Posted on: June 16, 2010 7:22 pm

Game 7 - NBA Finals

This is what every kid dreams of. The biggest rivalry in all of basketball coming down to a pivotal Game 7 in the Finals, for the biggest prize in the business.

Both team's centers are banged up, one (Andrew Bynum) will play through his injuries, while the other (Kendrick Perkins) will be forced to watch his team compete from the sidelines. Not to mention Kevin Garnett's knee, Kobe Bryant's finger and knee, etc, have made this 2010 NBA Finals a battle for the ages.

The Boston Celtics have owned the L.A Lakers in the past, leading their NBA Finals series 9-2. Celtics fans believe that history will repeat itself, Laker fans believe that their Laker team is one like no Boston team has ever faced. One can't argue that the players believe the same notion.

Still, every basketball fan in the world has to enjoy the climax of the NBA Finals: the Game 7 in Los Angeles. The series has been a see-saw battle from the start, the Lakers dominant win in Game 1, to Ray Allen's performance in Game 2, to Derek Fisher's heroic performance in the 4th quarter of Game 3, to the Celtics taking Games 4 and 5 from the Lakers in Boston, to another dominant Laker win in Game 6 to set up the showdown on Thursday night.

Each team has had their fair share of trash talk about eachother. Pau Gasol has motivated Kevin Garnett with his comments that KG has slowed down, and Paul Pierce has refused to acknowledge Ron Artest as a reason for his struggles in the Finals. Kobe Bryant has appeared calm at times, notably in his post-game press conferences, but if you watch closely, you can see the pure anger, frustration, and passion bursting through his face during games. And not the same emotion you see during the season, or in any other playoff series.

Somewhere, Bill Russell and Bob Cousy, along with Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, reminisce over their finals battles. Magic and Bird must talk to trash to each other every day. Kareem and Bill Walton, both UCLA products, must hate each other. Think about it, with the heavily linked history between the Celtics and Lakers, how could the first finals of the new decade not include these two teams? How could the decade not start off with arguably the biggest game in both Laker AND Celtic history?

The keys for both teams are to play with heart like they have previously in their victories at home. The Lakers need Pau Gasol to assert himself, for Ron Artest to knock down open jumpers, and for their bench to provide a spark of energy in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. The Celtics Kevin Garnett to play 3 years younger, for Paul Pierce to score, and for Rajon Rondo to shred the defense with his playmaking.

The persistence of each team through the regular season and playoffs ends here. Both teams have clearly been on cruise control to get to this point. Now is the time for both teams to push their foot on the gas as hard as they can. They have nothing to save for, no game to look ahead to. Now is the time to leave it all out there on the basketball court.

The winner of Game 7 will not be determined through statistics. Kobe Bryant may score 50 points, but that won't be the real reason that the Lakers could win. Rajon Rondo could have a triple double, and that won't be the real reason either. It comes down to who wants that title more, who absolutely despises their rival the most, and who will put the most of themselves out there to win a game.

The Lakers have not overcome the doubts of their thorough defeat in the 2008 Finals, while it may look like a 6 game defeat, it felt like a 5 1/2 game defeat, as the Lakers still have a sour taste in the mouths over the 39-point embarrassment in Game 6 of the 2008 Finals. The Celtics have been the victim of doubts all season, winning 52 games, just barely recieving homecourt in the East, and critics crowning them as the old men of the Eastern Conference. Having been picked to lose every playoff series in 2010, the Celtics have proved that they are still the class of the East, despite their regular season struggles. Having been called soft and unmotivated, the Lakers have proved that they can beat anyone when rolling on all cylinders.

The popular theme for previous NBA Finals has been "David vs Goliath", but this series has proven to be a "Goliath vs Goliath" dream matchup that will likely play out until the last minutes of the last game.

On Thursday, June 17th, history will be made. In the biggest game for each team, and the biggest game for the NBA since "Jordan's last game", who will come out victorious? The Lakers are dominant at home, only losing one game at home this postseason, while the Celtics are decisively better on the road, with the second best road record in the league this season. It's a toss up, and I'm sure David Stern will be beaming regardless of the outcome.

