Posts Tagged With: Los Angeles Clippers

NBA on Christmas Day

Football is to Thanksgiving as basketball is to Christmas: they just work together. Throughout the day, five games will be played, starting at noon ET on ESPN with the New York Knicks hosting the Washington Wizards in Madison Square Garden. The NBA-filled day ends at 10:30 ET on TNT in Los Angeles as the Clippers take on their rivals, the Golden State Warriors, which will hopefully be a good game. Between spending time with family, I plan to watch as many games as possible. Here are my picks for each game:

  • Wizards at Knicks: Wizards. I think this one is a give-me game for the Wizards. The Washington team is doing well, with John Wall averaging 17.8 points, 10.4 assists and 4.6 rebounds. Their team gels well together and are currently 19-8, making them third in the Eastern Conference. The 5-25 Knicks, however continue to struggle and even though Carmelo Anthony is putting up big numbers, 23.7 points per game, it’s not enough. Wizards win 100-89.
  • Thunder at Spurs: Thunder. Even with Kevin Durant out, I give Oklahoma City the advantage. Kawhi Leonard is still out for the Spurs and Tony Parker may be out as well. Russell Westbrook seems to be running on all cylinders. If he plays the point, Cory Joseph is going to have a rough time trying to contain him. It will, of course, be a more competitive game than the one before, but I give the Thunder the edge 99-95.
  • Cavaliers at Heat: Cavaliers. Well, this will certainly be an interesting (and tense) game. It will be LeBron James’ first time back in South Beach since he decided to leave earlier this year. No doubt, he will be showered with boos, but still play well. The Cavs are still getting used to playing with one another, but at 17-10, I think they can arrange to do some good things on the offensive end to get the victory. With Chris Bosh out indefinitely, the Heat’s front court will take a hit. Kevin Love is currently averaging a double-double, making him a threat when it comes to shooting and crashing the boards. Kyrie Irving’s quickness will be too much for Mario Chalmers, allowing him to get the ball where it needs to be in a timely manner. Even with the home court advantage, Miami falls to Cleveland 94-110.
  • Lakers at Bulls: Chi-town. Derrick Rose is back. *drops mic* …*picks mic back up* But seriously, even if Kobe Bryant plays, it won’t be enough for the Lakers to get the win in Chicago. The Bulls have a good thing going and I don’t see the LA team messing that up. If Nick Young gets hot, he can put up some major points, but on the other side, there’s Rose and Jimmy Butler at the other end ready to fire at will with former Laker Pau Gasol getting it done in the paint. Being that Gasol is playing his former team and Carlos Boozer his former team, it will be interesting to see how each does. Chicago has the advantage 103-97.
  • Warriors at Clippers: Clippers. This is heart over head decision. The 19-10 Clippers have to keep it moving and get the win. Golden State is coming off a 115-105 loss to the Kobe-less Lakers, which could work in either team’s favor. The Warriors could use it as motivation to get the next win. The Clippers can be motivated by it because if a struggling Lakers team can win without Bryant, they should be able to get the job done with the squad they have. Being at home on Christmas Day, I trust that everyone will step up and put on a great show. Clippers take care of business and win 118-113.

Merry Christmas!

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The Sterling Saga Continues with Another Assistant

Photo Credit: FabWags

Just when it seemed like talk about former Clippers owner Donald Sterling would die down, something else comes up.

Another ex- (or current, who knows?) mistress has come forth in an effort to sue Sterling over sexist and racist remarks. Maiko Maya King, 40, and Sterling apparently had a romantic relationship while she worked for him between 2005 and 2011.

Both were married when King began working for him, but she and her husband divorced in 2009. (King’s husband blames Sterling for their breakup.)

King was also working for Sterling at the same time as V. Stiviano and says she would be paid extra for sexual favors when Stiviano “bored him.”

She goes on to mention how Sterling would make comments about black and Mexican people. Eventually, she was fired after rejecting “a stream of racist and sexist taunts,” TMZ says. King will be represented by famous civil rights attorney Gloria Allred in the suit.


For a quick recap on how we’ve got to this point, here are the many “episodes”:

Episode One, April 25: A tape of Sterling telling his personal assistant/girlfriend, V. Stiviano , not to bring black people to “his games” and take pictures with them was leaked (via TMZ). Consequently, he was given a lifetime ban and fined the maximum $2.5 million.

Episode Two, May 1: A report comes out, saying Sterling has prostate cancer.

Episode Three, May 3: Sterling tells Los Angeles-based DuJuor magazine “I wish I had just paid her off,” in reference to Stiviano.

Episode Four, May 13: Sterling appears on Anderson Cooper’s show, AC360, to tell his side of the story. In the interview, he slams Magic Johnson for being HIV-positive and says Johnson isn’t a good role model for kids.

