Tag Archives: 2013-2014

Rip City Is For Real

Damian Lillard Blazers

Damian Lillard

The 2013-2014 season has been a roller coaster ride for Rip City. After reaching the top of the tough Western Conference early in the season, the Portland Trail Blazers fell to the fifth spot and they also saw their chances to make it to the top reducing. The Blazers entered the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs as the underdogs in their matchups against the Houston Rockets but they managed to eliminate them after six games. Now, they are being dominated by the veteran group of the San Antonio Spurs and their playoff trip might soon reach its end.

However, despite the failure to top the San Antonio Spurs, a task that is of course very difficult for any team around the league, the Blazers’ course during the 2013-2014 campaign is anything but bad. In fact, even if Rip City exits the playoffs in the second round, the entire city should feel proud about this team. After everything the Blazers have gone through and after all those top-player severe injuries, Portland has found a way to turn things around.

In addition, the future looks really bright for this team, given that it has now found the Big Three around which it can build. Damian Lillard showcased his leadership skills not just during the playoffs but even throughout the regular season. The versatile point guard has already reached a superstar level and he is just 23 years old. He and LaMarcus Aldridge are under contract for the next season, with the Blazers holding a team option, which will most probably exercise for the season after and also a qualifying offer for the 2015 – 2016 season. Nicolas Batum is also under contract till the end of the 2015 – 2016 season but what is even more important is the fact that something seems to be changing in Rip City.

The Blazers are finally starting to find their way to success and whilst they still haven’t formed an elite team, they are certainly on the right track. Portland has found its new franchise face, in Damian Lillard and also a truly capable star veteran, in LaMarcus Aldridge, who might just be the perfect fit alongside Lillard. Nicolas Batum is the third wheel of the Blazers’ engine and several analysts compare them to the San Antonio Spurs, stating that the Blazers are a younger version of San Antonio. I couldn’t agree more with this statement and I would go a step further, stating that Damian Lillard will soon have the same essence to Rip City like Kobe Bryant has to the Los Angeles Lakers. Yes, he is that good.

So, summing up, there is absolutely no reason for Blazers fans to feel disappointed with their favorite team this year. The Blazers did what they had to do. They went as far as they could. Now, the fun part begins, as the team will try to further improve during the postseason. We should all expect the Blazers to stay in the forefront of the NBA for the next seasons.

Lakers Finally Turning Toward Youth

Lakers Tickets

Lakers

It’s no big news that the Los Angeles Lakers have been struggling all season long this year and the Lakers Tickets prices have also reflected it. It’s also no big news that the team is recording one of the worst seasons of its recent history. However, just when everything seemed to be going south for LA, there is some light appearing at the end of the tunnel. Some young players, who were recently acquired or emerged as solid contributors for the team are here to give hope to the team and all its fans.

Of course, the 2013-2014 season is a lost one for the Lakers. No matter what happens from now on, the Lakers will not be able to turn things around. The team ranks dead last in the Western Conference with a 19-38 record. The playoffs are a dream for this season and without Kobe Bryant, the Lakers might even end up finishing last in the West.

Lakers Kendall Marshal

Kendall Marshal

However, the team did perform a few positive moves as of lately. The first one came when Kendall Marshal was switched to the starting point guard position. Marshall has now started in 20 of his 29 games this season and the performances he is recording give hope to the team for the future. The 22-year old point guard is averaging 9.8 points, 9.4 assists and three rebounds up to now in the season. He is also shooting very well from the floor, 44.4 percent but also from downtown, 46.8 percent.

The newly acquired Kent Bazemore really exploded since he arrived in LA. Going from a team where he barely played to a struggling Lakers team where he has the chance to shine, the 24-year old shooting guard instantly became the leading scorer of the Lakers. In his three games with his new team he is averaging 18.3 points to go along with 2.7 assists, while shooting 45.2 percent from the field. Bazemore is now showcasing his skills and hopefully he can continue to play big for the Lakers, at least until Kobe Bryant gets back.

Lakers MarShon Brooks

Brooks

MarShon Brooks was also acquired at the trade deadline by the Los Angeles Lakers. In 22.7 minutes per game, Brooks is now averaging 10.7 minutes, 2.3 rebounds and 50 percent shooting from the field. Although Brooks seems to be taking almost any shot he is given the chance to put up, he has been delivering.
It’s true that the Lakers will need more than such performances next season in order to become competitive once again. However, if we add up Ryan Kelly and Xavier Henry in the mix, a core of capable players is formed, which could be vital for the team going forward. The Lakers need to find some solutions for the next season or at least hope that they will have some quality pieces to surround Kobe and any other star the team possibly lands.

