Hoop Tales: Opening Night in the Association Edition

Breaking news animation: Jimmy Lips aka Big Game James knows hoops as well!

Normally, I’d wait to a few games in order to be able to draw from a sample size bigger than two preseason games, but these two picks seem too good to pass up.

First Pick: Joe Harris O11.5 points (-121) vs GSW

Fact #1: In the bubble, which seems like ages ago, Joe Harris averaged 19.1 points per game?.

“But James, that was without Kyrie, KD and Dinwiddie!”

I know, it’s called making a point that he can get buckets.

Fact #2: In the limited two-game sample size, the second of which the Nets treated like a real game, Harris went for 4 and 14 respectively. The 14 matters because the Nets treated the Celtics game like a regular-season tuneup.

Fact #3: There’s no Draymond and no Klay, which rids Joe Harris of potentially be guarded by two of the league’s best on the perimeter.

Fact #4: Harris averaged career bests in FGs Made (5.5) and attempted (11.4). With Kyrie and KD on the floor, he should rarely face a contested jumper/3-pointer.

Second pick: Kawhi Leonard O26.5 points (+112) vs LAK

Fact #1: There’s no convincing me that Kawhi and PG13 aren’t pissed off that A) Their arena mates won the title and B) All those questionable leadership and behavioral traits leaked to the public.

Fact #2: In 4 games against the Lakers last season, Leonard notched totals of 30 (opening night), 35, 27 and 28 — an average of 30 flat per contest.

Fact #3: There’s no way Bron guards Kawhi all game and when that duty is left to the combination of Matthews and KCP, the Board Man will have an easier time reaching his over points total.

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