SEATTLE (AP) — Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul and former NFL stars Jerome Bettis and Terrell Owens will serve as celebrity owners in the Professional Bowlers Association’s inaugural PBA League.
Jeff Gross/NBAE/Getty Images
Kyrie Irving is still the man in Cleveland, but he now has a playmate.
LOS ANGELES — It’s Year 2 of the Kyrie Irving era in Cleveland, and the point guard out of Duke has picked up where he left off after his formidable rookie season.
On Monday night at Staples Center, Irving faced Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul, someone he regards as a mentor. Prior to the game, Irving confessed that there are times when he watches Paul and marvels.
Even last year’s addition of Chris Paul couldn’t help the Los Angeles Clippers overcome their recent struggles against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
aka Don Allen
PIC OF THE DAY – While most of the rest of the Lakers took the night off, Kobe scored 40 of the Lakers 95 points. Hit hit 14 of 23 shots and all 10 of his free throws. He also had 6 rebounds and two steals.
BATTLE FOR LA – The opening salvo in the Battle of LA went to the Clippers 105-95. For the Lakers it was a story of to much Kobe and not enough team. Coach Brown played four of his starters 38 minutes or more and would have played Dwight Howard more except for foul trouble. Kobe went for 40 points in 43 minutes but his team didn’t follow. If the Lakers are going to try and use this strategy for the rest of the season they are going to lose a lot more than they should.
But what are they going to do? The Clipper bench had another monster game outscoring the Laker’s bench 46 -16. The Clippers bench scored 49 on opening night. Overall, the Clippers had 7 players score 8 points or more. Jamal Crawford led the way with 21 points for the Clippers, and Chris Paul had 18 points, 15 assists, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals. Even if Steve Nash plays, the Lakers do not have the answer for CP3 and Eric Bledsoe at the point guard position.
GAME 1 – PLAYER MATCHUPS
CENTER – ADVANTAGE LAKERS – Dwight Howard won this battle last night but had subpar game for him. He finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds while DeAndre Jordan had only 4 points and 5 rebounds. Both player sat our with foul trouble and were not decisive in the game.
POWER FORWARD – NO ADVANTAGE – Both power forwards played well with Blake having 15 points, and 8 rebounds, while Pau went for 10 points and 14 rebounds.
SHOOTING GUARD – ADVANTAGE LAKERS – Kobe went for 40 points in 43 minutes while Jamal Crawford had 21 points off the bench for the Clippers. Kobe’s heroic effort couldn’t bring the Lakers a win because the rest of the team didn’t perform.
SMALL FORWARD – ADVANTAGE CLIPPERS – Caron Butler had a nice shooting night hitting 5 of 7 shots in route to 14 points. Metta on the other had hit only 3 of 10 shots and went 1 of 7 from the 3 for 8 points.
POINT GUARD – ADVANTAGE CLIPPERS – This battle wasn’t even close as the combination of Chris Paul and Eric Bledsoe dominated the Laker point guards. Having Steve Nash available would have helped but he is just not fast enough to contain either one of the Clippers PG’s.
THE BENCH – ADVANTAGE CLIPPERS – The Clipper bench ourscored the Lakers bench 46 – 16. Enough said.
SEASON ADVANTAGE – CLIPPERS – The Clippers have now beaten the Lakers once in the preseason, and in their opening game of the regular season.
TiIME TO PANIC YET? – The Lakers have started the season 0 – 3 for the first time since 1978. When asked about this Kobe “jokingly” asked everybody to just shut up. With tens of thousands of Laker fans still blacked out, and maybe watching Clippers games instead, this is going to be public relations nightmare until the Lakers start to win again.
THE TEAM – The Lakers have a starting lineup that is equal to the best in the NBA. They traded away Andrew Bynum to get Dwight Howard and signed Steve Nash and Antawn Jamison as free agents. Jodie Meeks, Jordan Hill, and Devin Ebanks could be dangerous weapons off the bench. Let’s hope that after we have a few games with everybody available, that the chemistry starts to develope and the team starts to win. So far the bench hasn’t provided much. The right pieces are in place, and the bench is going to eventually be better than advertised, they just need a few more games to get their rythym going. And our bigs need to stop any kind of penetration in the lane. Our interior defense needs to improve.
HACK-A-HOWARD – In the first game we are already starting to see a strategy of just fouling Dwight if he is close to the basket instead of letting him score. Teams are doing this consistantly against the Clippers DeAndre Jordan. Jordan and Howard both share the same deficiency in hitting free throws. Last season the Clippers literally couldn’t play Jordan late in the 4th quarter. The Lakers might be faced with the same dilemma. Dwight only hit 3 of 14 free throws in game 1. To show how the tactic can backfire, Howard hit most of his free throws in game 2.
COACHING CONTROVERCY – In our Forum you are already starting to hear the drum beat of fans wondering if Coach Mike Brown is the right guy to coach this team. If the Lakers underperform, the media and sportwriters will be next. It seems a little early for this but the expectations are high and the Lakers haven’t won a game yet. How long will they stay with the Princeton offense if they don’t start to click. Kobe can change the offense all by himself if he gets fed up with the results. The coach can go along for the ride…..or not.
The Los Angeles Clippers haven’t needed many points from Blake Griffin and Chris Paul to get off to their best start in five years.
Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty ImagesCan Chris Paul and Blake Griffin build on what they started last December?
On a Saturday afternoon last spring, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin took the podium in the interview room at Staples Center after the Clippers’ Game 3 comeback 87-86 win over Memphis in the first round.
It was the franchise’s first home playoff win since 2006 and the second-half rally was fueled by Chris Paul in a most typical Chris Paul way.
Dwight Howard says he tried to join forces with Chris Paul. The two could never agree on where.
There does seem to be less flopping since the NBA’s new rule, even though to my knowledge the rule has not yet resulted in any penalties. Did anybody else notice what looked like Chris Paul complaining to a referee about Tony Allen’s exaggerating contact? Whatever the rules, Paul’s mind never rests attempting to find wins for his team.
Feeling pretty good about my Omer Asik for Most Improved Player pick so far.
(Reuters) – The Los Angeles Clippers picked up where they left off in their budding rivalry with the Memphis Grizzlies, claiming a 101-92 home triumph in the season-opener for both teams on Wednesday. Facing a Grizzlies side they edged out over seven games in the Western Conference first-round playoffs last season, the Clippers prevailed in a scrappy and sometimes ill-tempered contest courtesy of a strong fourth quarter. “We knew it was going to be hard fought and chippy,” Los Angeles point guard Chris Paul told reporters. …
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard are sitting out of the Los Angeles Lakers’ preseason game against the Clippers, who are giving Chris Paul a rest on Wednesday night.