Peace, and much love to you.

Category: NBA
Posted on: January 15, 2010 6:55 pm

Clippers ---> Week 12

To add to the terrible news regarding Blake Griffin, the Clippers start off this week 0-2, with the toughest back to back of this season against the Lakers and Cavs. If they had started off 2-0, they could have used the momentum from those two to propel themselves into winning at least 1 of 2 in the upcoming back to back.

It doesn't help that they are currently on a 7 games in 12 nights stretch that only gives the team a day of rest before heading to Washington to face the Wizards to start off the Grammy road trip.

Injury Report

Games for this Week: (0-2) 17-20

January 12th at Memphis
--> Lost 102-104
The Clippers had an 11 point lead going into the 4th quarter. And they blew it. The Grizzlies stormed back in the fourth, led by Zach Randolph and Rudy Gay. They can also give credit to Marc Gasol for keeping the team alive throughout the night.

Without Marcus Camby, who was out with an illness, the Clippers got dominated on the glass, giving up 15 offensive rebounds.

The Clippers shot 54% for the night, usually leading to a victory, but their defensive, conservative basketball they play with a lead allowed the Grizzlies to get back into the game in the final quarter.

Honestly, these kind of losses disgust me. I think it's the coaching staff, but guys who have great performances and efforts, such as Baron Davis and DeAndre Jordan, who filled in for injured Chris Kaman, are wasted. Makes me sick. And I know DeAndre won't get even 5 minutes a game when Kaman gets back.

Player of the Game:
Baron Davis
- 27 pts, 12 rebs, 12 asts, 5 stls

Honorable Mention:
DeAndre Jordan
- 23 pts, 7 rebs, 3 blks

January 13th at New Orleans ---> Lost 94-102
The Hornets are on fire right now, and the Clippers just could not hit shots tonight. They shot an underwhelming 41%, and they were playing catchup with the Hornets all night.

I guess we see how much Chris Kaman means to the team.

Player of the Game:
Baron Davis
- 19 pts, 6 asts, 2 stls

Janurary 15th at Lakers
Just do what you did last week, and you will win. Pau Gasol will likely be back though.

January 16th vs. Cavaliers
Scouting Report:
- Contain LeBron James. Let him get 30+ but the assists need to be down. Make him isolate for his points.
- Win the rebound battle.
- Have to jump those passing lanes all night.
- Run to the shooters like Mo Williams

Quote of the Week ---> TBA
Category: NBA
Tags: Blog, Clippers, NBA
Posted on: January 9, 2010 2:06 am
Edited on: January 15, 2010 6:23 pm

Clippers ---> Week 11

3-0 in a TOUGH 3 game week. Proud of the Clips, even for beating the Lakers. The focus is now going forward.

Injury Report

Games for this Week:
(3-0) 17-18

January 4th vs. Blazers
---> Won 105-95

The Big Payback, as James Brown used to say it. After losing up in Portland less than a week before, the Clippers bounce back with a victory over the same team at home.

Statistically, the score should have been 125-115, as both teams shot over 50% for the night. However, thanks to that ridiculously slow pace the Clippers run sometimes, the score was kept under 100. Martell Webster had a big game, and so did Andre Miller, but Brandon Roy was held in check all night. And so was Jerryd Bayless.

Ricky Davis, Craig Smith, and Sebastian Telfair came up big for the bench in their limited minutes, and should be the reasons for winning this game, along with defense.

Player of the Game: Marcus Camby
- 9 pts, 15 rebs, 6 asts, 3 blks

January 6th vs. Lakers ---> Won 102-91
Hurts too much to write about this. But I am proud of the Clippers to play like they did. But this is a Clipper blog, not a Laker blog.

Player of the Game:
Baron Davis
- 25 pts, 10 asts, 5 rebs

January 10th vs. Heat
---> Won 94-84

The Clippers contained Dwyane Wade, played excellent defense on every other heat player (except for Michael Beasley), as the Heat only shot 39% on the day.

