Sugene Lee

Posts Tagged ‘lakers’

Back on track

In NBA: LA Clippers on January 9, 2013 at 11:54 pm

Following a 17-game winning streak, going undefeated in the month of December, the Los Angeles Clippers dropped two straight against the Denver Nuggets and the Golden State Warriors on the road.

Dropping two games to start the new year was disappointing, but not devastating– especially for the Clippers. Dan Woike, reporter for Orange County Register, tweeted out that the music was still being played and jokes were still being made following a loss against the Nuggets. Hoping to bounce back the following night in Oakland, the Clippers fell again in a blow-out loss to the Warriors. However, that’s the game that brought the Clippers back two nights later.

“Battle of L.A” brought about just as much hype as it did the past year despite the losing record of the Los Angeles Lakers. Clippers were without Sixth-Man-of-the-Year candidate, Jamal Crawford (sore left foot), and starter, Caron Butler (personal reasons). After being blown out two nights in a row, “Battle of L.A.” was a game up for grabs, and the Clippers grabbed. Kobe almost saved the day in the 4th quarter, but Chris Paul came through with a dagger over Kobe and closed it out by scoring the last 8 points.

The following night, the Clippers detonated the Warriors in a revenge game after the Warriors’ bench mocked a Blake Griffin 3-pointer that hit the side of the backboard and Warriors’ coach Mark Jackson called Blake Griffin an “actor” following a hard fall from an arm-grabbing foul while going for a dunk. Chris Paul showed why he was the MVP after scoring 27 points (10-12 fg, 5-6 3-pt) and dishing out nine assists in just 28 minutes.

The Clippers remember each loss, but the loss against the Warriors early in November stayed in their minds after the Warriors celebrated, as Chris Paul and Matt Barnes described, like they won the NBA Finals. They understand that a target is on their backs and they know every team wants to beat the team with the best record in the NBA.

Being the team who has a bench deep enough to rest its starters in 4th quarters and a team chemistry that can’t be hidden on the court, bench, or the locker room are things struggling teams wish they had. Of course, winning creates more chemistry, but the Clippers stick together whether they win or lose.

After having three days of rest, the Clippers will take on the Dallas Mavericks, who now has Dirk Nowitzki, at home as they try to add another win to an ongoing home-winning streak to 13.

Clippers Always Under the Radar

In Uncategorized on September 12, 2012 at 3:15 am

As the NBA offseason is slowly coming to an end, the Clippers had quite a successful summer. Of course, it seemed as if nothing had changed when Vinny DelNegro was extended for another year, and Neil Olshey left for Portland. Things were still very Clipper-esque and seemed to be at a stop. But then, things started to change. 

Lamar Odom was acquired through a ship and trade with Mo Williams, who was traded to his first NBA team, the Utah Jazz. Next, it was Jamal Crawford, who decided to join the Clippers as a free agent, and surprisingly, along with Grant Hill, who’s best friend, Steve Nash, decided to join the Lakers. With Grant Hill’s career coming to an end, it was quite a powerful message to Clipper Nation as to how strongly he believes the Clippers can contend for a championship this upcoming season. One would think that having those three coming off the bench would be good enough, but it did not stop there. The Clips were also able to acquire Willie Green, Ryan Hollins, and Ronny Turiaf. Is there any other team, on paper, deeper than the Clippers right now? 

Want some more good news? Blake Griffin signed his extension for another 5 years and Chauncey Billups is healing much faster than anyone expected. Chris Paul, on the other hand, did not sign an extension, simply because he would be getting more money next year; it all makes sense. Calm down, Clipper Nation. Oh yes, and now, they have a GM who has been working with the Clipper organization for the past 18 years, Gary Sacks. 

Sure, Blake Griffin tore his meniscus and could not participate in this year’s Summer Olympics, but the most important part is that he is 100% right now and ready to go. Also, Chris Paul received surgery on his thumb, but will be back in no time. 