Episode Five, May 16: Sterling refuses to pay the NBA fine and rejects the lifetime ban.

Episode Six, May 29: Sterling was ruled mentally incapacitated, allowing his wife, Shelly Sterling, to sell the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer.

Episode Seven, May 30: Sterling was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The next day, he refuted those claims and began an attempt to sue the NBA for $1 billion.

Episode Eight, June 1: Sterling attends Praises of Zion Missionary Baptist Church, a predominantly black church in South Los Angeles after being invited by the church’s head pastor.

Hopefully one day soon, Donald Sterling and his racist, sexist mentality will be a thing of the past and we can focus on more important things.


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Taking it to the Next Level: NBA Semifinal Predictions


I don’t know which is sadder: the NBA season almost being over or my undergraduate years wrapping up. Since basketball picks up again in a few months, I’ll have to go with the latter. But, for now, I’ll stick with talking about the NBA.

If you’ve been paying attention to the playoffs, you know the playoff series have been amazing (with the exception of the Heat/Bobcats #swept). From clutch three-point shots to unexpected adversity, the best teams have prevailed and are one step closer to the NBA title. The conference semifinals start tonight with the Washington Wizards facing the Indiana Pacers, followed by the LA Clippers going up against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Tuesday night’s playoff games consist of the Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat going at it with the underdog Portland Trail Blazers trying to make it past the San Antonio Spurs after that. Only four teams can make it to the conference finals. Here are my predictions:

Wizards/Pacers: Wizards. The Pacers are somewhat of a train wreck and were extremely fortunate to get past the Atlanta Hawks, but I don’t believe they have what it takes to win four games against the Wizards. The last time the two teams played each other was after things started going downhill for Indiana and the Wizards were able to win by a 13-point margin. Despite the Pacers’ misfortune, the Wizards seems to be doing the right things and are hungry to stay in the playoffs. Between Bradley Beal’s scoring and Marcin Gortat’s presence under the basket, Washington shouldn’t be slept on. That’s why they’re my pick in six games.


Nets/Heat: Heat. Although the Nets were able to sweep the Heat in the regular season, everyone knows Miami is a different beast in the playoffs. With Dwyane Wade back and healthy, Miami has all of its pieces in place to do some serious damage. Plus, losing those four games during the season will be all the motivation the Heat need to get into full beast mode. Miami has also had more time to rest and prepare after sweeping the Charlotte Bobcats. This can either work for or against them as Brooklyn played a full seven games and have momentum on their side. All things considered, I think Brooklyn will have to try again next season for a better shot at the title. Miami in five.





Blazers/Spurs: Spurs. The Portland Trail Blazers have had a good run and I like what I’m seeing from Damian Lillard, but he’s still young. The Blazer team, in general, has potential, but the Spurs are more experienced. They’ve been in this situation before and know what it takes to get back to the finals. San Antonio is also bitter about last year’s game six in the finals and are trying to right all of their wrongs. Portland will put up a good fight, but they need more time to be able to beat a team like the Spurs. I’m going with San Antonio in six.


Clippers/Thunder: I saved this one for last because I battle with my  personal feelings versus my basketball opinion. Keeping everything in mind, I think that the Clippers can win. In my opinion, they’re more of a loaded team than Oklahoma City. Between Jamal Crawford and JJ Redick, shooting won’t be a problem for the Clippers. A point guard matchup between Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook is interesting, but pound for pound, Paul is a better facilitator than Westbrook. The biggest challenge to the Clips will be Kevin Durant, obviously, but LA is known for making some clutch shots as well. While OKC has good players, I believe the Clippers is a better overall team. LA in seven.

Categories: basketball, Brooklyn Nets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, National Basketball Association, NBA, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, Sports, Washington Wizards | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Christmas Match-up Predictions

       Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, but not for the reasons that some may think. Other than spending time with family and 24 hours of “A Christmas Story,” there are back-to-back basketball games on all day, starting at 9 a.m. PT with the Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets. Here are my picks for each game:

