The effort of the reigning National Basketball Association MVP cannot be ignored. James Harden has willed the Houston Rockets from outside looking into the playoffs early in the season to a strong hold on the third seed while setting scoring records not discussed since Wilt Chamberlain. Harden is averaging an astronomical (get it, Rockets) 36.4 points per game. Second place is 28.2 (Paul George, OKC). For context, the distance from 1st to 2nd (8.2 points) is larger than the distance from 2nd to 33th (Nikola Jokic, DEN, at 20.2). This week, Harden scored 177 points over 4 games (44.25 average, team went 3-1 ), including a 61 point effort (matching his career high) and a 57 point effort in back to back games. These were two of his eight 50 point games. The rest of the league combined only has ten. Over the week, he was 28-53 on 3 pointers, well over 50% for a stretch not being hesitant while the other team knows it's his game. Harden may just will the Rockets to their 3rd World Championship and first in nearly 25 years. He is our Sportsman of the Week!
March is for NCAA basketball Madness and it starts with the conference tournaments. After 2+ months of beating each other up in the regular season, every conference goes to a major city in its region to battle again over the weekend to determine who is the champion, or at least the other champion and get that automatic berth to the NCAA tournament. In rare cases does it matter for a major conference in terms of the berth, but for the Duke Blue Devils, it was time for revenge. Led by the acclaimed most talented freshman in college basketball Zion Williamson, the Dookies avenged regular season losses to Syracuse (quarterfinals) and North Carolina (semifinals) before dispatching of Florida State for the ACC conference title. Williamson, who hadn't played in 3 weeks since he blew out a shoe and hurt his knee in a second regular season loss to North Carolina, led the way. Over the three games, Zion poured in 33 field goals on 43 shots, including 3-6 beyond the arc to average 27 points and 10 rebounds in a dominating effort. Zion looks poised to lead Duke to their potential sixth national championship and first in 4 years, and it looks like he may not be stopped. Zion Williamson is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
The spring sports season is filled with a lot of variety, and the NHL regular season is winding down with stars emerging. The Florida Panthers left wing star Jonathan Huberdeau netted 9 points, all in his last 3 games as his team went 2-1 as they try to angle for a Wild Card spot. Huberdeau has reached the 20 goal plateau for the 3rd time in 4 years, and his 74 points are a career high. Hard to believe he is in his 7th year as a 25 year old, he will surely be a force for future years. And is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
In the calm before the March Madness and baseball storm, a new PGA Tournament Champion emerges on the sports scene. Keith Mitchell beat some heavy hitters to win the Honda Classic. Mitchell birdied 4 of his last 7 holes to hold off Rickie Fowler and Brooks Koepka. That Koepka that won the U.S. Open and PGA Championship in 2018 and is poised to be a force in all majors this year. Sergio Garcia and Justin Thomas could be seen further down the leaderboard. The 27 year-old Mitchell had nary a win even on the Web.com tour, but now he registers as a legit PGA champion. And that can be said by few. Our Sportsman of the Week!