Connect with us

NBA

CP3 done with LAC, next move?

Published

on

Despite their inglorious history, this may have been the worst week in Clippers’ history. Actually, you can include the entire regular season. It began when Blake Griffin got injured on Christmas Day against the woeful Lakers, and will end in the coming days when Portland eliminates the Clippers from the post-season.

On Christmas Day, Blake Griffin partially tore a tendon in his quadriceps. Originally, he was supposed to miss approximately two weeks but he ended up missing close to four months. It should be noted that while recovering from his quad injury, Blake broke his hand by punching, not once but twice, an equipment manager of the Clippers.

Shockingly the Los Angeles Clippers thrived without Griffin (28-14) en route to a 45-27 regular record, which coincided with his highly anticipated return just before the 2016 NBA Playoffs began. It seemed that for once destiny would be on the Clippers’ side.

Blake-Griffi-Chris-Paul-Clippers-NBA

But it all fell apart when both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin got injured during Game 4 of their first-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers. What makes this news even more heartbreaking for the players and their fans is that it came shortly after learning that reigning league MVP Stephen Curry, of the arch-rival Golden State Warriors, was out with an injury and the two teams seemed on a collision path to meet each other.

But fate had other plans. But where does this leave us with the Chris Paul-Blake Griffin experiment in Los Angeles?

Blake Griffin was drafted 1st overall in 2009, and while his contribution to the Clippers is warrant of his draft selection, he has began experiencing life in the shadows of one of his draft mates, Stephen Curry who went 9th overall to the Warriors.

Griffin missed his rookie season (2009) due to injuries, but as soon as stepped up on the court he became an instant sensation. He was famous for dunking. And still is. But the Clippers were not winners, yet.

So, during the 2011 NBA season the other basketball team in Los Angeles made a deal with New Orleans to acquire their All-Star point guard.

Five years later, let’s evaluate this blockbuster deal that has drastically changed the fortunes of NBA franchises.

Since that trade, the Clippers have vaulted from a laughingstock to a perennial contender. Sounds perfect, right? Except that its not.

Teams with a history of losing tend to have weak psyches. Their fan base tends to have weaker psyches. This is a sad story of a “cursed” franchise that can never catch a break, similar to the Cubs in baseball or the Bills in the NFL.

What can go wrong will go wrong.

For all the glorious talk and pizzazz surrounding the Clippers throughout the regular season, the talk of “chocking”, “big moments”, “Lakers-town” come back to haunt them in the playoffs.

The Clippers qualified for the post-season every year in the Chris Paul-era except for 2011, however, their shortcomings in that span is what has people jazzing about them.

Must Read:  'The Big Statue' Immortalises Biggest Laker Legend Shaq

The franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1984-85, from that year to 2011, the Clippers had two winning seasons (1991-92 and 2005-06), while since signing Paul they’ve had five, including four-consecutive 50-wins seasons. But right or wrong, nobody remembers regular season success. Greatness is measured in the post season.

In those five years, they have four trips to the playoffs and twice they have gone past the first round.

It is not even a case of the owner’s personal feelings towards a player or coach is getting in the way of basketball operations. The Clippers’ front office has made every move possible to put the team in the best situation possible as they compete for an NBA championship.

Clippers-NBA-Vinny-Del-Negro-Chris-Paul-Leaving-LA

They have had two very good coaches in Vinny Del Negro (2011-12, 2012-13) and Doc Rivers, a former NBA champion with the Boston Celtics, for the last three seasons. They listened to Griffin’s demands to sign DeAndre Jordan to a long-term deal. They signed veteran players such as Chauncey Billups, Mo Williams, Caron Butler, Josh Smith and Paul Pierce to provide leadership, secondary roles and playoff experience but nothing has worked.

So, after five great years of regular season success but lousy playoff performances, is it time to breakup the Clippers? Yes, it is.

They need to give Chris Paul a chance to win a title he has desperately chased throughout his legendary career.

The most talk about solution is a blockbuster trade that would send Chris Paul to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Kyrie Irving. Can you imagine lineups featuring Chris Paul-LeBron James-(and possibly) Kevin Love in Cleveland, and Kyrie Irving-Blake Griffin-DeAndre Jordan in Los Angeles…. This just sounds amazing.

But, I must say, speaking as a Dallas Mavericks fan I would love to see Chris Paul orchestrating the show in Big D.

For years, the point guard spot has plagued the Mavericks and been the biggest reason behind their struggles, especially in the playoffs. When you consider who the other point guards are in the Western Conference – Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, Tony Parker, Patty Mills, Russell Westbrook, Ricky Rubio, and Mike Conley among others, Chris Paul would instantly vault the Mavericks from maybe the worst starting point guard in the conference to the best? At the very least, top two or three.