The Clippers won the rebound battle by 13, and Marcus Camby equaled the amount of rebounds collected by Jermaine O'Neal, Udonis Haslem. Quentin Richardson, and Michael Beasley PUT TOGETHER.

However, the turnovers were a problem again for the Clippers, as they had 18.

Player of the Game: Chris Kaman
- 22 pts, 14 rebs, 2 blks

Honorable Mention:
Marcus Camby
- 6 pts, 17 rebs, 2 asts, 1 blk

Quote of the Week
---> Coach Mike Dunleavy

We've been playing really well. Our entire team has contributed.

Category: NBA
Tags: Blog, Clippers, NBA
Posted on: January 9, 2010 1:48 am
Edited on: January 9, 2010 1:50 am

Clippers ---> Week 10

1-1 in a week is alright. In both games, the Clips played hard though. They barely lost to Portland, and had a nice win against the Sixers.

Games for this Week:
(1-1) 14-18

December 30th at Portland
---> Lost 99-103
The Clips hung around all game, and nearly had it in the closing moments. The offensive rebounds they gave up in this game killed them in the end, and so did their defense, as they let the Blazers shoot 50%.

Jerryd Bayless came off the bench and had 14 and 8 for the Blazers, and he gave them the extra lift that pushed them over the Clips for the victory.

Can't be mad about this loss.

Player of the Game:
Eric Gordon
- 24 pts, 6 rebs, 5 asts, 5 stls

Honorable Mention:
Chris Kaman
- 25 pts, 9 rebs, 2 blks

December 31st vs. Sixers
---> Won 104-88

Clippers ended the year on a high note with a win over Philly, in Elton Brand's return to LA.

The Clips were down by 2 at the half, but they came out in the 3rd quarter and blew the game wide open, and they rode the momentum to victory at home.

The Clippers played stifling D against Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young, holding the two to a combined 5-22 in the game, with a team percentage of 37.

And you know the Clippers' offense was rolling when Marcus Camby hit double figures, to round out to all 5 starters scoring 13+ points.
They won the rebound battle, but they turned the ball over too many times, totaling 20 (four players with 4 TOs). That needs to be fixed, over celebrating a victory.

Player of the Game: Chris Kaman
- 26 pts, 10 rebs, 4 asts, 2 blks

Honorable Mention:
Baron Davis
- 20 pts, 7 asts

Quote of the Week
---> Acting head coach Tony Brown

It was a group effort tonight.

See you next week.

Category: NBA
Tags: Blog, Clippers, NBA
Posted on: December 21, 2009 6:58 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2010 1:21 am

Clippers ---> Week 9

1-4 in a tough week.. no excuse for that bad of a performance. Dropping further and further down the Western Conference ladder, and the midpoint of the season is fast approaching. At least they ended the week with a bang.

Injury Report

Games for this Week: (1-4) 13-18

December 21st at San Antonio
---> Lost 87-103

Duncan had an easy night, too easy. The Clips got dominated in the first & third quarters, and could not rebound from it.
The Clipper offense's flow was disrupted, and most of their points came from one-on-one plays, and the Clipper D had no answer for the Spurs either.

Spurs were extremely efficient from 3 as a team, shooting 50%, led by Keith Bogans shooting 3-4 from range.

Bench players like Roger Mason and Theo Ratliff came in during garbage time and kept the team energy and fire up to keep distancing the lead. Just a terrible performance by LA.

Player of the Game: Chris Kaman
- 23 pts, 15 rebs

December 22nd at Houston ---> Lost 99-108

Statistically, the Clippers should have won this game. They outshot Houston, out rebounded houston, etc. But Houston beat the Clippers by way of the free throw line, and playing smarter basketball.

Houston limited their turnovers, and didn't allow the Clipper offense to explode, as the Clips shot 50%, but only scored 99.
Carl Landry's heroic-type return injected a bunch of life into Houston, and he nearly single-handedly carried them to victory.

