The elite eight of the NBA King of the Hill 1-on-1 Tournament is here, and we have have some all-time match-ups to see who will make it into the final four. For those of you who missed the initial round of 64, click here, check in on the next round of 32 here, the sweet sixteen is here. Special thanks to @ActionNetworkHQ as they are the makers of this tournament. A quick check in on where each region is at heading into the elite eight.
#1: Kawhi Leonard vs. #2: Kevin Durant
Durant has the size advantage over Kawhi by three inches as listed (6’10” vs. 6’7″). Durant also has a longer wingspan than Leonard as well (7’5″ vs. 7’3″). Leonard has the clear defensive advantage over Durant. But KD’s scoring ability is far better than Kawhi’s. Durant’s peak of points per game was at 32 and Kawhi’s is at 26.9. Over the span of their careers, Durant has shot more efficiently than Leonard as well. There is a clear offensive advantage to Durant, but the defensive advantage goes to Kawhi. The gap between Kawhi and Durant defensively is far more narrow than the offensive gap between Durant and Leonard. As good as Kawhi can be offensively, KD is highly regarded as one of the best scorers of all time and for that reason I have to lean Durant in this 1-on-1 match-up.
Winner: Kevin Durant
#1: LeBron James vs. #3: Pascal Siakam
LeBron and Siakam both stand at 6’9″ but Siakam has more length than LeBron wingspan-wise (7’3″ vs. 7′). In this match-up where LeBron lacks in the length advantage, he makes up for in the strength advantage. LBJ has almost 20 pounds on the young Raptor. So when it comes to paint play, LBJ has the clear advantage. Siakam was in the midst of a career year with the Raptors before suspension, and has proved to be one of the best two-way players in the NBA. However, he is facing off against LeBron James. A player with 17 seasons of dominance. Siakam may give him some trouble with his impressive combination of length and speed, but I have to ride with the impressive résumé of LeBron James.
Winner: LeBron James
#1: Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. #2: Anthony Davis
Arguably the most anticipated match-up of the tournament, Giannis vs. AD is the battle of the behemoths. Two defensive player of the year candidates facing off against one another to get into the final four. Giannis is an MVP candidate this year, but in a 1-on-1 setting against AD, Davis might give him some trouble. Anthony Davis is one of the only players that can rival Antetokounmpo’s combination of size and length. Davis also is a better shooter than Giannis. This will be a hard fought out game, but with his shooting skill and DPOY caliber defense, AD beats Giannis in a close one to move into the final four.
Winner: Anthony Davis
#1: James Harden vs. #3: Paul George
I have mentioned these players as two of the best fit players in a 1-on-1 tournament. With both player’s shooting ability, they are a headache to guard and can heat up in the flick of a switch. George stands three inches taller than Harden, but has the same wingspan as Harden at 6’11”. Although George has the height advantage, Harden weighs the same as him, and has the strength to defend George adequately.
Harden is clearly the better scorer than George this year, but remember this tournament occurs when everyone is healthy. When healthy, both players have proved to be MVP candidates. George is more efficient than Harden, but Harden has an uncanny ability of creating space and putting the ball in the basket. In a match-up such as this one, I have to lean with the better scorer, as both have shown MVP moments. The Beard moves on to the final four.
Winner: James Harden
The Final Four of the NBA King of the Hill 1-on-1 Tournament is Set!
Stay safe out there folks!
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