Tag Archives: Houston Rockets

MoNeYBaLL NBA Podcast Episode 31 Featuring Opinionated MJ by Opinionated Media

Listen to MoNeYBaLL NBA Podcast Episode 31 Featuring Opinionated MJ by Opinionated Media on #SoundCloud


By: Opinionated MJ (Michael Tolliver Jr)

This is a PSA to James Harden.


You will not win a championship by taking almost double the shots as Russell Westbrook. You won’t win by taking the ball out of his hands. You won’t win the title by going full ISO. You just can’t do it. You heard Kobe earlier this year. It will not work in the playoffs.

The team banished away Chris Paul and you didn’t even try to keep him thoroughly involved. He is the tone setter. He gets everyone going. Surgical at times. He was also always looking to get the team involved and engaged. He might’ve been hard on you guys but that comes with the territory. You made him look 38, Mr. Harden. Chris Paul is a walking 20 & 10 without you. You made him look like 15 & 6.

You need to expand your game to catch and shoot. You can be Kobe, but let the offense develop first. You can be the bailout. You can be Kobe. He should’ve been called “8 seconds or less”. He was always given the ball in the toughest positions with no clock and he succeeded. I’ve seen your body of work. You’re capable. Let’s see it happen. You’ve got Russell Westbrook and Clint Capela. You’ve got Eric Gordon. That’s your core. A very talented core. Don’t waste it.

I don’t want to see this season play out where you’re scoring 40 and Russell has 14. That was a loss. You guys won the game where you took 16 shots and he took 17. There must be balance. Can’t be one of you putting up 25 shots to 13 shots from the other. Haven’t you learned? The Warriors, your enemy, have succeeded with ball movement. Spurs as well. Recently, the Raptors won with enough ball movement and trust in teammates. Allow your teammates to inherit bigger responsibility. Kobe did it with Gasol, Odom, and Bynum. Even Sasha & D-Fish. LeBron did it with Kyrie, Kevin, JR, and Tristan. Take notes. I have high hopes for this team. I can see a championship. The only way is balance.

Don’t turn Russell into Chris Paul. Don’t stand around while he works. Work harder. It’ll pay off. Learn to move off the ball. You’ve seen what Steph accomplished with Klay? With Kevin? You’ve got the blueprint, except it’s for 2. There’s enough basketball to go around for both of you. Now be this leader you claim to be. This MVP you claim to be. Scoring 50 will get you a scoring title. Scoring 30 might get you an NBA championship.

Good luck. I’ll be watching.

Will the Rockets Dethrone the Warriors?

By: Opinionated MJ (Michael Tolliver Jr)

Rematch set.
Rockets healthy? ☑
Warriors hobbling? ☑
Warriors without rest? ☑
Rockets focused? ☑

Game 1 will go to Houston unless KD has another big game in him. Of course he does. Then it will be about limiting the others. I watch plays. It’s something hard to do but easy to do when their rotation players are in the game. I hope Kerr is gameplanning cause the Rockets will be a threat to take the first 2 games, easy. Especially if Klay isn’t ready to go.

James Harden, defending MVP. Will he be able to be effective and get his teammates involved while also scoring big and in bunches? He’s still the player who gets the most calls. Imagine Draymond or Kevin getting 2 early fouls. It’ll be like the 2016 finals all over again.

Is Steph healthy enough to help Kevin force wins at home? That’s what this will be all about. The Warriors MUST protect home court or they will be in trouble. No other way to put it. If they drop any game and give away momentum, then we will see an upset. That will open up the entire league to a new champion. It doesn’t guarantee the Rockets anything. Just revenge. The Rockets need to control their emotions in this series. That’s the only thing I see as a problem. It won’t be easy.

Can’t wait to see it all unfold. I expect 7 games unless Durant has about 4 40 point games in him, ready to go. That could actually be Kerr’s plan with Steph hobbled a bit and Klay hurt to begin the series. Not a bad plan.

MoneYBaLL Episode 6 NBA Podcast


Episode 6 with Opinionated MJ & NilClassic



LeBron, Kyrie, Celtics and more!

Enjoy the podcast!