  • Bulls vs. Nets – Bulls. The Nets are having a hard time this season with all of the new adjustments and are 5-8 at home. They are also having a hard time putting the pieces together to win and have yet to get over .500. With the absence of Derrick Rose, the Bulls have also struggled in the season. However, they have key players like Joakim Noah who have stepped up to help. Noah averages 10.6 points and leads the team with 9.9 rebounds per game. Another reason why I think the Bulls will win is because they are more familiar and have better chemistry with each other than the Nets do, especially with all of the drama surrounding the team, most recently including Kevin Garnett’s recent remarks.
  • Thunder vs. Knicks – Thunder. I think this one is self-explanatory, but I’ll explain anyway. The Thunder are one of the best teams in the league right now, while the Knicks are one of the worst. It also doesn’t help that Carmelo Anthony is a game-time decision after rolling his left ankle against the Orlando Magic Monday night. With both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook healthy and ready to play, I don’t think a Knicks blowout  is anything less than realistic.
  • Heat vs. Lakers – Heat. The Heat are on a five-game winning streak and coming off of an overtime win against the Atlanta Hawks. LeBron James is only improving and leads the team in points, rebounds and assists per game. The team has all the weapons it needs to beat a restructuring Lakers team. Not only are they still rebuilding, the Lakers are an inconsistent team. Some nights Nick Young can shoot the lights out in the Staples Center, while other times, it looks like the lights are out while he’s shooting. It’s also important to mention that Kobe Bryant will be out, so they have no real dominant force on the court. They may put up a good fight being that they’ll be at home, but I don’t see the Lakers beating the fiery Miami Heat.
  • Rockets vs. Spurs – Spurs. Both teams are doing well, as Dwight Howard seems to be adjusting better to Houston than he did to LA. It should be a good game, but I think the Spurs will be able to get the win over the Rockets. As the best team in Texas, the San Antonio Spurs have the experience and skill to defeat the young team. They also have the home court advantage, only losing three at home so far this season.
  • Clippers vs. Warriors – Clippers. This will probably be the most competitive game. Although Steph Curry has been a dynamic shooter for the Bay Area team, the Clippers have several clutch shooters and are improving defensively. The Clippers are also first in the Pacific Division, while Golden State is third. The two teams are tied for most points allowed with 99.1, but the Clippers average more points per game. After the Clippers’ outstanding comeback overtime win against the Minnesota Timberwolves, there’s no telling how far this team can go (NBA Finals maybe?).

Merry Christmas, everyone, and let the games begin!

Categories: basketball, Brooklyn Nets, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, National Basketball Association, NBA, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blake Griffin accepts challenge to step up

Chris Paul and Blake Griffin may not agree on some things, but one thing they can both say is that the Los Angeles Clippers will be a different team this year and this change will start with Griffin.

A little over a week ago, Paul spoke with ESPN LA regarding Griffin, saying that the team “will go as Blake goes.” He may or may not have meant it as a challenge, but however he meant it, Griffin confirms and vows to be better.

“This year I need to step into that role and really help him shoulder [the] load,” Griffin, 24, said in an interview with Thursday. “I’ll be right there with him at the end of games, being the guy that he can always count on.”

Other than resting his sprained ankle for a month after the end of the Clippers’ season, Griffin has been living up to that promise this summer. He has been working with his shooting coach, Bob Thate, to perfect some parts of his game while learning how to develop other parts.

“I’m doing a lot of stuff at the elbow, a lot of shooting. One of the things [new coach Doc Rivers] said to me was, ‘I don’t want you to be afraid to go 0-15,'” he said. “In other words, have the mindset of a shooter. And with the work I’ve done this summer, I’m starting to get that confidence, and think like a shooter.”

Shooting is one area of Griffin’s game that has been in question before. Previously, 54 percent from the field, but only 34 percent from further away. There were times when he struggled to get to the basket and could not get as aggressive as he should have been with face-up shots.

“We’ve been working on a lot of face-up stuff in the post,” Griffin said. “I’m definitely going to be used differently this year.”

Paul and Griffin spent a good portion of the summer together, going overseas to China and filming a new Foot Locker commercial. This time allowed them to get a different understanding of each other, which will hopefully translate on the court.

“It’s been a great summer for us,” Paul said. “I think we’ve both had an opportunity to grow. As you get older, you realize it’s all about winning and I think we both realize we need each other in order to do that.”

This has been an explosive team in the past and with both players’ improvement, not to mention their new additions over the summer (head coach Doc Rivers and sharp shooter J.J. Redick), a deep playoff run seems fully within their reach.


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NBA schedule will be released Tuesday

The NBA schedule is set to be released on Tuesday during an NBA TV special at 6 p.m. EST and posted on The show will highlight season openers and games of interest. Some teams have already listed their preseason games.

Some of those teams include the Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks.

The Miami Heat will open their season with a home game against the Atlanta Hawks on October 7. Before the game on that day, Miami will additionally get their rings.

The Heat will also play on Christmas Day in Los Angeles against the Lakers. The other LA team, the Clippers, will head to northern California to take on the Golden State Warriors on Christmas as well.

While the schedule has not been finalized, most of the season openers and Christmas games do not change between the initial and finalized schedule.

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Ryan Gomes moves to Oklahoma

Ryan Gomes and the Oklahoma City Thunder have reached a deal. Both parties have agreed on a one-year contract worth the veteran minimum, about $1.2 million.

