Tag Archives: Miami Heat

Was the Kobe contract worth it?

Kobe Bryant Lakers

KOBE

Sports fans love to play the “what if” game. The latest “what if” in Los Angeles is what if the Lakers didn’t decide to extend Kobe Bryant for 2 years and $48 million? Or what if the Lakers superstar, like Tim Duncan, decided to assist the Lakers in their quest to attract another high paid superstar and took less money? With the big three in Miami opting out of their contracts and potentially taking less money to play together, like they did four years ago, Kobe Bryant now takes up a third of the Lakers salary cap. The massive contract that Jim Buss and the Lakers organization gave Bryant was based on what he’s accomplished as a Lakers player. As one of the greatest players off all time and a five-time NBA champion Bryant was certainly due loyalty from the Lakers organization. Whether that loyalty owed Bryant the biggest contract in the NBA is another argument. When Bryant signed the contract it was immediately questioned. Now, with the Lakers struggling to attract a top free agent, the massive contract is being questioned even more. With the Lakers unlikely to re-sign Pau Gasol, or sign Carmelo Anthony, the franchise is due for another difficult season. In the midst of another potential tough upcoming season is the fact that Bryant’s contract gives the team less flexibility. Which leads to the question: what if the Lakers didn’t re-sign Bryant?

Kobe Bryant Lakers

KOBE

Before they inked Kobe to the two year deal the Lakers had the option to amnesty their superstar. If the Lakers decided to part ways with Bryant they would have had just one contract on the books for this coming season, Steve Nash. With millions of dollars to spend the Lakers could have been major players for one or two top free agents, and a host of second tier players to fill out the roster. It would have been a grand experiment, but similar to what Pat Riley accomplished in Miami four off-seasons ago. The Lakers mystique could have made them a major player for Lebron and Carmelo, or both. With Julius Randle acquired in the draft, the Lakers had a real opportunity to attract top tier free agents.

Of course it’s an interesting “what if”, but the idea of letting Bryant go would have been an impossible decision to sell to the fan base. Bryant’s loyalty to the organization and incredible accomplishments made the idea of amnesty impossible. He deserves to play his entire career with one franchise, like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.

Was Kobes contract worth it

KOBE

While using the amnesty clause on Bryant was a non-starter, signing him to such a massive deal is a questionable decision. Bryant has made a remarkable amount of money in salary and endorsements over his career. The decision to reward Bryant for his career accomplishments and keep him as the highest player in the league may be out of loyalty, but it’s arguably wasn’t necessary at this point in his career.

You can’t fault Bryant for taking the money, but the example of Duncan’s decision to accept a $10 million deal is interesting. In order to allow the San Antonio Spurs to keep their championship roster in tact Duncan took a pay cut, for the good of the team. If Bryant would have taken a similar deal the Lakers would have had the ability to sign two max free agents to team with Bryant.

Is the Kobe contract worth it

KOBE

Heading into next season the Lakers have no idea what Bryant they’ll have back. Since he entered the league at 18 Bryant has a tremendous amount of miles on his legs, not to mention a torn Achilles. If he struggles with injuries like he did last season the Lakers will likely struggle as well. With two years and $48 million on the contract he signed, the Lakers need a healthy Bryant.

Time will tell if the Bryant contract is an albatross. At the very worst it could set the teams re-build back a couple of seasons. If Bryant, who’s known for his incredible work ethic and competitiveness, can return and prove the doubters wrong the contract could turn out to be a positive.

It all depends on what roster the Lakers build around Bryant, starting with a head coach. If Carmelo Anthony decides to jump from New York and join Bryant the massive deal may turn out to be a positive. If not, the Lakers might be in for another tough season.

Kobe

LA LAKERS KOBE BRYANT “What I do, I do”

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Can the Heats Failure Help The Lakers?

