Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Arnovitz’

Don’t Go To Sleep On The Clippers!





OKLAHOMA CITY – Something told me not to turn away, not to go to sleep on the final game of wild and crazy opening weekend of the NBA playoffs.

Even when the Grizzlies lead reached 27 points and the crowd was losing its collective mind at the sight of the home team roasting the Los Angeles Clippers, my basketball conscience wouldn’t let me turn the channel.

For the longest time it was like watching one of those Animal Planet specials where the water buffalo are trying to cross the river and the crocodiles keep snatching them and dragging them under water. You want to stop watching … but you can’t.

But this time, the water buffalo turned the tables at the end.

I’ll never go to sleep early on these games again. Not after what the Clippers did last night, staging an epic comeback and finishing the game on a 28-3 run, sparked by a Reggie Evans layup with 7:54 to play, to shock Memphis and the Grizzlies with a 99-98 Game 1 win.

I’d have never believed it if I hadn’t watched it for myself.  And it’s always fun witnessing history, even if it comes at the expense of our beloved Hang Time Grizzlies.

Speaking of history, the Clippers had some on their side this season. Fifteen times they won games after trailing by 10 or more points, per Elias Sports. But down 27 in the Grind House … when the Grizzlies had it working in ever way imaginable, including my main man Zach Randolph doing push ups … and with Chris Paul struggling with that groin injury … Caron Butler in a suit after breaking his hand … and Blake Griffin just struggling in his playoff debut … there was no way this was happening.

Oh, but it did.

Paul came through as he almost always does at winning time, dishing out seven assists in the fourth quarter alone. Nick Young nailed those three monster 3-pointers Reggie Miller-style (all in one minute) and the Clippers flipped the script in the toughness department, out-rebounding the Grizzlies 16-4.

When Kenyon Martin stuck that hand in Rudy Gay‘s face to bother that last shot, there were no miracles left in the building. The Grizzlies’ nine-minute scoring drought was just as startling as the comeback.

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Hang Time Podcast With Darnell Mayberry, Greg Anthony and Kevin Arnovitz

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – We should apologize in advance for overloading your basketball senses with one of the most jam-packed Hang Time Podcasts of the season.

We tackle everything from Russell Westbrook‘s surge to the Thunder’s chances to win it all to the chances of Anthony Davis being an immediate factor in the NBA to what’s in store for Vinny Del Negro and the Los Angeles Clippers to why in the world one of our favorite analysts was rocking that “Elevator Ernie” Halloween costume on Fan Night last night on NBA TV.

You get all that and more on a loaded Hang Time Podcast featuring Oklahoman Thunder beat writer Darnell Mayberry, NBA TV and CBS analyst Greg Anthony (that’s him wearing the “Elevator Ernie” outfit below, courtesy of a bet he lost to Chris Webber) and ESPN.com’s Kevin Arnovitz.

LISTEN HERE:

As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Lang Whitaker of SLAM Magazine and Sekou Smith of NBA.com, as well as our superproducer Micah Hart of NBA.com’s All Ball Blog.

– To download the podcast, click here. To subscribe via iTunes, click here, or get the xml feed if you want to subscribe some other, less iTunes-y way.


Del Negro Firmly On Hot Seat





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The last time we heard about some coach “losing his team”, Mike D’Antoni was out of a job a few days later in New York.

So if Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro is a feeling a little uneasy this morning after hearing about this ESPN report from Chris Broussard that he has indeed “lost his team,” we should all understand his plight:

With the Los Angeles Clippers in free fall, tensions are high in the club’s locker room, most notably in the relationship between coach Vinny Del Negro and his players, according to several sources close to the situation.

“Vinny has lost the team,” one source said. “They don’t want to play hard for him.”

With the Clippers having lost 11 of their past 18 games to turn this once-promising season into a mess, Del Negro’s job security would certainly seem to be in jeopardy. As it is, Del Negro is in the final guaranteed season of his contract. The Clippers hold a team option for next season.

Most of the players, according to sources, believe it’s time for a change. They cite the uncertainty of Del Negro’s rotation as a major problem. With the front office adding several players to the roster throughout this shortened season – Reggie Evans, Kenyon Martin, Bobby Simmons and Nick Young – plus Eric Bledsoe‘s return from injury in February, players’ minutes have fluctuated from game to game.

We went through plenty of this yesterday, highlighting the fact that the Clippers were at the crossroads of their season. But that was before the Clippers got sideswiped in New Orleans, losing to the Hornets in Chris Paul‘s return trip to the Big Easy that turned into the Big Ugly.

It’s hard to see anything saving Del Negro’s skin if the Clippers’ season bottoms all the way out. We’re talking about a coach who is working on his second stint with one of the league’s elite point guards (he had Derrick Rose in Chicago, before the Bulls took off under Tom Thibodeau) and couldn’t make that work.

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Much Ado About The Amnesty Rule …

– For labor updates, follow: @daldridgetnt | @AschNBA

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Rarely have so few words received so much scrutiny.

But if we didn’t know any better, the amnesty provision in the NBA’s new labor proposal (and that’s all it remains at this point, until the untangling process is complete) would appear to be the most important piece of the pending collective bargaining agreement.

It seems strange that something that will be utilized by such a small number of teams would be the focus of everyone’s attention. Yet when you realize the names that could potentially be impacted by the rule — Brandon Roy, Rashard Lewis, Baron Davis, Richard Jefferson, Mehmet Okur, Gilbert Arenas and several others — the intense examination of how the rule works makes much more sense.

Folks in Portland have already singled out Roy as one of the certain casualties of the amnesty rule, with John Canzano of the Oregonian providing the background for how and why it will go down:

The whisper at One Center Court is that Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen won’t bother to take one last look at Brandon Roy before he goes amnesty clause on the guy who won all those games for him.

Here’s hoping Allen does. And that the longest look is into Roy’s eyes.

“Brandon’s out,” a league executive told me Monday. “Don’t know the exact details, but everyone around the league knows it’s way, way done. Paul and Bert (Kolde) are calling the shots on this one.”

While the amnesty provision seems like the hot topic of the day, there are other items in the tentative labor agreement, outlined in a letter from Billy Hunter to the players, a copy of which was obtained by SI.com‘s Sam Amick, that require more attention.

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