While all this was happening, there was not much buzz around the Clippers. The spotlight was on Dwight Howard, who brought his spotlight to L.A. Just not the Clippers, but rather the Lakers. With Dwight Howard on the other side of the Staples Center, people are assuming that the Lakers will win another championship this year and disregarding the Clippers, once again. Truth be told, the Lakers’ starting five is probably the best there is, but what about their bench? Chemistry? Coaching? I am being biased, only because I despise the Lakers, but really, nobody knows. Did anyone expect the Detroit Pistons to win the championship in 2004? Not a chance. 

So, who knows what will happen this season. Will the Heat win again? What about OKC? San Antonio? And why not, the Clippers? 

The excitement is coming and us, NBA fans, cannot wait any longer! 

Matt Barnes Jealous?

In NBA: LA Clippers on December 24, 2011 at 6:38 pm

After two preseason games, Clippers have gotten more attention from people all over the league.

Matt Barnes, who was frustrated after the two losses against the Clips, hid none of his emotions about Blake Griffin and the Clippers. Accepting the fact that the Clippers have something to be excited about with their veteran additions, Barnes didn’t accept the flops called by the refs nor did he accept the celebration of their dunks. But what celebration is he talking about? The Clippers didn’t overreact on any of their dunks. The only people going crazy were the fans, and what fans wouldn’t cheer after a nice dunk? After each dunk, the Clips went to the other end of the court to continue their play on D.

Barnes’ streak on the court is a nasty one as was shown with his shove on Blake Griffin in the 3rd quarter of Wednesday night’s game, resulting in a Flagrant 1. He even had the guts to say that Blake Griffin “flailed everywhere like like I threw him to half-court.” (Flailing everywhere? All I saw was Barnes shove pushing Blake to the ground. There was no flailing to my understanding.) One of the biggest misunderstandings about those plays is that even a little shove on someone who is unbalanced will knock them over. Heat’s Eddie House’s shove on Blake last year when he was going up for a lob also caused annoyance on Blake flopping, when in reality, House’s push on Blake was caught when he was running at full speed, about to jump. It’s the consequence of gravity. It happens.

True competitors won’t feel the need to complain about other teams’ performances. They should just want to win, and Barnes has shown the public the complete opposite.

Yes, they were just preseason games and meant absolutely nothing on either one’s records, but where’s the need to complain about the energy of an excited team? The Clippers know those games meant nothing, but to be able to play together, and they also understand they have a lot to work on before contending for a title and are willing to put in the work each day to prove their worth in the league. They’re not claiming themselves to be the L.A. team, but they’re also not going to be known as the laughing stock of the NBA.

Barnes’ complaints on the Clips only showed his jealousy about the attention he’s not getting. The Lakers are still the L.A. team and have proven themselves to be one of the best teams in the history of the NBA, but there just may come a time when the “J.V.” team will take over. Kobe won’t be playing his game a few years from now, which is just a consequence of aging. And if there’s no Kobe, there might as well not be a Lakers. However, history has proven that the Lakers will always create a team able to contend for a title. If they acquire Dwight Howard next year, they will still be the team to beat. But, with the current rosters, many will agree that the Clippers will be the Pacific division championships.

There shouldn’t have been any reason for Barnes to complain about the Clips’ W’s for preseason games. They played their game and won. Simple as that. There will be three games during the regular season for Barnes to compete in and have a chance to win against the Clippers.

All I know is, if the Lakers win those games, none of the Clippers will be complaining about their loss and will only strive to be better.

Postgame 12/21: Clippers Win Again

In NBA: LA Clippers on December 22, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Another sold out arena in the Staples Center created an atmosphere of a regular season match against hallway rivalries. Clippers won in a 108-103 battle, but this time, it didn’t come so easily.

Although it was a Clippers home game, half the fans were on the Lakers side and voiced their support for the purple and gold team.

The Lakers came out stronger than they did Monday night in the first preseason game even without their star player, Kobe, who sat out with torn ligaments in his wrist after getting swatted by DeAndre Jordan. Derek Fisher started and ended with 11 points in 24 minutes in his first game after six long months. Ebanks came out strong in replace of Kobe making his first 3 shots and Gasol also made 5 of 7 shots with a result of 13 points in 30 minutes. But the nightly notable on the Lakers was Andrew Bynum. He hit 11 of 15 shots and had a Lakers team high of 26 points along with his 11 rebounds. If Bynum can stay healthy for a full season, he’ll be causing a lot of damage in the post, but how often has that happened?