Spurs

SPURS WIN

The San Antonio Spurs redeemed themselves by beating LeBron James and the Miami Heat after five games in the NBA Finals. Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Gregg Popovich can now celebrate their success while the on the other hand, a period of skepticism and uncertainty begins in Miami. Each of the Big Three holds an option to terminate his contract for next season and on top of that, it was clearly exposed that the Big Three are no longer invincible. This crystal clear loss to the Spurs might open to LeBron’s free agency and the Los Angeles Lakers have to take advantage of the opportunity.

Kobe Bryant LA Lakers

Kobe

The Lakers are looking for a way to not just turn things around and do better next season but also for a way to solidify their future for the years to come. Kobe Bryant is 35 and he will have two or three years more ahead before he starts to seriously considering retirement. The Lakers have three players under contract for the upcoming season, Kobe, the 40 – year old Steve Nash and Robert Sacre. This seems to be the ideal time for Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers to make a strong push for LeBron. And as a matter of fact, they do stand good chances to land him.

Lebron to Lakers

KING JAMES

LeBron now knows that his chances to win more rings in Miami are getting thinner. The Big Three did what they could do together, they reached the NBA Finals in each of the seasons since they were formed and they also won two championships. However, in order for LeBron to continue winning while at the same time being a member of a big organization, living in an environment like Miami, LeBron might have to head elsewhere.

And the Los Angeles Lakers are a very appealing destination.

Of course, the Lakers will have to cook up a very clever plan for their future, one in which LeBron and Kobe can co-exist alongside a capable supporting cast. Mitch Kupchak has not even found the next head coach of the team. And LBJ will have to see a well-designed plan for success before he jumps in.

Could Lebron Come to Lakers

KOBE & LEBRON

For sure the Lakers can offer LeBron a maximum contract. However, a Kobe-LeBron duo will not be enough for the Lakers to win the championship and James will have that in mind when deciding about his next destination. The Lakers will have to carefully study all the possible scenarios and try to ensure that they will be able to not just bring LeBron in LA but ensure long-time success for him and the team
.
Miami’s loss to the Spurs opened the window for the deformation of the Big Three and it instantly increased the Lakers’ chances to land King James. Of course, there will be several other teams willing to lure LeBron this summer. And ultimately, LeBron will be the one to choose which uniform he wants to wear next season. Nevertheless, the Lakers are certainly one of the top destinations for the best basketball player in the world.

You can follow Chris Cabrera on G+ or Twitter for tiny bits of wisdom.

Blake Griffin and Joakim Noah the two top black horses for the MVP award

Clippers Blake Griffin Bulls Joakim Noah

BLAKE & JOAKIM

There is no denying that the MVP title is a two-man one this year. LeBron James and Kevin Durant will be apparently fighting chest to chest till the end of the season for the award and at the moment, things look really tight. However, it’s worth taking a look at some of the black horses of this race. Although several players have been involved into the discussion for the MVP award this season, at the moment, Blake Griffin and Joakim Noah are the two best underdogs.

Noah is the main reason the Chicago Bulls have managed not only to save the 2013-2014 season but to also emerge up to the third spot in the Eastern Conference. The Frenchman center is doing it all for his team at the moment, playing defense, scoring, dishing assists and rebounding. Although Noah has literally no chances to make it to the top of list of MVP candidates, as LeBron and KD are playing in a whole different level, he is one of the most over performing players this season.

LA Clippers Blake Griffin

BLAKE

If there is one player who deserves to be considered as a third strong candidate for the MVP award this season, that is Blake Griffin. The highflying forward has not only improved his game in almost any aspect but he has also emerged as the true leader of the Los Angeles Clippers, taking the team on his shoulders during the time Chris Paul was out with an injury.

Griffin is averaging 24 points per contest, almost three more than his career-average and he is also securing 9.6 rebounds and dishing out 3.6 assists, while shooting 53.2 percent from the floor. He just recently got hurt, during the Clips’ last game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but he is projected to return to action soon and be ready for the Clips’ playoff push. Despite Griffin’s improvement, he will still not be able to reach the duo of LeBron and Durant.