Lakers Ticket prices for the secondary market have reflected the drop in performance by almost 20% from a year ago. With the signing of the Lakers new youth, the hope for a good draft pick, trading of Pau for next season prices might start to rise again. Chris Michaels

Lakers defeat Clippers in 2013 Home Opener

Battle For LA Game

Battle For LA


The Clippers coronation as Los Angeles’s dominant professional basketball may not be complete just yet. In a dramatic fourth quarter that saw the Lakers play five reserves and outscore the Clippers 41-24, the Lakers pulled away for an impressive 116-103 victory in the season opener for both clubs. Led by free agency signee Xavier Henry the Lakers bench scored seventy-six points, the most points scored by a group of Lakers reserves since 1988. It was a career high in points scored for Henry, a third year player out of the University of Kansas who was released by the New Orleans Hornet and signed by the Lakers in September. Jordan Farmar added sixteen off the bench for the Lakers. It was another interesting edition to the Clippers/Lakers rivalry, where one of the league’s greatest franchises suddenly finds itself in the role of underdog. With a trip to Golden State and then a visit by the San Antonio Spurs coming the Lakers may return back to earth quickly, but on opening night their energy and bench play lit up the STAPLES Center.

For fans of the Clippers the opening night loss may be an aberration or a sign that it might take a bit of time for Doc Rivers to implement his system. The Clippers opted for a smaller lineup with Ryan Hollins getting very little playing time (four minutes) and Antawn Jamison and Byron Mullens not seeing the floor. When Rivers chose to rest center DeAndre Jordan the Clippers interior defense was lacking. As expected the Clippers were extremely efficient offensively, as they should be all season. They scored fifty-seven points in the first half, but led by only two points due to the Lakers all-around hustle and ability to get second chance points. One big stat was their 52-40 rebounding advantage, a category the Clippers may struggle with all season if they choose to continue to play a small-ball lineup. The Lakers simply out-sized and out-hustled the Clippers inside, with Jordan Hill and Chris Kaman combining for eleven offensive boards off the bench.

Much of the Clippers struggles can be chalked up to an adjustment to Doc Rivers’ system. For all the criticism that Mike D’Antoni has received the Lakers have had the opportunity to play in his system for nearly a year. Offensively the Clippers will be fine, it’s the defensive adjustments that will take some time. The Clippers had trouble defending the three-point shot last season and that didn’t change last season as the Lakers made fourteen of twenty-nine three pointers. The Lakers had a high number of open looks and knocked them down, running D’Antoni’s offense to perfection. Whether it was the Lakers effective rotation, or the Clippers just not executing the defense properly, the Lakers had too many wide open looks. NBA players will knock down open jump shots. The Clippers defense is clearly a work in progress, they’ll need to shore up how they guard the perimeter. Beyond the defensive concerns Clippers faithful are wondering if Blake Griffin is ready to make the next step in his evolution as a great player. Griffin struggled at the line, 3 for 10, and still lacks fluidity in his jump shot. In the fourth quarter when the Lakers made their run Griffin had zero points and zero rebounds. For the Clippers to leap into NBA title contention they’ll need bigger production from their star power forward.

For the Lakers it was an impressive start. The fact that no one believes they are a legit playoff team can be a motivating factor. They can’t expect many games like the bench had on Tuesday night, but the Lakers do seem to have injected some live into the roster. With Jordan Hill and Chris Kaman they have some nice size to back up Pau Gasol. They’ll struggle against elite backcourts, like the Golden State Warriors, until Kobe gets back. We’ll know a lot more about the Lakers after the play the Warriors and the Spurs, two strong Western Conference contenders.

Clippers Vs Lakers Tickets for their next meeting on Lakers home court Jan 10th 2014 are available now.

By:Chris Michaels

Lakers 2013-2014 NBA Season Playoff Chances

Los Angeles Lakers

Lakers

What a difference a season makes. Just twelve months ago the Los Angeles Lakers were seen by many as potential NBA title favorites. In a classic Lakers move the franchise added superstar center Dwight Howard to a lineup that already included three veteran superstars, Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash. The Lakers were so confident that former swingman Metta World Peace predicted 73 wins. The rest of the NBA was shaking their heads at another classic Lakers instant rebuild. Flash forward a year later and the team is in potential disarray with an unknown future. Dwight Howard is a member of the Houston Rockets. Kobe Bryant is recovering from a potential career ending injury. Steve Nash is going on forty and coming off an injury filled season. Metta World Peace is now a member of the New York Knicks.

So what’s in store for the Los Angeles Lakers this season? What will the team look like a year from now? Here are five stories to follow as the Lakers kick off the 2013-2014 season next Tuesday night versus the Clippers. You can get special Discount Codes for Battle For LA Lakers Vs Clippers Tickets now.