Tough loss for the Clips.

Player of the Game: Chris Kaman
- 29 pts, 7 rebs, 3 asts, 2 blks

Honorable Mention:
Marcus Camby
- 12 pts, 19 rebs, 3 asts, 3 blks

December 25th at Phoenix ---> Lost 93-124
When you don't play defense against Phoenix, you lose. Plain and simple. There was no real effort on defense from any Clipper player in that game.

December 27th vs. Celtics ---> Won 92-90
The Clippers put forth an amazing defensive effort against the Celtics tonight, holding Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to only 25 points combined.

Rondo scored a bunch, but he only had 6 assists, limiting his playmaking ability for the game. The Clippers got out-rebounded, but they made up for it by only having 5 turnovers, and shooting 50% from the field for the game. If only they took more shots..that excruciatingly slow Dunleavy pace.

The scoring load was carried by Baron Davis, Chris Kaman, and Eric Gordon, who scored 66 of the 92 Clipper points, capped by a Baron Davis game winner.

About the game winner: it really was a bad shot, as Rajon Rondo was all over Baron, and made him elevate as much as he could for a fadeaway 18 footer. But, somehow, it went in, and DeAndre Jordan ran onto the court like a child who just saw santa. I have never heard/seen Staples erupt the way it did for a Clipper game, and all of Clipper nation can pray that the Clippers will build off of this momentum and string some wins together.

Player of the Game: Baron Davis
- 24 pts, 13 asts, 3 stls

Honorable Mention: Chris Kaman
- 27 pts, 12 rebs

Quote of the Week
---> Ralph Lawler after Baron's game winner


See you next week.

Category: NBA
Tags: Blog, Clippers, NBA
Posted on: December 14, 2009 4:18 am
Edited on: December 21, 2009 6:32 pm

Clippers ---> Week 8

Philadelphia is up Friday night to end the road trip. Got to end this week strongly, cause the road trip is not over yet.

Let's get it, Clips. A reminder of what I said "last week":
Marcus Camby needs to consistently be in the 10 point range, and Al Thornton needs to start shutting some folks down on the wings.

And a little change from Coach Dunleavy would be nice, too

Injury Report

Games for this Week:
(3-1) 12-14

December 14th vs. Wizards ---> Won 97-95
Brendan Haywood & co. had a field day on the offensive boards, but the Clips' failure on controlling the glass seemed to latch itself onto the Wizards as well. Overall, this was an extremely sloppy game, as both teams had 18 turnovers, missed open looks, turned the ball over via shotclock violation, etc.

The only reason the Clippers won this game is because they got hot at the right time. The Wizards bench, inept offensively, couldn't score, and the Clips starters eliminated the lead Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison, & Caron Butler set up. They got momentum on their side and managed to stay together defensively in the final minutes to hold onto their slim lead.

Not a good win, but a W is a W, after all.

Player of the Game: Eric Gordon
- 29 pts, 5 stls

Honorable Mention: Chris Kaman
- 23 pts, 11 rebs, 4 asts, 3 blks, 2 stls

December 16th at Minnesota ---> Won 120-95

Only problem I had with this game, was that the Clippers gave up way too many offensive rebounds.
Otherwise, the defense was solid and agressive, and the offense was hitting on all cylinders.

Defense could be a little tighter, but this is a perfect offensive game for the Clippers. Key is building off of this win and taking the momentum into New York and Philadelphia.

Need to start off the first quarter better defensively, though. But the 2nd and 4th quarters were superb.

Player of the Game:
Chris Kaman
- 23 pts, 10 rebs

Honorable Mentions:
Baron Davis, Marcus Camby
- 13 pts, 8 rebs, 13 asts, 2 stls
- 10 pts, 18 rebs, 6 asts, 5 blks

December 18th at New York
---> Lost 91-95

Again, the Clippers can't sustain a lead. A lead that was as big as 20 in the first half was erased mostly in the third quarter, thanks to David Lee and Chris Duhon.