LeBron is recording a career-best 57.0 percent shooting from the field and he is also putting up 26.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game, which are too much for Griffin to get close. Durant is also recording similarly impressive numbers, maybe even more impressive. He is leading the NBA in scoring with 32.2 points per game and he is also putting up 7.5 rebounds and 5.7 assists. His shooting is also great but slightly lower than LeBron’s rates, 51.2 percent from the floor and 41.2 percent from deep.
The MVP race will be coming to its end soon and we will see either Durant or LeBron earning the crown. However, we also have to recognize the efforts of players like Griffin and Noah. Chris M

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Can the Clippers win the NBA Championships

LA Clippers Tickets Barrys Tickets

Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers suffered a devastating first-round elimination during the 2013 NBA playoffs. After recording the best season of their franchise history the Clips fell short during the playoffs. This year, they hope they have found the recipe for success. But is that the reality? Can the Los Angeles Clippers really win the title, at first in the West and then beat the Miami Heat or the Indiana Pacers in the NBA Finals? Let’s break down.

First of all, we are talking about a different team this year. Of course, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are still the cornerstones of the Clips. Nonetheless, except for those two, almost any other part of the team has changed. It’s true that DeAndre Jordan was with the team last season and Jamal Crawford was playing well, last season, too. But both DJ and Crawford have seen changes in their role and they have uplifted their respective performances this season. Jordan’s performance has been greatly affected by the presence of Doc Rivers, much like the performance of the entire team has.

Clippers Blake Griffin Chris Paul

Clippers

Blake Griffin has taken his production to new levels. Really, during the extended time that Chris Paul was out with an injury, Griffin took the team on his shoulders. He was the one to emerge as the true leader of the team. He has improved several aspects of his game, like his mid-range and also free-throw shooting. Most importantly, Griffin is expected to play big for the Clips this year thanks to the presence of Doc Rivers.

The Clippers were a good team last season. Really, they had two superstars and a bunch of capable role players, but they failed to play as expected. This should be no surprise to the fans of the team. Under Vinny Del Negro, the team had no discipline, no plan to be a championship contender. The Clippers played the offensive system “let CP3 decide”.

Things are radically different this year, though. The “Doc Rivers effect” can be seen all around. The Clippers are different team both on and off the court. Even the Lakers banners are no longer shown when the Clips play at home, in the Staples Center.

Clippers Glen Davis

GLEN

The additions of Glen Davis and Danny Granger are the icing on the cake, the missing pieces for the Clips’ championship run. Really, if there was one position in the starting lineup of the team that was weak, that was the small forward. No offense to Matt Barnes, but he is not a starting small forward, at least he shouldn’t be in a team which likes to call itself “title contender”. Danny Granger is the exact piece the Clippers’ puzzle needed to move forward. Glen Davis comes to significantly upgrade the team’s backup front line. LA didn’t really have a capable big man scorer coming off the bench, at least not of the quality of Big Baby.

For sure, it will not be easy for the Clippers to beat teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder or the San Antonio Spurs. Nonetheless, they are certainly one of the strongest, if not the strongest favorites for the title, at present. The Clippers and OKC Thunder can be considered as the two best teams in the West and they only ones which can really beat the Eastern Conference champion, whichever that might be.

Tonight the LA Clippers look to extend their win streak to ten games against the Utah Jazz. The Clippers return home to the Staples Center on Sunday where they face the Cavaliers, Pistons and Bucks this week. The Western Conference race is extremely close with 3 games separating the Clippers from the Thunder from the first place spot which makes their match up on April 9th so much more important.

Clippers Barry's Tickets

Barry’s Tickets

Barry’s Tickets is an Official Partner of the Los Angeles Clippers offering both regular and Playoff Clippers Tickets with no service fees. Barry’s Tickets is located caddy-corner from the Staples Center itself and is open from 9:00am to 9:00pm seven days a week. With the largest physical inventory of of Clippers Tickets anywhere we have seats that fit all budgets and customer service that goes above and beyond all others. Chris Michaels

Should Blake Griffin be the MVP this season?