Kobe Bryant’s Health: In a season full of injuries and inconsistency Kobe Bryant put together a tremendous, MVP-like regular season. Although his game was diminished on the defensive end, Bryant was as effective as ever offensively. Typically when a player goes out with an Achilles injury it’s safe to write them off for nearly a year—not Kobe Bryant of course. The Lakers expect their star back much sooner than expected, perhaps even this calendar year. How quickly and effectively Bryant returns is the most significant factor for the Lakers this season. A healthy and effective Bryant can lead them to the playoffs. If he’s not the same player the Lakers have to think about the future.

What to do with Pau Gasol: Dwight Howard has come and gone while Pau Gasol remains. The veteran Spaniard remains one of the best big men in basketball. Without Howard clogging up the middle Gasol will be the number one option in the post. He’s an effective scorer, passer and all around efficient offensive force. If the team stays healthy and Kobe Bryant returns ahead of schedule they may have the veteran core to challenge for the playoffs. If last season’s frustrations are repeated the Lakers have a trade-able asset in Gasol. Gasol is in a contract year and resigning him will eliminate some of the cap space they have for next year’s free agent push. Trading him will also put the club under the luxury threshold, a tempting proposition, especially if the Lakers are under .500.

Improved Bench? The Lakers had very little depth last season. An aging team that only went eight deep was an issue. With limited cap space Mitch Kupchak did his best to rebuild the bench. Chris Kaman will provide capable size, defense and hustle in the post. Nick Young and Wesley Johnson are athletic wings who can hit the three point shot. It’s not a lot to work with but there is more quickness and youth than last season. Many are predicting a breakout year from Young as a wing off the bench. If the veteran starters stay healthy it’s a perfectly respectable bench. If the Lakers suffer injuries to the top rotation and the bench is thrust into regular duty like last season the Lakers will struggle.

Mike D’Antoni: The decision to go with D’Antoni to replace Mike Brown wasn’t a popular one. The perception was that D’Antoni’s system wasn’t conducive to the Lakers roster and the fact he isn’t a defensive minded coach were valid points. Howard clearly didn’t work out in the D’Antoni system, and he’s moved on as a result. The Lakers lack of youth will remain and issue, especially on the defensive end of the court. A second year in the D’Antoni system, combined with an offseason to mold the team in his favor, should benefit the club. Still if the Lakers get off to a weak start and struggle D’Antoni may not be long for the sidelines.

Next Year’s Draft: Next June’s draft is considered one of the deepest drafts in years with several prospective “can’t miss” prospects. Players such as Andrew Wiggins, Aaron Gordon, Julius Randle, Marcus Smart, Jabari Parker and Andrew Harrison are seen as potential NBA All-Stars. If Kobe Bryant doesn’t return as soon or as effective as the Lakers would like the franchise may make the logical decision to trade Pau Gasol and build for the future. With only Robert Sacre and Nick Young on the books after next season the Lakers could very well re-sign Bryant, earn a high lottery pick, and then have the choice to sign two potential max-players—such as Lebron James.

Prediction: Too much of the Lakers success is based on the giant question mark surrounding the return of Kobe Bryant. He Lakers star has continually proved people wrong over the years and has an incredible work ethic. Expect Bryant to return earlier than expected and to put together a solid season. The Lakers will be better than many predict and will fight for one of the final playoff spots in the west.

Lakers Tickets are available for all home Staples Center at up to 50% off.
By:Chris Michaels

AC/DC tour 2013 will be coming to Los Angeles to support their 40th anniversary

AC DC Coming to Los Angeles 2013

AC DC Touring in 2013

It all begun on 6 May 2011, in London at the Hammersmith Apollo. Angus Young officially announced that the band was planning to release a new album before the end of 2013. And a tour to support the new album. Malcolm Young, in an interview with Australian radio Triple M, confirmed that the band will release a new album by the end of the year 2013. These were his words:

“the company that AC/DC have been signed to for almost 40 years, Alberts, confirmed that AC/DC will be touring behind a brand new album the next year”. Not to mention that 2013 will be the year of the 40th anniversary of the formation of the band.

So, what should fans expect from a band that has broken all the records, making his last tour the third highest grossing tour of all time? Black Ice World Tour, from 2008 to 2010, lasted more than 20 months during which the AC/DC have played for more than 5 million people worldwide, including 108 cities and 20 countries. The tour was widely celebrated. It was favorably received by critics and audiences, the Chicago Tribune described it as “a celebration of all that is great in rock ‘n’ roll”, and defined the band’s music “Rock ‘n’ roll that survives the time.” Black Ice, the album that preceded it was acclaimed by critics and ranking number 1 in 29 countries.
So it is normal that there is certain electricity in the air, when it comes to the argument of a new world tour. At this time, fans can only wait in trepidation the announcement of something official.

AC/DC will be destroying your ear drums when they come to Los Angeles Staples Center for their 40th anniversary tour. We will have all the ACDC Los Angeles Concert dates very soon.

I am very glad to hear they are touring again, its one of the bands that I have always wanted to see and haven’t been able to yet.

By Chris Michaels
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