Tag Archives: NBA

Clippers vs Lakers

By Cencere Waller

The L.A. Clippers are being a little sloppy so far. They are 11-11 and are doing well but I think they have to pick up the pace. Erik Bledsoe, who had recently joined the team, is doing well. 

On Thursday night, November 18, the Clippers and the Memphis Grizzlies played a pretty close game but in the end the Grizzlies took care of business with the score of 120-108. Ja Morant and Paul George were going at it, with Paul George having 23 points and Ja Morant scoring 28.

On the other side of Staples Center, the Lakers have also had a messy year but they are not giving up and are pushing forward, so far they are 12-11 but are not doing that bad, despite losing LeBron James for a good portion of the season.

The Clippers and Lakers play each other tonight at 7:00pm at Staples Center (soon to be renamed Crypto.com Arena), with the Lakers as the home team.

Recaps:

In the craziest game of the season so far against the Pistons, LeBron James had an incident where he hit Isaiah Stewart, which caused him to leak blood from his top right eyebrow and almost caused a brawl. LeBron got a one game suspension and a fine of $284,004 out of his game check. As for Isaiah Stewart, he received a two-game suspension and will miss out on $45,201 in game checks for his role. LeBron James (the GOAT) has since tested positive for Covid and will miss out on several games (probably up to 10 days).

The Clippers and the Kings played Wednesday, with the Clippers dropping a game with Paul George on the bench by a final score of 124-115.


NBA Round-Up:

In the West, the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors sit atop tied for the #1 seed with records of 18-3. Phoenix has won an amazing 17 games in a row. The Eastern Conference finds the Brooklyn Nets in first place with a 15-6 record.

The team with the lowest record in the Western Conference right now are the Rockets who are just 5-16, while in the east the Detroit Pistons are 4-17. They are having a pretty tough year so far with a new rookie, Jalen Green, who came from the NBA G league and is now playing with the Rockets and doing pretty well.

NBA Playoff Preview

By Isaac Rangel

The NBA playoffs are coming fast–the set date for them to start is Tuesday, May 18, however it is not the actual first round of the playoffs that start that day, it is the “play-in tournament” that starts on May 18. The play-in tournament is the new format that the NBA started this season where the numbers 7, 8, 9, and 10 seeds play against each other to make it into the standard 8-team playoffs. The winner of the matchup between the 7 and 8 seeds is automatically in and secures the number 7 seed. The loser between the 7 and 8 seed still has a chance because whoever wins between the 9 and 10 seed plays against the loser between the 7 and 8 seed. The winner of that game then secures the 8 seed.

Graphic: NBA.com

These “play-in” games will last from May 18-21. The traditional 8-team playoffs begin on May 22 and the Finals will start on July 8.

Here are the standings for both conferences (if the season ended today):

EASTERN CONFERENCEWESTERN CONFERENCE
1. Philadelphia 76ers 1. Utah Jazz
2. Brooklyn Nets 2. Phoenix Suns
3. Milwaukee Bucks 3. LA Clippers
4. New York Knicks 4. Denver Nuggets
5. Atlanta Hawks 5. Dallas Mavericks
6. Miami Heat 6. Portland Trailblazers
*Play-In Teams (7-10)*Play-In Teams (7-10)
7. Boston Celtics 7. LA Lakers
8. Charlotte Hornets 8. Golden State Warriors
9. Washington Wizards 9. Memphis Grizzlies
10. Indiana Pacers10. San Antonio Spurs
Standings as of Monday, May 10, 2021

Many analysts and fans feel that the favorites and the team to beat this year is the Brooklyn Nets because of the fact that they have 3 superstar players (pictured). In the East, many people see the Bucks and the Sixers as the only teams that can compete with the Nets. And in the West, most people think that the Nuggets, Clippers, and Lakers are the teams who are most likely to make it out of the West, even though the Utah Jazz and surprisingly the Phoenix Suns are having great seasons and holding the 1 and 2 seed, respectively.

Many NBA fans, however, just don’t believe in Utah or Phoenix, simply because of the fact that they have never seen these two teams do some serious things in the playoffs. Fans see the Lakers as the favorites to win the West if they are fully healthy (LeBron James has been dealing with the worst injury of his career), and can also see them beating the Nets if they meet up in the Finals. The Lakers have four games remaining in the regular season (ending Sunday, May 16) to try and avoid the play-in tournament, as they are currently 1 game behind the #6 seed Trailblazers.