Should Blake Griffin Be MVP

Griffin For MVP

The race for the MVP title this season is a close one, a very close one. The two obvious favorites are LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Those two megastars have been recording tremendous outputs this season. However, there is one more superstar who is playing like an MVP, who has dramatically improved his production and efficiency from last season and he is a candidate for the MVP award. That’s no other than Blake Griffin.

First of all, Griffin has been playing in a great level all season long, much like the entire Los Angeles Clippers have been doing. The presence of Doc Rivers at the team’s bench meant a big change for Lob City. Discipline and more effort on defense are two new facts that were missing from the Clips’ style of play last year. Griffin also looks like a different, a more mature player right now with Doc Rivers guiding him.

Should Blake Griffin Be MVP

Griffin

This season, he is putting up numbers above his career-averages. The dominant power forward is averaging a team-best 24.4 points per contest to go along with 9.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 53.9 percent from the field. He has even hit some threes. Griffin is the main wheel for the Clippers on the offensive end. In most possessions the ball runs through him. But even when it doesn’t Griffin contributes by setting great screens or by drawing the attention from the opposing defense. Griffin has improved his mid-range shot significantly and he has also managed to shoot better from the charity stripe. Of course, he continues to be a great rebounder and shot blocker. His defense still isn’t at a world-class level, but he has seen some improvement there, too.

Up to now, Blake Griffin was arguably the most spectacular player in the league. Now, he is also one of the best ones. He is currently considered as the best power forward in the NBA and his performance every night shows why.

NBA MVP Blake Griffin

MVP?

When the Los Angeles Clippers needed him to step up and take the team on his shoulders, he responded to the call. With Chris Paul out for an extended time, Griffin really took his performance to the next level. He emerged as the true leader of the team and he managed to lead the Clips to some significant wins. It’s notable that LA didn’t drop in the Western Conference rankings despite Paul’s absence.

Of course, the competition for Blake Griffin is huge. It will be almost impossible for him to reach the monster seasons LeBron and Durant are recording. Those two have been simply playing to a whole different level. But if there is one player who could threaten them this season, that is Blake Griffin. Stephen Curry could also be in the discussion.

Griffin has been instrumental in the Clippers recent run of a nine game win streak. On Monday night, Griffin became just the third player in NBA history to tally 6,000 points, 3,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists before the end of his fourth season while shooting 50.0 percent or better. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Charles Barkley, Blake Griffin and that’s it.

LA Clippers Blake Griffin deserves respect

Griffin

Why Blake won’t win MVP? One reason…the Clippers! The local community college team gets more respect then them. They play home games on what is considered the Lakers home court no matter what, Lakers Home Venue and Lakers City. Just ask any Lakers fan. Although they have been gaining respect little by little over the last four years and Clippers ticket prices have slightly increased they are always in the shadow of the Lakers and might not ever come out of it. Blake and Lob City are like the Cleveland Browns they don’t get the NBA spotlight on Sunday’s they don’t make page on of USA Today even though Blake has some of the best dunks of all time just ask Kim Kardashian’s ex husband. When you mention the Clippers to NBA fans they look at you like your insane talking about them. Would Blake winning MVP bring instant credibility to the Clippers and Clippers Nation? I don’t think so but to not be mentioned in the MVP talk for his numbers this season is showing what lack of respect Blake and the Clipper Nation actually get.

I am not saying throw your Kobe or Lakers Jerseys away or the Clippers deserve the respect that the Lakers, Celtics, Miami Heat or Spurs deserve or even Tim Duncan or Dirk Nowitzki but Blake is only in his fourth year and has helped turned the once a joke Clippers into a legit NBA Championship contender and is mentioned in the same breath as one of the greatest to ever play the game in only four years he deserves a second look for MVP this season. Chris Michaels

Melo In Miami?

Melo with Lebron 2014

Melo with Lebron 2014

The careers of Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony have followed different paths in the last couple of years. Drafted the same year, Carmelo Anthony was coming off of a college basketball national championship while Lebron was making the jump directly to the NBA. It may seem crazy now but there was a real debate over which player should be taken top overall, with endless quotes like this:

“What does LeBron do that Anthony can’t?” Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson had asked after watching Anthony chase his top-seeded Sooners out of the NCAA’s East Regional two weekends ago. “He’s learned a lot, playing against this level of competition. And excelling in this one-and-done tournament environment is a tremendous maturing tool.”