As for the Clippers, they showed another trick up their sleeve with their new team. Monday night, they were able to prove to the league that they are capable of playing with the best, but Tuesday night, they showed that they can win after being down more than 10 points. They don’t need all their star players to score 10+ points to win a game. All they need is a little team work and help from one another whether it’s defensively or a little encouragement. Chris Paul didn’t need to score 17 points this game, just 10 assists. Billups also added just 8 points from a 23 point game from Monday night. When certain players don’t play as well, others will come along and help score.

DJ is continuing to show his worth in his position with three amazing block shots and crowd-roaring dunks.

Blake Griffin came back alive after a mediocre game from Monday night. He ended with 30 points on 11 of 17 shoots along with making 8 of his 10 free throws. Also adding a little defense to his game, he had 3 steals. After a flagrant 1 foul against Matt Barnes’ shove on Blake Griffin, the Clippers went on a 11-0 run and extended their lead by 12 points. He scored 9 of his 30 points in the final 5 minutes of the game easily against Troy Murphy of the Lakers. Just when the Lakers were catching up with only 2 minutes left on the clock, Blake took a momentum-changing charge by Matt Barnes and the game was over.

A weakness that still continued for Blake, and the Clippers as a whole was rebounding. The Clippers were disgracefully out rebounded by the Lakers of 44 while grabbing only 27 of their own. However, the game changer was the Clippers dramatic improvement on reducing their turnovers and increasing their opponent’s. They forced the Lakers to 22 turnovers, resulting in 30 points, while they only had 6 of their own.

While they still haven’t proven their worth of being the better L.A. team, they are coming together slowly and improving each day.

The first real game of the season will be on Christmas Day against the Golden State Warriors away from their home. This will be the Clippers first game on Christmas Day in history.

It’s going to be a good one, so don’t miss it!

Postgame: Clippers vs. Lakers 12/19

In NBA: LA Clippers on December 20, 2011 at 9:02 am

Clippers take a 114-95 victory over the Lakers in their first preseason game.

This game was nothing like a typical preseason game. Seats were filled like a regular season match in the Staples Center. Tickets were sold out to watch the Lakers take on the new and improved Clippers team and the competitiveness was shown right out of the gate.

However, because it was the first actual game of the season, both teams showed weaknesses that often occur when they haven’t played together for months.

Kobe, as expected, went on the court to play basketball and revealed no sign of negative emotions concerning his personal life and hit his amazing jump shots from the start but ended up with 7 turnovers. Pau and Bynum, in the front court, also played competitively and at times gave the Clippers a hard time in the post.

Yes, it was just a preseason game, but the Clippers took over the court tonight. The flow wasn’t perfect for either team considering the Lakers had to learn a different system with new coach, Mike Brown, and the Clippers only played together for a couple days. Yet, the Clippers revealed their ability to play together in those 48 minutes.

Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups, Caron Butler, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan were the starting lineup for the Clippers and they were one heck of a starting lineup. The veterans played as if they were at least 15 games into the regular season and DeAndre showed his remarkable dunking and blocking abilities. He had a game high of 4 blocked shots, and boy were they vicious. With a swat at Kobe’s shot attempt, DJ knocked Kobe to the ground and embarrassed him. Same to rookie, Darius Morris, who showed a little Kobe in him with a buzzer beater at the end of the first quarter to tie the score at 28 each. Jordan and Chris Paul also connected with a couple lobs and a strong finish that landed the highlight reel.

CP3, with 17 points and 9 assists also played with excitement and passion as he debuted with the Clippers. He wasn’t 100% satisfied, but he said they did a decent job “learning on the fly.” With experience, CP3, Billups and Butler were able to lead the young team by hitting shots and giving direction. Billups, with a game high of 23 points at age 35, showed no signs of aging after hitting consecutive 3’s, one from way deep (now I know why he’s called “Mr. Big Shot”). Butler also hit a few of his mid-range jumpers with ease.