NBA All-Stars Reluctantly Put on a Show

By Issac Rangel

At the beginning of the NBA season, many people and also players were really convinced that this year’s NBA season was not going to have an All-Star Game due to Covid-19 and the restrictions. The NBA had even mentioned at the beginning of the season that there was no interest in having an All-Star Game. A lot of players felt that the whole point of the All-Star Weekend is for it to be a very entertaining weekend with a sold out arena and fans seeing the best players in the world go at it. However, with Covid-19 there would be only a very limited number of fans that would be able to attend the event, which kind of defeats the purpose of All-Star Weekend.

Furthermore, teams like the Lakers and Heat–who were the last two teams standing in the bubble–felt that they deserved that little break and should not have to play in an extra game. Even after all that, the NBA decided to have an All-Star Game anyways. Players like LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and De’Aaron Fox shared their thoughts on the NBA deciding after all to have one, and they did not like the idea of it.

LeBron James claimed that the All-Star Game being confirmed was, “A slap in the face.” Giannis also had something to say, which was, “I don’t care about the All-Star Game.” And De’Aaron Fox also shared his thoughts saying, “To be brutally honest, I think it’s stupid.”

Still, all that passed by, and NBA All-Star Weekend was finally happening. This year’s All-Star Weekend was very entertaining as it mostly always is, however it wasn’t the usual weekend that fans were used to. There were some big changes into how the schedule would be. This time it wasn’t an actual whole weekend where each day had different events, like the celebrity game, the rising stars game, the dunk contest, the 3-point contest, the skills competition, and then the actual All-Star Game. This year they did not do the celebrity game or the rising stars game, but they did do the 3-point contest, dunk contest, and skills competition.

They decided to do it all in one day though this time, with the skills competition and the 3-point contest being before the game, and the dunk contest being held during halftime. The winners for each event were, Domantas Sabonis for the skills competition, Steph Curry for the 3-point contest, and Anfernee Simons for the dunk contest.

Rosters for the 2021 All-Star Game

Lastly was the All-Star Game itself. It was Team LeBron vs Team Durant. Team LeBron’s players were Giannis, Steph Curry, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic for the starting five. Team Lebron’s reserves were Jaylen Brown, Paul George, Rudy Gobert, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Domantas Sabonis, and Ben Simmons. Team Durant’s starting lineup did not include himself due to injury, but his starting lineup was Bradley Beal, Joel Embid, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, and Jayson Tatum. His reserves were Devin Booker, James Harden, Zach Lavine, Donovan Mitchell, Julias Randle, Nikola Vucevic, and Zion Williamson.

The game went pretty well, and it was very entertaining watching Steph Curry and Damian Lillard drain threes from all over the place. Team LeBron ended up dominating and winning by a score of 170-150. Giannis Antetokounmpo won All-Star game MVP, finishing with 35 points, 3 assists, 7 rebounds, and shooting a perfect 16 for 16.

Giannis Antetokounmpo holds his All-Star MVP trophy | Dale Zanine USA TODAY Sports

Tracking the NBA Offseason Moves: Draft, Trades, and Free Agency

By Issac Rangel

During this NBA offseason many things have happened so far, starting off with the NBA draft and a flurry of trades.

Although a lot of sports analysts and fans around the NBA had said that in this year’s draft there weren’t many players that can be considered “franchise changing players” or “generational talents,” there were some pretty big names in the draft. One of them being LaMelo Ball, whom a lot of people consider to be the player with the highest potential in this draft. The other two big names were James Wiseman and Anthony Edwards. All three of them were drafted in the top 3, with Anthony Edwards going number 1 to the Minnesota Timberwolves, James Wiseman going 2nd to the Golden State Warriors, and Lamelo Ball going 3rd to the Charlotte Hornets.

This offseason there have also been a lot of trades–some big ones–and also some free agent signings. Arguably the biggest trade this off-season was the Houston Rockets trading Russell Westbrook to the Wizards for John Wall and a protected 2023 first-round pick.