Also, he would not have to do as much because Dirk is one of the best closers in basketball. He is also a hall of famer and does not shy away in the big moments, hence his ring. With talented players like Chandler Parsons and Wesley Matthews, the Mavericks would be instant contenders and if they were to win a ring, Chris Paul would not be seen as somebody who needed the best player of this generation to help him win it. This move would also show Dirk that the team is behind him to capture a second ring.

NBA

La La Lakerland Played Host To A City Of All-Stars At The Weekend

Published

on

Verizon Slam Dunk Contest 2018
Like Father, Like Slam,

Los Angeles, it doesn’t get much more Hollywood than this. Even if Beyonce, Queen Latifah, Chris Tucker and even the other Michael (B) Jordan were taking in all the lights, camera action court-side.

After the 2017 Mardi Gras in New Orleans last year and two calendar’s after our native Toronto held the All Star Weekend in Canada, the sixth A.S.G. in the Clipper and Lakerland of the downtown STAPLES of L.A. was the first of it’s kind. As two of the best players in the association and reigning finalists decided to draft their own pool of players against the wall for the ultimate black and white pick-up game between ‘Team Stephen’ and ‘Team LeBron’, for all the marbles of which of the last two champions would be King.

Well it certainly helps if James picks his rivals reigning MVP teammate Kevin Durant and his own former partner in pine championship crime Kyrie Irving for the big shots first.

But before all that it was down to regular festivities to begin the weekend of All-Star. Basketball’s equivalent of music’s Grammy’s or movies Oscars in Superbowl February. Opening these ceremonials Team World beat down Team USA 155-124 in the Rising Stars game that should really tell you something. Despite home court advantage rookie steal, Kyle Kuzma notching 20, fellow Californian franchise face Buddy Hield was king as the Sacramento star hit 29 as the two sides wore Clipper and Laker interloped Buffalo and MPLS throwbacks for the Hollywood script. And after Quavo of hit duo Migos took home the Celebrity Game MVP as Team Clippers beat Team Lakers 79-66, Spencer Dinwiddie paid the bills in a superior skills comp. Before scorching Sun in California Devin Booker showed his career high 70 was no one-hit wonder as he burnt down all the nets and the money-ball rack. Winning the three-point contest showdown from reigning winner and sixth man Eric Gordon. Grounding the Rocket as this Phoenix rose. Book it!

But after the most therapeutic competition of All-Star weekend it was time for the most exciting one just as compelling. And in honoring his father Larry Nance, the 1984 winner of the inaugural Slam-Dunk contest, Larry Nance Jr. rocked the baby cradle, like father, like dunk. As he even rocked the old-school Phoenix Suns jersey, short shorts and high-socks for an inspired imitation. But under the magicians cloak, those Los Angeles natives in attendance draped in gold wish he had turned into someone turning back the clock and wearing a Lakers jersey (those Lonzo assists with the ball would have helped). As what would have been a long awaited, eagerly anticipated home-team representation turned into an Akron homecoming for the Ohio hometown hero like LeBron in the Kings land once the trade deadline passed.

Pops Nance loved it though after he himself played the lions share of his career in Cleveland as a Cavalier. Even assisting his boy on his second slam, before he blew the house down with a windmill that even rocked Chris Rock and then double tapped an Instagram worthy picture perfect dunk that if your phone blinked, you’d have had to instant replay it to not miss it and believe it. But all this court creativity wasn’t enough like Maverick rookie Dennis Smith Jr.’s 360 reverse, through the legs 50. Or All-Star Victor Oladipo getting an assist off King T’Challa himself Chadwick Boseman, suiting up in the Black Panther mask and clawing a tomahawk. And if you think that was special, if only you were a fly on the wall for the moment entertainment megastar Jamie Foxx told Vic he loved his album and started singing ‘A Song For You’ with him in the parking lot (as told by Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins). As Utah’s jazz man Donovan Mitchell won by jumping over Kevin Hart and his family (Come on! How hard is that? The comedian was even crouched down. Seriously?! He could have even been sat on his shoulders and Mitch would have been good), and then breaking out the classic Vince Carter Raptor jersey and doing you know what.

Must Read:  Knicks, Rockets Make A Stand Together During National Anthem

The whole weekend turned out to be a testament to a throwback tribute despite Nike’s brand new Team LeBron and Steph duds. Last years All-Star representative, Pelican Anthony Davis paying tribute to his injury fallen teammate brother Cousins by wearing what would have been his numero zero jersey. Free agent suitors beware, DeMarcus is going nowhere now this summer after this. You see he saw on I.G. but look at the shot. How s### was his seat for a would be player?

