Clippers Need To Learn How To Win

After the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 108-103 on Wednesday in the second of two preseason meetings between the teams, Lakers forward Matt Barnes took issue with the “Lob City” Clippers:

They definitely have a much improved team here and are looking to make a push towards the playoffs. “They have a lot of reason to be excited, but all the celebration after dunks and all that kind of stuff, I mean, I just kind of think it looks amazing and it makes ‘SportsCenter,’ but I mean, let’s just play basketball. They act like they won the dunk contest after every dunk. So, as players, people aren’t going to tolerate that.

Whether or not the last bit about “people aren’t going to tolerate that” is a threat to the Clippers is unclear, but Barnes did take exception in the third quarter of the game when he was assessed a flagrant 1 foul for shoving the Clippers’ Blake Griffin to the floor. Afterwards, Barnes spoke about the play and while he certainly disagreed with the call, he also accepted it:

I looked at [the replay] and yeah, my arms did get extended but [Griffin] flailed everywhere like I threw him to half-court. I just think the refs are so quick to judge. Even after looking at the replay, I heard initially they wanted to call a flagrant 2 and I’m just like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ I guess there’s just no hard fouls anymore. It was just a hard foul. That’s exactly what it was yesterday, my reputation. I’ve fouled people much harder than that. That’s all it is. … I have a reputation for stuff I’ve done, so I’ve earned it, so I can’t be mad at no one but myself, but that definitely wasn’t a flagrant foul. Continue reading “Clippers Need To Learn How To Win”

Kobe Survives

Rockets Lakers BasketballThe Los Angeles Lakers advanced to the Western Conference Finals with an 89-70 victory over the Houston Rockets in Game 7 of their series. And Kobe can breathe a sigh of relief. Even without Yao Ming for some of the series, the Rockets still pushed the Lakers to the brink of elimination and for Kobe to a career-crippling defeat. Kobe has faced so much scrutiny over the years for his character, his skill, his attitude, but this was a bit different.

This was Kobe vs Shane Battier. People have always wondered how good Kobe is, if he can carry a team to a championship, and if he is as good as Jordan (he’s not). This time though it was is Battier better at defense than Kobe is at offense. This was new to Kobe.

This Rocket team has limited scoring, especially with Yao out, but has great defensive players in Battier and Artest amongst others. Could the defensive stalwarts of Houston outlast Kobe and his Lakers?

Almost.

Battier played defense on Kobe like Kobe had never faced before throughout the entire series. Every shot, Battier has his hand millimeters from Kobe’s face. He fights through screens and hip checks every possession. He pushes Kobe around and forces him to his inefficiencies. Still, Kobe hits a shot and struts back up the court saying, “He can’t guard me” Continue reading “Kobe Survives”

Why The Lakers Won’t Win It All

The NBA Playoffs get underway tomorrow and everyone is expecting either the Cavs or Lakers to walk away as NBA Champions. With KG going down, most people have given the Boston Celtics very little chance of repeating. I agree. KG is the Celtics’ heart and soul and even though Paul Pierce is the best player on that team. their defense will be too weak and offense too unreliable for them to contend with Cleveland.

Speaking of Cleveland, they are the best team in the NBA. Period. They aren’t guaranteed to win the title, because the best team does not necessarily win it all, but I have them as the heavy favorites to win the crown. I don’t want to talk about the Cavs, though. Everyone knows about them.

Maybe its the East coast bias on ESPN, but I haven’t been hearing much about the Lakers except that everyone expects them to challenge for the title. However, let’s make this clear: THE LAKERS ARE POSERS

Here’s why:

  1. Kobe isn’t good enough. Not many times has that phrase been said, but he still needs to become more of a team player. He’s averaging less than five assists a game and that isn’t good enough. LeBron? He’s averaging over seven assists per game and is shooting a better FG% (48.9 for Lebron vs 46.7 for Kobe). If Kobe ever wants to win the championship with him as the leader of the Lakers, he needs to distribute more. Continue reading “Why The Lakers Won’t Win It All”