September 17, 2012 |
With a two-week vacation just ending, I'm fully recharged and ready for the NBA's 2012-13 season. But are the Lakers? Oh, they're considered one of the heavy favorites to win the NBA title. But so are the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder. And with the gold standard in L.A. remaining championship or bust, that means there are still some unanswered questions. When will Dwight Howard fully rehab his back? To what degree will Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant be able to rest so that the veteran backcourt duo will become most efficient for the postseason?
September 25, 2012 |
The man who refined G-Funk and ebonics also just brought some good news for Laker fans. Snoop Lion, or Snoop Dogg as he used to be called, proclaimed in an ESPN SportsCenter interview that the Lakers will be the "team to beat" in the NBA's 2012-13 season. "We'll see you in June," Snoop said as he stared at the camera. Don't take Snoop's words as gospel even if he delivers it with that smooth and laid-back voice, a signature in his numerous rap albums. Two years ago, the Long Beach native predicted in "Purp & Yellow" that the Lakers would win a third consecutive NBA championship and expressed little concern about the Miami Heat's touted Big Three.
December 14, 2013 |
SAN ANTONIO AT CLIPPERS: 7:30 p.m. Monday. TV: Prime Ticket. Championship coaches have become a rarer commodity in the NBA than superstar players. San Antonio's Gregg Popovich and the Clippers' Doc Rivers are two of the four active coaches to win a title, with Miami's Erik Spoelstra and Dallas' Rick Carlisle completing the elusive club. Popovich's four championships give him as many as the other three combined. The Spurs are again near the top of the Western Conference standings, which puts them directly in the cross hairs of a Clippers team that has beaten conference stalwarts Oklahoma City, Houston and Golden State.
January 25, 2014 |
Welcome back? San Antonio Coach Gregg Popovich , on returning Sunday to AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, where his team lost Games 6 and 7 of the Finals last season: "Uh, it'll be a horrible memory walking in that gym. If I said anything different, I'd be the biggest liar that ever lived. How could I say, 'Yeah, no problem, well, it was a tough night.' That's … We all know that. " The biggest loser Hall of Fame point guard Gary Payton , addressing top draft pick Anthony Bennett , who is averaging 2.4 points and shooting 25.9% while barely playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers: "You came in overweight.
February 22, 2014 |
Still scraping by New York Knicks forward Metta World Peace , giving dental tips on Twitter: "when the dr. says u have tartar, its [sic] not a good thing. its not like 'tuna tartare.' its crunched up white stuff. " Speed demon Phoenix Suns backup guard Ish Smith , after he scored 15 points on seven-for-nine shooting to go with seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocked shots in a rout of the San Antonio Spurs: "I'm like Ricky Bobby . I just want to go fast.
August 29, 2012 |
It's far too presumptuous for now to camp out on Figueroa Street to ensure a good viewing location for the Lakers' championship parade. First off, any Lakers fan who does that will sacrifice actually viewing the games next season. More importantly, it might just be a wasted exercise. Some members of the media, including myself , believe the Lakers are the favorites to win the NBA championship. But no one should exactly be shell-shocked if the Purple & Gold fall short for reasons beyond Vegas oddsmakers and NBA analysts such as TNT's Kenny Smith favoring the Miami Heat to repeat.
December 7, 2013 |
MIAMI AT INDIANA When: 4 p.m. PST Tuesday. TV: None. The ever-evolving Paul George has helped the Pacers compile the NBA's best record and stands as a possible threat to LeBron James' winning a fifth most-valuable-player award. The Heat has suffered through some early-season three-peat malaise during recent losses to Detroit and Chicago, both without Dwyane Wade. No matter what happens during the teams' four regular-season meetings, this rivalry is almost assured to be continued in the playoffs.
January 17, 2014 |
CLIPPERS AT INDIANA When: 4 PST. Where: Bankers Life Court, Indianapolis. On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 980, 1330. Records: Clippers 28-13; Pacers 31-7. Record vs. Pacers : 0-1. Update: The Pacers have the best record in the NBA and are 20-1 at home. They have the best defense in the NBA, allowing just 88.1 points per game and holding opponents to a league-low 40.9% shooting. Pacers All-Star forward Paul George leads the team in scoring, averaging 22.9 points per game.
November 30, 2013
Clippers vs. Indiana When: 12:30 p.m. Where: Staples Center. On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 980, 1330. Records: Clippers 12-5; Pacers 15-1. Record vs. Pacers (2012-13): 1-1. Update: The Clippers are second in the NBA in scoring (106.6). But they will face a Pacers team that gives up the fewest points (85.6), assists (15.5) and shooting percentage (38.7%) in the NBA. Indiana also has the league's best record and one of the top players in forward Paul George, who is averaging 23.6 points per game.