Another big trade was Chris Paul being traded to the Phoenix Suns from the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Suns picked up Chris Paul and Abdel Nader, with OKC getting Kelly Oubre Jr, Ricky Rubio, Ty Jeromre, Jalen Lecque and a 2022 first-round pick in return.

The Thunder stayed busy, as another major trade involved the Lakers, who acquired guard Dennis Schroder, with OKC picking up Danny Green and a 2020 first-round draft pick in return. Green didn’t last long in OKC, as he found himself flipped to Philadelphia when the Sixers sent Al Horford and some first-round picks to OKC for Green and Terrance Ferguson.

Speaking of the Lakers, arguably the biggest signing this offseason was the Lakers signing free agent Montrezl Harrell (pictured) from their crosstown rivals, the Clippers.

The Sixers also traded for Seth Curry, which sent Josh Richardson and a 2020 second-round pick to the Dallas Mavericks. Kelly Oubre’s time as an OKC player didn’t last long either, as he was then traded to the Golden State Warriors in an attempt to fill in for Klay Thompson’s roster spot (following his devastating season-ending injury).

With all of the movement, especially in the Western Conference, the Lakers still remain in good shape to compete for a title for years to come. In addition to picking up Schroder and Harrell, the Lakers secured long-term deals for superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

The Lakers Are 2020 World Champions!

By Issac Rangel

The Los Angeles Lakers are the NBA Champions once again, after a 10 year wait. The long and rough 2019-20 NBA season is officially over, and for the Lakers, it ended in the best way possible–earning their 17th NBA title to tie it up with their rivals from the east, the Boston Celtics, with the most championships in NBA history.

After finishing with the second best record in the NBA, and the best record in the Western Conference, the Lakers had looked forward to the playoffs in a bubble in Orlando, which they knew were going to be very competitive and different, especially with no home crowd advantage.

The “NBA Bubble” court in Orlando, FL (source: LA Times)

Their first playoff series after 7 years of not reaching them, was against a very motivated and strong Portland Trail Blazers team. A lot of analysts and people were saying that the Blazers might be the best ever 8th seed in NBA history after winning most of their seeding games to climb up to clinch a playoff spot, and having Damian Lillard (pictured at left, courtesy Yahoo Sports) playing some of his best basketball ever. However, the Lakers managed to take them out in five games.

Next up was James Harden’s Houston Rockets. And once again, the Lakers won the series in five games and LeBron and AD proved to be too dominant for the short Rockets team.

Next, the Lakers were in the Western Conference finals, waiting for the long awaited and hyped up match up with their city rivals, the Clippers. Things didn’t turn out as expected at all, however, as the Clippers ended up blowing a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets in the second round, and had the NBA world shocked. So, it was the Nuggets and the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, and the dominant duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis were yet again too powerful, eliminating the Nuggets in five games also.

The Clippers react to one of the worst collapses in NBA history (source: CBS Sports)

Finally, the Lakers advanced to the NBA Finals, after 10 years of not making it that far. Their opponent was a bit of a shocker once again–a young, talented, and gritty Miami Heat squad, led by Jimmy Butler. This was the Lakers toughest series yet. Even though the Lakers won the first two games by double digit margins, making game 1 look too easy in a blowout for the Lakers, The Miami Heat never backed down. They ended up winning game 3 with a historic performance by Jimmy Butler (a 40-point triple-double). In game 4, however, the Lakers and LeBron James knew it was a must win to go up 3-1 and feel more comfortable, and they did just that.

However, like I said, the Heat did not back down–they won game 5 and gave the Lakers their first ever loss in the Mamba Jerseys, which had everyone shocked and Lakers fans feeling a bit nervous.

Game 6 had arrived, and the Lakers came out very strong, taking a big lead in the 2nd quarter and never looking back. They ended up blowing out the Heat by a score of 106-93, and winning their long-awaited 17th NBA championship (celebration at right; source: Getty Images).

LeBron James won his 4th finals MVP after putting up a 28-10-14 triple-double in game 6. The Lakers, of course were emotional, and very happy, to dedicate this championship to the late, great Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant who passed away earlier this year. The team ended up doing it for the city of Los Angeles, Lakers fans, but most importantly for Kobe and his daughter Gianna, who helped motivate them to get past each and every challenge that was in their way. As Kobe would have said, “THE JOB IS FINISHED!”