Blake Griffin, who had a couple of highlights of his own got into foul trouble early and couldn’t knock down shots. After an off-the-backboard assist from Billups, Blake slammed the ball down through the hoop, but received a technical for hanging on the rim too long (which shouldn’t have been a technical, but the referee told Blake he probably shouldn’t have called that, so I’m not bitter anymore). Additionally, I also predict that Blake may not be the superstar anymore with the great talent surrounding him. Maybe it was just the preseason game, but he was not himself (hopefully I was just speculating too much into it).

Although the Clippers ended up with a W by 19 points, speaking as a die-hard Clippers fan, this game meant nothing and proved nothing but the fact that the Clippers can be a good team. It didn’t prove that the Clippers were going to be the new L.A. team and it also didn’t prove that the Clippers were going to be the better team. Both teams weren’t at their full potential, but were still learning to gel together and play together. No matter how many all-stars the Clippers have, a championship is simply not possible within the first year as we saw with the Big 3 in Miami. It takes time getting used to with the addition of new players who have never played with each other. With the Lakers losing by a big margin in their first preseason game, they might come out Wednesday night with more motivation and come out with their own victory (but I hope that isn’t the case because I’m going to watch that game at the Staples Center).

The best part of all this is how much excitement there was in the atmosphere of the Staples Center when it was “only” a preseason game. The Clippers bandwagon is filling up, but is also bringing a lot of haters with it.

Boy, it’s going to be a good season.

My Take: Clippers vs. Lakers Preseason Preview

In NBA: LA Clippers on December 17, 2011 at 10:45 am

In approximately 2 1/2 days, the Clippers will be taking on the Lakers in an exhibition game. While things have been looking up for the Clippers the past week, the Lakers have been a whole different story. It started out with David Stern’s veto on the CP3 trade, then Lamar getting sent to Dallas, now, Kobe’s wife is filing a divorce. Who would’ve thought all this was possible in one week?

Lakers: With their first preseason game in a couple of days, it can go either way. They don’t have a true point guard, their bench isn’t deep, and they have more than enough problems one team can handle. With their new coach, Mike Brown, they had to learn a whole new game without much time. Also, not only the Lakers, but all teams in the league need more than just a couple weeks to get used to each other. So it can get a little messy. In other news, Kobe can either let his emotions about the divorce get to him and pull a Pau Gasol, or he can come out strong and determined and play his game like he always does. Kobe has never let his emotions get to him and has sent out a message to the league that he only worries about winning and nothing else. He doesn’t care about being the “boring team” in L.A as long as they get results. Those are true words of a champion. But will all these negative events bring them down, or will it fuel their motivation and lead them to a W? Majority of the people say the Lakers will still be L.A.’s team, but I’m not so sure about that.

Clippers: They have never received so much attention in the past three decades. Clippers were able to acquire the best point guard in the league with a couple veterans with championship experience. With such an improvement in their roster, people are starting to talk about the Clippers contending. Not just playoffs, but championships in the near future. Personally, I don’t want to make any guesses, but I definitely do hope for the best. I feel like playoffs are a given at this point, but championships don’t come that easily. In the next few years they might just be in the Finals, but we’ll see what happens. It isn’t that easy for teams to mend so easily when only playing with each other for several days, no matter how good the players are, but CP3 showed a lot of excitement about playing with the Clippers and is determined to win. Blake Griffin didn’t give out any numbers on how many games they will win or how far they will go into the playoffs, but he did promise that when people talk about the Clippers, it won’t be a joke anymore. Now, that’s an exciting promise.
I just hope they don’t come out too prideful and continue to play to their best abilities starting Monday night.

As a Los Angeles native, I do support both L.A. teams, but I’ve been supporting the Clippers more. So there is probably some bias in all my articles, but that’s just my excitement for this new and improved team. In addition to that, I really do hope the Clippers go home with a win.

