Monthly Archives: January 2013

2012 Year in review for the LA Lakers

Staples Center LA Lakers

For the LA Lakers, it has been a frustrating and controversial season up to this point. They were the big story during the off-season past, after making the huge acquisitions of All-Star center Dwight Howard and also veteran point guard Steve Nash. They also added some great role players like Jodie Meeks and Antawn Jamison and even Jordan Hill while in the meantime they retained their core players, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Metta World Piece. Every media, newspaper and TV show stated that the Lakers looked unbeatable in paper. They were supposed to be one of the few teams in the entire NBA that could contend for a title against the Champions Miami Heat. They, together with the Oklahoma City Thunder looked to have all the pieces set to chase a ring. However, the reality was vastly different for the team.

The beginning of the season was disappointing and the Lakers lost 4 out of their 5 first games. That led to the immediate firing of Coach Mike Brown, who was to blame for the team’s ineffective way of play. On top of this, the injury of Steve Nash after appearing in just 2 games was devastating for the Lakers. In addition, Dwight Howard came back to action after a serious back injury. Things continued to go south for LA, as they lost also backup point guard who torn an abdominal muscle and had to undergo surgery. The sophomore Darius Morris suddenly stepped into the power rotation, but the difference between him and Nash or Blake was obvious in the game play. The team continued to struggle on both ends of the floor, committing many turnovers and not finding its offensive rhythm, even after the new Coach Mike D’Antoni took over. Despite the winning record being slightly improved, the Lakers continued to struggle and hover over and under 0.500. It is very unusual to see the LA Lakers lying under the 8th seed at the Conference Standings. Pau Gasol was injured with a tendonitis and remained sidelined for eight games. His performance this season did not match the great expectations every Lakers fan had, but that was just another drawback to the team’s general appearance.

The end of 2012 found the Lakers on the verge of 0.500 with a 15-15 record. Of course things got better for them after both Nash and Gasol got back from the injuries. The Lakers won a tough derby against the New York Knicks, at a game that marked Nash’s return. It was a momentum victory for them.

Of course it’s normal for a team with so many new roster acquisitions to be in a bonding stage for a short period of time. However, the Lakers have to rush this stage and balance their way of play as we approach the Playoffs. Steve Nash is almost 39 years old, Kobe turned 34 this summer and also Gasol is 32. With this aging roster and 1-2 years possibly this team stays together, the Lakers are in a win-now situation. That’s why in 2013 they have to fight their way back and re-enter their way of chasing a championship.

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Los Angeles Lakers Staples Center Tickets

Comments on the closing 2012 year for the LA Clippers (2012-2013 season)

The LA Clippers are one enjoyable team to watch. In fact they may be the most enjoying team in the entire league for any sports fan. The greatest thing that Lob City has achieved is that not only they produce great spectacle with the fast paced and highflying rhythm they play with, but they also win games, many games. After winning on the last game of 2012 against the Utah Jazz, they now count 17 consecutive wins, while spending the entire December unbeaten. Only two times in the NBA league history has a team managed to win every single game of a month. The San Antonio Spurs in the 1995-96 season and the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1997-72 season. How graceful should it be for Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and their company to be in a position where they have lifted the neglected Clippers over their city-rivals Lakers.

The season started really well from the very beginning for the Clips. Having made some great acquisitions this off-season, like Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes and Grant Hill they seemed to have every piece in place so that they could take it to the next level. They entered the season with an 8-2 run, a pretty impressive start for them. Right after a small period of ups and downs, the Clippers kicked off a run of their lives and started winning every game they played. On November 26th was the last time they fell to an opponent and it was the New Orleans Hornets to do that. Since then, they have broken many team records going 17-0. They passed the franchise history record for the most consecutive wins, previously held by the Buffalo Braves, who back in 1974 had won 11 in a row, but they didn’t stop there. The team went on to win all the games of 2012 and finish the year the best way possible. “We’re going to lose at some point, but this is a magical run,” said Caron Butler, after the last win against the Utah Jazz on December 30th. This winning streak and also the team’s general performance on both ends of the floor is quite impressive, keeping in mind that they are a team that has struggled to even enter the playoffs for the most part of its history. Plus, they have played without the veterans Chauncey Billups and Grant Hill. One can imagine the potential when all the wheels of the machine get to action.

The harmony that Coach Vinnie Del Negro has found between his starters and the reserves is also a noticeable fact. In most cases the starters don’t even have to play in the fourth quarters, as the bench, led by Jamal Crawford and a surprising Matt Barnes, does all the dirty job. Of course Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are right there, when they are needed, ready to take action and hit the clutch shot.

The year 2012 ends with the LA Clippers and their fans full of joy and in fact in a situation better than they may have imagined. It may be the time for them to take the next step and pursuit the first championship in the franchise history.

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(across from the Staples Center inside the Luxe City Center)
Open 7 days a week, 10am – 9pm, for pickups.
(213)749-0057

The LA Clippers defeat the Utah Jazz to finish the year with the best possible way and record their 17th consecutive win

The LA Clippers defeat the Utah Jazz to finish the year with the best possible way and record their 17th consecutive win
Caron Butler with 29 points and 6/6 from beyond the arc lifted the Los Angeles Clippers over the Utah Jazz, 107-96. It was the second straight win in 3 days against Utah for LA, who have now won 17 in a row and finished the whole December unbeaten. Despite the difficulties they faced in the previous close game against the Jazz, this time the Clippers had no problem to smash their opponents. They now enter the New Year with the best momentum that any team has in the league and can finally praise themselves for their achievement.

Only two other teams in the entire NBA history have managed to stay unbeaten for an entire month, them being the 1995-96 San Antonio Spurs, which included Del Negro, and 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers. Commenting on the run, All-Star guard Chris Paul commented “I am amazed because I haven’t done it since I’ve been in the league” while Head Coach Vinnie Del Negro stated “I want to do this every year. This has got to be a staple of how we go about doing our business. We’re thinking bigger than the streak.” It’s clear that despite of all the enthusiasm and the fireworks around the streak, the Coach tries to keep things under control so his team does not rest on it and keep pushing forward for the first games in 2013.

Butler, who led his team in scoring, had 17 points in the first 12 minutes going 5 from 5 beyond the 3 point-line. Paul finished with 19 points and 9 assists and Jamal Crawford had 19 off the bench. The Clippers managed to get a double digit win and score over 100 points even with Blake Griffin staying cold, just 7 points for him and 5 shooting attempts. DeAndre Jordan had an impressive performance with 14 points and 3 blocks, including one highlight spike stop to a layup attempt from Jamal Tinsley. He also had a couple of nice alley-hoop dunks plus he makes them look so easy, because with his long wingspan he can catch the ball literally from anywhere it’s thrown.

For the Utah Jazz it was Al Jefferson who led his team with 30 points and 8 rebounds, but this wasn’t enough for them to escape with a win. Gordon Hayward finished with 16 off the bench and Derrick Favors added 11.

The Clippers are now 25-6, 15-3 at home and they enter 2013 with the greatest expectations for more. They surely are one of the most enjoyable teams to watch, not only for the team’s fans, but for any basketball and sports fan.

This first week in the New Year the Clippers will have a tough schedule. They host the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday and then the Golden State Warriors. On Friday night they play as the away team against the Los Angeles Lakers and on Saturday they face the Warriors once again.

Official Partner of the Los Angeles Clippers

Barry’s Ticket Service
1020 S. Figueroa, Los Angeles, CA 90015
(across from the Staples Center inside the Luxe City Center)
Open 7 days a week, 10am – 9pm, for pickups.
(213)749-0057