Posts Tagged ‘TrueHoop’

Time For Clipper Ship To Sail

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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS —  It’s been so long since the Clippers cashed in on their promise — or had promise to begin with — that sometimes even the smallest step gets magnified. Was Wednesday one of those times?

Yes, the Clippers finally beat a team of significance when they outlasted the Heat in overtime. It was a bigger game for the Clips than Miami, if only because Chris Paul and crew had something to prove, not only to the league and the starry crowd that limo’d in for the game, but to themselves. The season was rather mundane until now; they’d lost to the Spurs, Bulls and Blazers and desperately needed a pelt to put on the wall. Well, that stuffed LeBron head and D-Wade scalp will look awfully nice in the den.

Of course, the Clippers’ work is only beginning. They’ll fill out the month with games just as meaty, starting Saturday with the Lakers, and then: Dallas, Wolves, Lakers again, Nuggets and Oklahoma City. We’ll all have a better idea of this team then, and how much Paul’s addition is helping. You see, that’s the challenge of trying to elevate yourself from decent team to contending team. That stairwell can be quite oily. One big win doesn’t make for a celebration. Maybe in the past, it did. Not now. The Clippers are beyond that, or so it seems, all because of CP3 came along and raised expectations.

I’d say the Clippers are definitely intriguing, and in spurts do have the look of greatness, but they still need to demonstrate it over a longer stretch. And they’ll have that chance. In the meantime, they can’t afford many if any sloppy losing streaks if they want to be taken seriously by the basketball world. Good teams find a way, even when they don’t look too sharp.

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Labor Talks: Let’s Make A Deal

 

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — NBA Commissioner David Stern insisted that there is “no guarantee” that the finish line in this NBA lockout will be crossed today, the day according to all sides. But make no mistake, the proverbial full-court press is on.

That’s sweet music to the ears of basketball fans everywhere.

With Stern and union executive director Billy Hunter smiling and joking with one another as they walked out of that New York hotel late last night signaling that today’s bargaining session (which begins at 10:30 a.m.) could very well be the final push needed to bring our beloved game back, clearly it’s time to make a deal.

If it takes all day and night or even all weekend, now is the time. And there will be around the clock coverage of the proceedings here on NBA.com and on NBA TV, in addition to whatever nuggets we can gleam from our guys David Aldridge of TNT and NBA.com’s Steve Aschburner on Twitter.

Now, a little table-setting for this morning’s session …

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About Last Night: Perspective People

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Leave it up to one of our favorite coaches to remind us all of where we are right now.

Alvin Gentry‘s Phoenix Suns are as far removed from the direct light sizzling the Miami Heat these days as anyone can be. But after his Suns lit up the Lakers Sunday night for a jaw-dropping 22 makes from beyond the 3-point line (that’s one fewer made than the Lakers attempted) in an upset win over the two-time world champs, he reminded us all of the need for a little perspective, courtesy of Los Angeles Times Hall of Famer Mark Heisler:

“You guys kill me,” a laughing Gentry said after the game, incredulous at being asked about the Lakers’ attitude and defense.

“Like the season is over for them now? C’mon, give me a break. It’s one game!

“You guys going to analyze this team? Let’s see what happens at the end of June, OK?

“You guys kill me, though. It’s one game, We made 22 threes and we had to hold on to beat them. I think they’re OK, OK?”

Shouldn’t the same sort of perspective be applied to the early season start of other contenders, namely our friends in Miami? Many of you that have weighed in on the Heat around here in the past three weeks believe so, while plenty of others disagree.

Maybe you were one of the thousands that weighed in here on Facebook when our friends at the home office asked,”After starting the season 5-4 (they’re 6-4 now), the Miami Heat need to improve _____________ the most?”

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