Melo going to the Heat

James & Melo

Quotes like the one above, were a virtual cottage industry back in 2003. Many pundits went so far to say that the drafting of James over Anthony would be a major mistake. Now, with the benefit of hindsight such quotes are interesting to look back on and are a reminder of just how far the reputation of Anthony has fallen in the basketball community. While Lebron is winning championships, MVP’s and cementing his reputation as a top-ten all time player, Anthony is meandering along on a listless New York Knicks team. When people think of Carmelo Anthony now thoughts turn to slow-developing, isolation basketball and a player who needs to ball in his hands an inordinate amount of time.

This offseason Anthony can be a free agent and he wants to win a championship, something that seems highly unlikely in disjointed New York. This fact has led to speculation that the Miami Heat could be a potential destination for Anthony. On paper it’s possible. Pat Riley has wisely constructed the Heat roster in a way that leaves just one contract on the book after this season, $2 million owed to backup point guard Norris Cole. If the Heat’s three stars, James, Dywane Wade and Chris Bosh each take a reduced contract of $14 million per year, they could conceivable also sign Anthony at $14 million per season.

Of course what works on paper doesn’t translate to the basketball court. On one-hand it would be fun to see another round of the faux-outrage from the NBA “traditionalists” should the Heat somehow have four free agents team up this offseason. Unfortunately it just doesn’t make sense from a basketball standpoint. Here are a couple of reasons why:

A Serious Lack of Depth: Beyond the incredible performances of James the Heat have won titles the past two seasons because of their depth. While Chris Bosh has accepted a reduced role and Dywane Wade has suffered with injuries a great deal of Miami’s success is the key performances of role players such as Shane Battier, Ray Allen, Chris Anderson, Mario Chalmers, Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller. Each season Pat Riley has been able to add veteran depth, with Michael Beasley and Greg Oden joining the fold this year. Adding Anthony to the roster would essentially kill Miami’s ability to have any significant depth beyond the big four. In a conference that includes the Indiana Pacers it would be difficult to see a Heat roster with Anthony advancing to the NBA finals.

Melo Heat Trade Rumors

Melo to Heat

Anthony would have to adjust his Game: The big criticism with Anthony’s game has been his inability or unwillingness to change his game. When people think of Carmelo Anthony they think of isolation basketball with Anthony dominating possession and requiring the basketball an inordinate amount of time. His style doesn’t fit in with quick, ball movement style of the Heat. It’s possible that Anthony could adjust his game, like the big three did before, to fit Erik Spoelstra’s style and win a championship, but the other issue is that he’s not a particularly strong defensive player. Defense wins championships in the NBA and even with all their star power the Heat has won their two titles because of their ability to play outstanding team defense. Anthony has not shown the ability or willingness to play above average defense during his career.

Would Miami take him? In the end the architect in Miami is Pat Riley and it’s hard to imagine the Heat General Manager making a move for Anthony, even if it’s financially feasible. The story does make for interesting conversation and debate in Miami and New York. It will be an fascinating offseason with Wade, Bosh, James and Anthony all able to opt out of their contracts and explore free agency. The odds are that Anthony will end up back in New York with the Knicks and Pat Riley will find some other pieces to build around his Big Three.

That being said, it’s the NBA so you never know. Four years ago the thought of James, Wade and Bosh joining up in Miami was scoffed at by many. Two titles, with a potential third later, they’ve helped James cement his legacy. Perhaps they can help Anthony cement his. Chris Michaels.

CP3 Returns To Clippers Lineup

The Los Angeles Clippers had an outstanding finish to the week, welcoming back Chris Paul in the process. After losing to Denver and Miami to start the week the Clippers rebounded with consecutive victories over Toronto and Philadelphia, the latter marking the return of Chris Paul. The Clippers star point guard returned earlier than expected, helping the Clippers blow out the 76ers 123-78.