But after Black Eyed Pea Fergie caught flack for her soulful and sultry rendition of the Star Spangled Banner national anthem (hey, you didn’t complain when Marvin did it) the game hit all the high-flying, dunking high-notes. So much so fans needed throat lozenges like Pink! Even if there wasn’t a single Clipper or Laker representative in the game itself. Despite the lobbying for 6 Man, Lou Will and new Laker Isaiah Thomas only recently being LeBron’s actual teammate.

The King took the MVP crown himself as his 29 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists helped turn a 15 point hole into a 148-145 victory. And from the look on his face as he leapt into Kevin Durant’s arms of all people, it looked like he just won the NBA Championship back. And from the look on Steph’s face on the receiving end reply it was hard to disagree.

You may be the champion, but I’m the best in the world those eyes said.

Well it’s up to you to decide when round 2 of the All Star draft is televised next year for all to see in M.J.’s land of the greatest.

Charlotte’s going to be good!

Continue Reading

NBA

Is Isaiah Thomas IT For The Lakers?

Published

on

Usa Today 10601289.0
IT Came On A Hollywood Night

It’s All-Star break this weekend in Los Angeles, but the Lakers already have a new one since the trade deadline to lead their young core in the heart of the city. Even if Team LeBron didn’t pick him for Sundays pick up.

But how long will IT last?

Right now in the NBA the amount of movers is really putting the shakers on teams. So much so that in regards to loyalty in this league it’s even colder than the Olympics in Pyeonchang, South Korea right now. But then again it is the Winter after all. Recently Cleveland cleaned house and LeBron’s land for some Cavalier moves. Jettisoning several All-Star points for their changing of the guard. Including former MVP Derrick Rose, ‘Bron brodie Dwyane Wade back to the Heat of Miami, South Beach and even the guy they traded Kyrie for.

Yep that’s right after summer swapping Irving for Isaiah, the Cavs sent Thomas along with versatile big-man vet Channing Frye to Lakerland. In return they got the buckets of ‘Sixth Man’ sure thing Jordan Clarkson and another Akron hometown hero in the form of Larry Nance Jr.

And although the Lakers picked-up a certified All-Star with Iverson kill at will, little man syndrome scoring a lot of fans where left tweeting negative emojis and gifs following the deadline deal. And not because their new number seven seal was a former Boston Celtic great only a season ago. Or that the former tooth chipper is now a befallen superstar by way of injury. More that the Lake Show loved the young Ball, Ingram, Kuzma, Randle and Zubac core that has lost it’s first big time players of the future since the de-loading trade of D’Angelo Russell last summer.

Must Read:  Slippery When Wet...Lakers Ice Warriors In San Diego

Clarkson was a class act and there from the luck of the late round steal start. Whereas when Nance Jr. ran the floor like his pops all the bleachers snapped shut, tilted up. Lakerland finally thought they would see their own slamming son represent them in the Slam Dunk Contest he should surely win now like father, like dunk today. But now he’ll be doing it all for one and one for all.

But with the fast tracked pace of the Lakers new speedy dynamite dynamo it could still be Showtime again for Magic’s men like when Earvin Johnson was kissing another Isiah Thomas hello in the golden era 80’s. But this Isaiah Thomas-so long as he can ball in the same backcourt as Ball once injury time gives way to the Lavar…excuse me the Lonzo Angeles Lakers-could attract even more free agents like the expected homecoming of Paul George from the Thunder to the purple reign this offseason. Even if rumour has a Black Panther/Killmonger like relationship between this point prince and the King of the Ohio land.

But if it’s between LeBron as a Laker or another one of James’ sidekicks than who do you think will hold the headlines for tomorrows Los Angeles Times? Especially as Isaiah could aim higher than coming off the bench this summer as a free agent without restriction himself. His big contract coming off the books with Channing’s (Frye not Hollywood’s Tatum), another big three big in Brook Lopez and another former All-Star in Luol Deng (yep…he’s still here).

All these multiples of millions would surely make for a kings ransom.

This could be it, so lets enjoy I.T. whilst he lasts.

Continue Reading

NBA

Nuggets Jamal Murray breaks Steven Adams Ankles with Filthy Handles

Published

on

Nuggets Jamal Murray Breaks Steven Adams Ankles Filthy Handles

Denver Nuggets Guard Jamal Murray breaks OKC Thunder center Steven Adams ankles with his filthy and deadly combination of handles and three-point shooting. Murray was sensational finishing with 33 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds in a thrilling 127-124 victory. The Canadian guard (Kitchener, ON) is having the best year of his NBA career and has arguably become best Canadian basketball player in the NBA. The 6’4″, 207 lbs guard is flourishing under Head  Coach Mike Malone’s system and is averaging a respectable 16 points per game, 3.6 rebounds and 3 assists per game through 50 regular season games including a career-high 38-point outburst against the Portland Trail Blazers.

BTW. I can watch this all day!

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Buzzing