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Facebook page: Opinionated Basketball Minds or search “OPBBM

Twitter: Opinionated_MJ

Terror James (LeBron) Will Win the 2018 MVP Award

By: Opinionated MJ

2018 could be havoc for the NBA, especially the Eastern Conference. I want to start by predicting that LeBron James will win the 2018 NBA MVP award. I also want to add that I handed LeBron the nickname “Terror” while watching him play against the Indiana Pacers during the 2017 playoffs. He’s very imposing to those who easily fold. We seen the teams falter and fold that stands in his way. Only two or three teams out east will be able to compete with him and his Cleveland Cavaliers. Those teams include Boston, Washington and Miami. I don’t think anyone else stands a chance.

Getting back to the MVP talk, let’s take a look at who may stand in his way.

Kevin Durant

I had him as my MVP last year until he got injured. He had fixed all of the shortcomings that were expected of the Golden State Warriors. Everyone expected them to fall apart on the defensive end and for their bench to not be as potent as usual. They expected him to bump heads with Stephen Curry & Klay Thompson on the way to hijacking the team from them. He did the exact opposite and also became a more efficient player on both sides of the floor. This year, I expect the Warriors will play an even more balanced style and this alone will eliminate him from beating LeBron for the MVP award.

Kawhi Leonard

We all expect Kawhi to continue to do what he does on both ends of the floor. He’s already been a defensive player of the year multiple times and has been the engine, body, and wheels for the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs have added Rudy Gay and I anticipate that this may cause a decrease in scoring for Kawhi, although, it may actually give him easier opportunities on the floor and allow him to be more efficient. What’s truly stopping him from winning. You’ll see why when I get to explaining why LeBron will.

Russell Westbrook

The Oklahoma City Thunder have acquired Paul George and many expect that Russell’s numbers will take a dip. I actually expect him to maintain his numbers. He’ll be able to be more efficient and rely on someone to pick up the load when he burns out as we finally seen in the playoffs. This also gives Russell another player to facilitate to cause this is clearly Russell’s team. I’m still anticipating 30, 8, and 11 assists this year from Russell. Still great nonetheless. Again, I’ll explain how LeBron still still overcome another great year from Russell as well.

James Harden

Two words, Chris Paul. Enough said.

Why LeBron will win

LeBron has new teammates, has a few challenges to face in order to keep Cleveland afloat. They’ll be awaiting Isaiah Thomas to be at full health. They’ll have the injury prone Derrick Rose on the floor alongside him and he’ll most likely start at point guard to begin the season. Both not Kyrie Irving, which adds to how LeBron will be able to win the award.

LeBron does not have another superstar next to him and could actually help every player increase their efficiency and numbers this year playing alongside him. I think Isaiah will take a scoring hit but will still be more efficient with LeBron having most of the attention from opponents to free him up offensively. I’ll also add that LeBron will have to be a defensive anchor for this team now. I know they added Jae Crowder, but he actually declined a bit on defense last year.

The Cavs will now be able to feature Kevin Love in a more prominent role with Kyrie gone and Isaiah out early on. Expect a rise in his numbers courtesy of LeBron. I also believe that LeBron still be hyper motivated considering how Kyrie left, how much social media hate he’s been receiving, how much criticism he’s been receiving from sports analysts, and simply because now, not only do the Warriors stand in his way, but another true rival has arrived. His old rival, the Boston Celtics who now host Kyrie Irving. Hypothetically, LeBron is also in a contract year. He will deliver. You can bet on that.

All factors considered, I expect “Terror” James to land the MVP award for this upcoming season for all the reasons above. I also believe that he will have to be more of a coach on the floor with this new team while developing new chemistry and keeping his team ahead in the win column. Coach Lue will finally be exposed. He’s either a good coach or a LeBron figurehead. LeBron’s numbers should be similar to last year but it’ll be the storyline and the seeding that’ll determine rather he receives the award or not. What better story could there be for this year? My early prediction is that LeBron will win this MVP.

NBA Overload (Stats VS Effect): MoneYBaLL Episode 3

By: Opinionated MJ & NilClassic

Stats vs Effect

LeBron vs Kobe

Tim Duncan

And everything NBA!

Enjoy and thank you for the support!

I’ve Been Tough On The Beard… 

By: Opinionated MJ

I’ve been very hard and critical on James Harden. I haven’t liked his game since his first season as a Houston Rocket. I loved the first season cause I love scorers. I also like players that can play on both sides of the floor to some capacity. I mean, don’t stand there and watch players come stroll into the lane and you’re just looking up at them like, “oh well”. That’s not real basketball if you can dip your shoulder or twitch everytime you drive to the basketball to draw a weak foul. I love the 80s and 90s rules and level of physical gameplay. I hate flopping. I hate the idea that players who think that if they score crazy that they deserve MVP awards. The MVP is based upon total game to me.