It’s going to be an exciting year for the Clippers, so people better hop onto the bandwagon because it’s going to be full. I don’t really like the fact that people are jumping on the Clippers bandwagon due to the trade of CP3, but since I can’t control it, might as well welcome them and support the Clippers together.  Season tickets have already been sold out along with partial plans for the Clippers. Yes. The “other” L.A team’s season tickets are already sold out. This proves the expectations of this team and Clippernation hopes to watch this team go deep into the playoffs.

1st Preseason game: Monday, December 19, 2011 @ Staples Center 7:30 pm.
It’s going to be “Lob City!”

NBA-craziness

In Uncategorized on December 10, 2011 at 2:48 am

The best way I can summarize yesterday is… the NBA went nuts!

Right when trades were allowed to take place, the whole league went bonkers. Constant news on Twitter popped up saying Caron Butler was traded to the Clippers, Shannon Brown to Phoenix, Big Baby to Orlando, Gilbert Arenas getting amnestied, ETC. Too many things to keep track of. However, the biggest trade that occurred yesterday was a 3-way trade between Hornets, Lakers, and Rockets with Chris Paul to the Lakers for Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol. There were a lot of positive reactions to this trade, but a lot of negative reactions as well. Sure, Chris Paul is arguably the best point guard in the league right now, but is he really worth Gasol and Odom? Without those two, the Lakers front court has completely disappeared. I doubt Bynum will be able to take care of things by himself when he can hardly control his anger. Which is why he’s being suspended for the first 5 games of the season after throwing Barea down to the ground in the playoffs last year. While I love the Clippers, I still support the Lakers, which is why I believe Chris Paul should not be traded to the Lakers in exchange for Odom and Gasol. I think Clippers would be a better fit for CP3, considering they don’t have a true point guard.

BUT, since David Stern vetoed the trade, I guess none of that really matters. For now…

As much as I love Dwight Howard, who’s already been out of the discussion for being traded to the Clippers, I have a hard time accepting him on the Clippers because…
1. I love Deandre Jordan, who’s just like a mini-Dwight Howard, and developing very quickly.
2. Eric Gordon is becoming one of the top shooting-guards in the league and is one of the most underrated SG’s as well.
3. I think Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin would clash in the front court. Yes, they would most likely be one of the most dominant front courts in the league, but if Dwight Howard comes, DJ and Eric are gone, meaning, the Clippers don’t have many other players to score.
So, I’m glad those trades did not happen.

We did get Caron Butler from Dallas. I can’t say much about him because I haven’t seen him play, but looking over his history, he’s been injured quite a bit. He’s never played a full season and is coming off a season-ending knee injury just last year. While he was healthy, he was definitely a great player, but if he’s someone who gets injured often I will definitely be disappointed. However, he did say to the media today that his knees were recovered and is no longer an issue. DJ Foster, the writer for Clippers.com, has been very against Caron Butler on the Clippers. While he admires him as a player, he believes he is not a good match for the team. But hopefully, he’s really fully healed and can help out the Clippers make the playoffs.

I’ve said this at the end of last year’s season, and I’ll say it again. I know the Clippers will make the playoffs this year. Yes, I’m a pretty die-hard fan for the Clippers and want the best for them, but I just have this gut feeling that it’s going to happen. I don’t even have to explain Blake Griffin. He is a motor that keeps running and he can’t be stopped. Okay… yes, he can, but he can only be better than last year, and the thought of that scares me. In a good way. We have DJ who took his abilities to a whole new level and proved to us that he can become a player like Dwight Howard in the future. Eric Gordon is a pure shooter who can make shots on demand. He goes hard to the basket and is a very physical player. Last, but not least, Mo Williams has experience under his belt and is a great outside shooter as well. Maybe they won’t be a top-seed, but at least and 8th seed is guaranteed.

Their schedule, as well as everyone else’s is rough, but they have young fresh legs… for the most part. So hopefully, it works to their advantage.

Christmas came a little early for us Clipper fans, who’ll be watching the Clippers take on the Golden State Warrios Christmas night! After about five months of no NBA, I’ve been waiting for this day to come! This is the first time in history the Clippers will be playing on Christmas Day. That’s what you call the Power of Blake. 

GO CLIPPERS!!!!