26 shots for Rouyn-Noranda. Antoine Bibeau allowed four goals on 37 shots for the Islanders. FOREURS 5 SEA DOGS 3 SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- Val-dOr overwhelmed the Sea Dogs with four unanswered goals to end the game. Anthony Beauregard, Phil Pietroniro, Anthony Mantha, Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Guillaume Gelinas scored for the Foreurs (17-11-0), while Keven Bouchard needed to make just 18 saves. Kelly Bent, Mackenzie Brown and Matthew Highmore replied for Saint John (7-19-3). The loss spoiled a big effort from Sea Dogs goalie Antoine Landry. He finished with 42 saves and was electric in the first when he shut the door despite his team being outshot 15-2. PHOENIX 3 TIGRES 2 SHERBROOKE, Que. -- Jean-Francois Plante scored in overtime to lift the Phoenix past Victoriaville. Alexandre Sillls and Nathan Glass also scored for Sherbrooke (10-15-2), who opened the scoring with a pair of quick goals in the third period. Spurs Hats. Gabriel Gagne and Matthew Boudreau, who forced extra time with a goal at 19:27 on the power play, replied for the Tigres (11-13-3). Francis Desrosiers stopped 28 shots for the Phoenix, while his Tigres counterpart Brandon Whitney made 30 saves. SAGUENEENS 3 OCEANIC 1 RIMOUSKI, Que. -- Chicoutimis offence exploded in the second period with three unanswered goals to beat the Oceanic. Nicolas Roy, Sebastien Sylvestre and William Gignac scored for the Sagueneens (15-15-0). Dominic Beauchemin had the lone Rimouski (16-8-4) goal in the first period. Chicoutimi Domenic Graham made 29 saves, while Zachary Fortin stopped 27 shots for the Oceanic. OLYMPIQUES 6 DRAKKAR 3 GATINEAU, Que. -- Emile Poirier scored twice, including one shorthanded, as the Olympiques doubled Baie-Comeau. Martin Reway also had two goals while Taylor Burke and Alex Dostie added singles for Gatineau (20-9-0). Valentin Zykov, Bokondji Imama and Denis Gorbunov scored for the Drakkar (18-6-4). Olympiques goaltender Robert Steeves stopped 29 shots. At the other end of the ice, Philippe Cadorette allowed five goals on 22 shots. VOLTIGEURS 3 ARMADA 2 (OT) DRUMMONDVILLE, Que. -- Frederick Gaudreau scored in overtime to lift the Voltigeurs past league-leading Blainville-Boisbriand. Guillaume Gauthier and Olivier Caouette also had goals for Drummondville (16-10-2). Frederic Bergeron and Philippe Sanche each scored in the second period for the Armada (20-3-4). Louis-Philip Guindon stopped 16 shots for Drummondville, while the Armadas Etienne Marcoux made 28 saves. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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