With that being said, James Harden should be considered for MVP. I’m biased towards Russell Westbrook due to the importance for him to put up those numbers for them to succeed PERIOD! That means he should be MVP, if he can secure a top 5 seed. If not, go ahead, give James the MVP. Why not? Although I will ask this question.. Will be able to get his team being the first or second round playing this way? Has D’Antoni actually found a way to get to a championship with Harden running his offense? Does Harden have enough help to get past the major teams?  The Warriors, Clippers, Spurs, and Grizzlies are very formidable. Can he get past those teams? Will he be defeated in the first round by another upstart team like the Utah Jazz? I remember what Damian Lillard did to Houston? So do I.

I think this team is an official dark horse. I think Harden may have tapped into a certain willpower he never attained before. We’ll get to see it once they playoffs come around. I hope he isn’t a fluke cause the fans will then continue to consider him a joke without remembering he was once the key piece for the Thunder when they wanted to win a championship. I don’t envision him defeating LeBron, but just making it out of the west would be like winning a championship as well. I’ll be easier on him unless he gets bounced early in the playoffs. He’s injured now so maybe that may make him ineffective and eventually lead to Westbrook being the MVP. We’ll know soon enough. Legendary season anyway. 


By: Opinionated Reezy

Let’s take a walk back in time for a moment.  Forget how the team is assembled and think about what comes to mind when you hear names Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Michael Cooper, and Karem Abdul-Jabar.  I will ask you again to forget how the team is assembled and think about what comes to mind when you hear the names Larry Bird, Danny Ainge, Robert Parrish, and Kevin McHale.  These were the Showtime Lakers and Dominate Celtics teams from the 80’s that dominated the decade and ultimately suffered from old age.  These two teams were dynasty’s both in their depth and starting rosters and would be considered super teams in today’s NBA.

I can’t remember much about that era, but I imagine that people were shocked when either the Lakers and/or the Celtics were not in the finals.  History would show the following (The champion is bold):

·         1979 – 80 Season: Lakers v 76ers

·         1980 – 81 Season: Celtics v Rockets

·         1981 – 82 Season: Lakers v 76ers

·         1982 – 83 Season: 76ers v Lakers

·         1983 – 84 Season: Celtics v Lakers

·         1984 – 85 Season: Lakers v Celtics

·         1985 – 86 Season: Celtics v Rockets

·         1986 – 87 Season: Lakers v Celtics

·         1987 – 88 Season: Lakers v Pistons

·         1988 – 89 Season: Pistons v Lakers

·         1989 – 90 Season: Pistons v Trailblazers

We literally had to go a full decade before we had an NBA Finals that did not feature the Celtics or the Lakers and that forced teams to get better.  It made players think strategically about how they were going to win.  No one was tired of the NBA, in fact being from Detroit, it became a unified front to watch your team develop into a legitimate threat and watch that team rise to greatness.

ALL THAT BEING SAID.  I see it happening again!  Let’s wind back the clock a few years:

·         2010 – 11 Season: Mavericks v Heat

·         2011 – 12 Season: Heat v Thunder

·         2012 – 13 Season: Heat v Spurs

·         2013 – 14 Season: Spurs v Heat

·         2014 – 15 Season: Warriors v Cavaliers

·         2015 – 16 Season: Cavaliers v Warriors

LeBron is the common element in this scenario in that for the past six seasons, LeBron led teams have been in the Finals.  Now a consistent team in the West has a legitimate chance to be consistent.  The last two seasons alone have been exciting for all the plotlines interwoven in the season.  I AM NOT SUGGESTING THAT THE NBA IS SCRIPTED; however, the story is one of note.  The rise of Golden State in the West, the Apology tour of LeBron James coming home and taking a team destined for the lottery to the FInals twice and Championship once.  Many were already anticipating the Trilogy reminiscent of Lakers and Celtics of old and then KD throws his name in the hat and now all we can say is.. IT’S ON!! 

This season may be dull for a moment, that will pass once Golden State faces their first real loss.  You see it now and LeBron sees it with the fevered insistence on bringing the band back together.  The pleas to sign JR is a message that we are going back to the days where teams determined success and not just one or two players.  Owners can no longer gamble on the notion of a star player and a bunch of role players.  Left unchecked, Golden State has the chance to win multiple championships and other teams will be forced to used their resources wisely to counter that.

KD didn’t hurt the league, he probably singlehandedly saved it…