We all have seen Clash of the Titans in sports throughout history. There was the battle between Muhammad Ali vs. Walt Frazier that raised the boxing world to new heights. Reggie Bush and the USC Trojans vs. Vince Young and the Texans Longhorns in arguably the most coveted college football game in NCAA history was another. Matchups like these are what makes sports so special as we watch some of the top athletes in their respective sports duel for the crown and the title of “Best of the World.”

In the NBA we have seen a similar battle between two of the best players of our generation in LeBron James and Kevin Durant. These guys have been going at each other for years, meeting up four times in the NBA Finals and splitting at an even 2-2 in those matchups. The rivalry has grown over the years and although the teams they play for are different from years past, the title for “Best Player in the NBA” remains a constant tug-of-war between these two.

This week these two put on a show in their own respective ways as they continue to trade blows with each game. Both had performances that could not go unnoticed. That is why my Conference Players of the Week for this week are Kevin Durant from the Eastern Conference and LeBron James from the Western Conference.

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First 30-point, double-double debut by teammates in NBA history per Yahoo! Sports. Friggin’ Brennan Huff and Dale Doback have reunited to stuff shit up. “Look at the turnovers, though!” That’s like telling someone about the terrible gas mileage that their monster-truck gets before the demolition derby, nobody’s gonna care about that right now.

Does the Harden deal leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth? Can you imagine what would happen if we put on 25 pounds and told our respective partners that they needed to change? Given that Harden played 39 minutes (Durant clocked 40), any physical impediments haven’t manifested themselves, yet, so The Beard’s The Belly doesn’t seem to be anything that should concern us as fantasy owners.

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Finally, some sort of normality has been restored. At least I think so. The Bucks are back up on their Buck against sitting in the second seed at the time of writing having an 8-4 record. The Celtics have barely played thanks to the Washington Wizards. Yes, the Wizards and not Tatum. Now, the Wizards are also getting a couple of their games postponed as they have three players that tested positive for the virus, meaning pretty much their whole team is in the NBA’s “Health & Safety Protocol”. The Philadelphia 76ers are still holding their own at 8-4 after most of their team being held out because of the virus surprise, surprise, stemming from Seth Curry’s positive test. Speaking of the Wizards they are still towards the bottom at 3-8 and are now going to be without Russell Westbrook for another 3-4 weeks. Beal seems ready to feast, not that he hasn’t already, but now without Russ, he’s going to have to keep scoring those 30s and 40s if the Wizards are going to have any chance to win some games. The Indiana Pacers have seemed steady as Domantas Sabonis is running riot and Myles Turner is turning into a block machine! In his past three games he has averaged an amazing 4 blocks a game! Congrats to whoever took him as I’m sure he slid in many drafts. Oh, and yeah. THE BROOKLYN NETS MIGHT HAVE BROKEN THE NBA. Or did they? Maybe this just blows up in their face. Nevertheless, James Harden is now a Net after an absolute blockbuster trade. 

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There will come a day when the aliens present themselves, big bad ships with weapons and all. I’ve watched Mars Attacks! so I know how it all goes down. Their technology will be more advanced so it will be futile to fight them on the battlefield. Our pew pew weapons would be no match against the photon weapons they would likely possess. How about we pit Ken Jennings against their best for a game of Jeopardy? Uh, they travelled through space and time, so no thanks. Our only hope is to have them agree to one five-on-five game of basketball. I’m sure they didn’t pack sneakers and shorts. Any advantage we can get. Now, who would represent Earth? This debate has been going on for a while but the only logical course of action would be to breed Embiid now so that we have a team at the ready when the day comes. Why Embiid? Because he can literally do it all on the court. Look what he did to the Heat last night in a 137-134 victory in overtime.

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It was a bit of a light week for watching games here in the Hooper house. I know this is a fantasy corner of the internet, but reality always manages to find a way in. The ratio of news to NBA games got flipped in the middle of the week, so instead of longer, deeper looks into one or two specific teams, this edition of Hangin’ will feature check-ins on past (incorrect) statements and some quick hitters on what I was able to catch this week. I’m aiming to get back on track this week — aren’t we all? — so hopefully next time will be less doom and gloom and more dimes and dunks.

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I did okay last time I posted my picks here, so why not try again yeah? I won 24% of my bet on 1/5, but I didn’t take my own advice and faded Jarrett Allen. Woof.

No sweat, there’s another chance tonight my dudes and dudettes. It’s another five-game slate that starts at 7:30 ET. Keeping an eye on Anthony Davis’s status would be advisable. If he sits you can find some really great value in Montrezl Harrell, and then LeBron James becomes a more viable play obviously. It’s possible LBJ sits too as the Lakers have a back-to-back, but I would wager if AD sits he’s a go.

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I’ve managed to end up in the positive three of the last four days while netting 65% of my bet, on average, with my biggest win being 10x my bet. The one day I didn’t hit was because I faded Steph Curry on a career night. Whoops. It happens. Let’s see if we can get the big one now and cash out.

And, by the way, screw Dwane Casey as I had Delon Wright in all my lineups last night. Way to go, you a-hole.

It’s a five-game slate tonight that starts at 7:30 ET and with the news midday yesterday that Kevin Durant is going to start a seven-day quarantine means people will be flocking to Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert in droves. It’s probably not wise to fade both of those guys, but fading one can make your lineup contrarian enough to nab the big one. I’ll probably fade one in 1/3 of my lineups, then the other in 1/3 of my lineups, and have 1/3 of my lineups with both. One important thing to keep in mind that a lot of people will overlook is that LeVert had his 61.3 Fanduel point blowup without KD AND Kyrie.

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The alerts on Channing’s phone have been going bonkers since I wrote this article. “Honey, I’m getting Google alerts for Step Up!” Jenna rolled her eyes, then placed her hand on her husband’s back, and slowly moved it in a circular motion that Miyagi would be proud of. “It’s been almost 15 years, hon. Are you sure you’re ready for this?” The reviews were not kind: This hokey, formulaic romantic drama is every bit as appalling as it sounds. Ouch. As Channing clicked on the alert, he responded with “That [email protected]#!er Son is writing about Jayson Tatum again!”

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The name of the game is to put the ball in the basket by any means. Bucket Getters win ball games. In Friday’s onslaught of games, we saw a variety of different offensive outputs that highlight and glorify everything that makes today’s more offensive oriented NBA so special. Double-doubles, triple-doubles, game-winners, and breakout performances. Although typically the big performances come from some of the games’ best players, this week has a handful of new faces bursting onto the season to make their presence felt. The NBA is full of rising talent and that was definitely on display as these guys lit up the scoreboard and put the league on notice!

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