Last season, Gomes played overseas in Germany after being released by the Los Angeles Clippers. During the 2011-2012 season, he averaged 2.3 points and played in only 32 games.

During his best season (2008-2009), he averaged 13 points and five rebounds.

Gomes has also played for the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves and was a starter for five out of seven NBA seasons.

Coming in as a forward, it is highly unlikely that Gomes will see much playing time. The Thunder have the talents of Serge Ibaka, Kevin Durant and Nick Collison. If he does see any playing time, he will come off of the bench for one of the above mentioned players.

At 6’7, Gomes does offer the team more height, which can be helpful when playing a team like the Indiana Pacers whose roster includes 11 out of 15 players at 6’5 and above.


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Chris Paul reconsiders 2016 Olympics

LAS VEGAS – Chris Paul has changed his mind and is leaning toward playing in the 2016 Olympics.

The Los Angeles Clippers point guard, who was on the 2008 and 2012 gold medal teams, said he was leaning heavily toward bypassing the 2016 Games — until Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski announced he was returning to coach the team.

“If it had been another coach than Coach K, I was prepared to be done,” Paul told

Paul will be 31 when the 2016 Olympics, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, take place. He will still likely be a major piece for the team, despite a strong crop of young and talented point guards that includes Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry.

Paul was in Las Vegas coaching his CP3 All-Stars summer league program this week shortly after returning from a trip to China with teammate Blake Griffin and New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. Paul also watched the Team USA intrasquad scrimmage in Las Vegas Thursday night, which featured nearly 30 of the top young NBA players.

This past season, Paul and the Clippers were knocked out of the first round of the playoffs, but hope to come back stronger with the acquisition of their new head coach, Doc Rivers.

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Summer 2013 free agency ends

Yesterday, July 10, was the last day all NBA free agent players could decide which team they want to be on and sign their contracts.

Chris Paul tweeted a picture yesterday of himself signing his contract to stay with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Some players, like Paul and Dwight Howard, made their decisions early, while others waited until the last day to decide.

Here are some of the players who recently signed their contracts just in time:

  • Andrew Bynum to Cleveland Cavaliers, previously with the Philadelphia 76ers, $24 million over two years, $6 million guaranteed with second year team option.
  • Chauncey Billups to Detroit Pistons, previously with the Los Angeles Clippers, $5 million over two years (Note: Billups was with the Pistons in 2002-2008)
  • Robert Sacre staying with the Los Angeles Lakers, three years (amount unknown)
  • Chris Andersen staying with the Miami Heat, $1.7 million for one year
  • Dorell Wright to the Portland Trail Blazers, previously with the Philadelphia 76ers, $6 million over two years
  • Eric Maynor to the Washington Wizards, previously with the Portland Trail Blazers, $4 million over two years with player option in second year
  • Garrett Temple staying with the Washington Wizards (terms unknown)


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NBA free agency weekend recap

Chris Paul has verbally agreed to a five-year $107M contract with the Los Angeles Clippers as of 12:01 a.m. ET today.

He also announced his decision via Twitter moments ago that he will, indeed, be a Clipper for at least a little while longer. Although he cannot officially sign until July 10, Paul can verbally commit now and sign the contract later.

There was strong evidence that Paul was definitely going to re-sign as he did not talk to any other teams. However, at one point, Paul considered going to the Atlanta Hawks so that he could play with Dwight Howard, who is also a free agent.

Some sources report that the Clippers bringing in Doc Rivers as the head coach and senior vice president of basketball operations sealed the deal for the young guard. Other free agents for the Clippers include Matt Barnes, Lamar Odom, Chauncey Billups, Ronny Turiaf and Ryan Hollins.

Unlike Paul, Dwight Howard is exploring all of his options during his free agency. After a rough year with the Lakers, Howard plans to talk to other teams, including the Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks.

Before the Houston Rockets could get a chance to meet with Howard, the Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak spoke with him about his future Saturday and then again Sunday night. He then had his first formal meeting with the Houston Rockets today (Monday), speaking with their general manager, Daryl More, Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon.

He will also meet with the Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks today, then meet with the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday and end with a formal meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers after that.

Sources before reported that Howard is leaning more towards joining the Rockets or Mavericks although no one is 100% sure where he will ultimately go.

Other major free agents for this summer include Tony Allen (U), Brandon Jennings (R), Monta Ellis (U), Andre Iguodala (U), Kyle Korver (U), Josh Smith (U), David West (U), Al Jefferson (U), Andrew Bynum (U), Jeff Teague (R), J.R. Smith (U), and Manu Ginobili (U).

Free agency ends July 10.




* (R) Restricted agent; (U) unrestricted agent

Categories: basketball, Los Angeles Clippers, National Basketball Association, NBA, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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