The defense in the second half was disgusting, and the Clippers got no ball movement for the majority of the game, relying on themselves to get their buckets. They fell in love with the jumper, especially Baron Davis and Rasual Butler, and went away from Chris Kaman, who started off on fire in the first.

Plus - Coach Dunleavy, I would think that Ricky Davis, Brian Skinner, and Craig Smith have earned play time. Thank You.

Player of the Game:
Chris Kaman
- 20 pts, 9 rebs

December 19th at Philadelphia ---> Won 112-107
The Clippers played an efficient and balanced offensive game, but their lack of consistent defense, and Marreese Speights giving the team and crowd energy, the Sixers were allowed to hang around, and force overtime.

The Clippers owe this game to the refs, too. Andre Igoudala hit a game winner with regulation ending, but the refs waved it off, as he did not release the ball in time.

Coach Mike Dunleavy only played eight players, which is a worry, to me. Guys on that bench have earned and deserve playing time, in my opinion.

Player of the Game:
Chris Kaman
- 24 pts, 11 rebs, 4 asts, 2 blks

Honorable Mention:
Marcus Camby
- 11 pts, 22 rebs, 3 asts, 3 blks

Quote of the Week ---> Chris Kaman

We're getting a step closer every time. I'm getting excited for this team. We've been playing pretty well

See you next week.
Category: NBA
Tags: Blog, Clippers, NBA
Posted on: December 14, 2009 4:12 am
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Posted on: December 10, 2009 8:15 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2009 3:40 am

Clippers ---> Week 7

Recap: Went 0-2 this week, but hey, both were tough matchups. The offense and defense both need to get on the same page consistently if the Clippers want to even dream of the playoffs.

Hey, at least Baron isn't shooting like crap anymore. Foot in mouth
Marcus Camby needs to consistently be in the 10 point range, and Al Thornton needs to start shutting some folks down on the wings.

And a little change from Coach Dunleavy would be nice, too.

Injury Report

Games for this Week: (0-2) 9-13

December 8th vs. Magic ---> Lost 86-97
After falling behind by 10 in the first quarter, and giving up 34 points, the Clippers mounted a gradual comeback which culminated in them tying the game on a Gordon bucket in the third.

But, as is the case for the Clippers all season, they meltdown in a major way in the fourth.

Dwight Howard dominated Chris Kaman.. he's too big, strong, and athletic for him to handle. But, the Magic as a team killed the Clippers from the 3-point line (14-34), guys like Rashard Lewis, Jason Williams, etc, were getting open looks due to the Clips' collapsing on Dwight.

Clips got out-rebounded, no surprise, and shot only 40% from the field. Only 12 turnovers is a good sign, but letting Dwight light you up for 7 blocks isn't. Jump in the dude's chest, and alter your shot to make sure he hits your arm. The lack of adjustment in that aspect, basically lost them the game. Their rhythm around the basket was off, and Kaman tried way too hard to get his points. 8-22? really? Nice to see Baron with 11 assists.

Player of the Game: Baron Davis
- 18 pts, 11 asts, 3 stls

December 13th vs. Spurs
---> Lost 90-115

The Spurs got an early lead in the first, and their bench exploded to double the lead by the end of the game. Duncan indeed got his, scoring wise, but Tony Parker got inside easily.

Roger Mason, Matt Bonner, and Manu Ginobili KILLED the Clippers from long range, and DeJuan Blair/George Hill complimented them on the inside.

The Spurs, a mediocre to above average offensive team at best, shot 57% from the field en route to 115 points. Keith Bogans gave Eric Gordon fits all night, and the Spurs showed that the Clips are still a long ways away from being a "team".

Player of the Game: Baron Davis
- 20 pts, 6 asts, 2 blks

Quote of the Week
---> Coach Mike Dunleavy

We just shot ourselves in the foot.

See you next Week.

Category: NBA
Tags: Blog, Clippers, NBA
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