Blake Griffin has monster Dunks

Blake Griffin

Week Recap: The Clippers kicked off a week with a visit to Denver to take on the Nuggets at Pepsi Center. Blake Griffin had another massive game but the Nuggets pulled out the victory on Randy Foye’s three point shot at the buzzer. Foye’s deep three pointer came just six seconds after Matt Barnes hit a three on the other end of the court to give the Clippers a 115-113 lead. Griffin, playing the best basketball of his career in the absence of Paul had 36 points and 11 rebounds in the loss. Following the tough defeat in Denver the Clippers had the tough task of returning home to STAPLES Center to face Lebron James and the Miami Heat. The NBA was treated to one of its best games of the season as James and Griffin put together tremendous individual performances. The Clippers made a valiant effort to overcome a big Miami third quarter lead, but they couldn’t quite make it all the way back. The story for the Clippers was Griffin who had a season-high 43 points in the loss. It was Miami’s first win at STAPLES Center in six seasons. James had 31 points, 12 assists and 8 rebounds for Miami. It was a tough second consecutive loss for the Clippers, putting them a half a game behind the Houston Rockets for the fourth playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Clippers rebounded from the Miami loss with consecutive victories over Eastern Conference foes, Toronto and Philadelphia. Saturday night Blake Griffin again scored over 30 times, this time with 36, to become the first Clippers player ever to score more than 30 in three straight games. The Clippers momentum continued into Sunday night when they scored an incredible 46 first quarter points en route to easily defeating the 76ers behind another strong performance from Blake Griffin.

LA Clippers Vs Blazers

Clippers Vs Blazers

The Week Ahead: The Clippers have a light schedule heading into next week’s All Star weekend with just one game, an important matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night. The Blazers are currently a game and a half on top of the Clippers for the third playoff spot in the west. Los Angeles is a half a game ahead of the Houston Rockets, currently on a five-game winning streak. Following the All Star Break the Clippers return home for a key game versus the San Antonio Spurs before heading off on a three-game road stretch that includes a key game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Over the next two weeks the Clippers will face each of the three teams ahead of them in the Western Conference standings, giving them an opportunity to make up ground. Chris Michaels.

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Lebron For Griffin Say What?

Lebron James Blake Griffin

Lebron for Griffin

Miami Heat superstar Lebron James has the ability to exercise an early out clause in his contract this offseason and potentially leave Miami in free agency. Up until know the speculation regarding a potential opt-out by James has been centered on a return to Cleveland. With the Cavaliers a mess the odds of James returning to his original team are a long shot. Over the past week a new potential James destination has become a popular talking point. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, who’s covered James since his high school days and throughout his NBA career, believes the Los Angeles Clippers could wind up being a serious contender for James. According to Windhorst the Heat are “quite aware the Clippers could end up being a competitor if James elects to opt out, perhaps the most serious contender of all.”

According to Windhorst James has a strong relationship with Chris Paul and Doc Rivers. Paul is the godfather of James’s son Bryce and the two stood up in each other’s wedding. The Clippers would have to make personnel moves in order to acquire James with a sign and trade, potentially built around Blake Griffin.

Griffin Lebron Trade

Griffin for Lebron trade?

Wednesday night in Los Angeles hoops fans were treated to a show by the two main parties involved in the speculation when the Heat outlasted the Clippers for a 116-112 victory. James had 31 points 8 rebounds and 12 assists in the victory, with Griffin putting together one of the most dominant performances in his NBA career. The Clippers forward had 43 points and 15 rebounds in the loss. It was yet another exemplary performance for the Clippers big man who’s elevated his game to the next level during the absence of Chris Paul. During the month of January Griffin averaged 25.7 points per game with an impressive .554 shooting percentage. His foul shooting, once a weakness, has improved as the season has gone on with Griffin shooting near 70% from the free throw line. Griffin is in the top ten in Player Efficiency Rating at 23.92, a career high. At twenty-four Griffin is clearly taking his game to the next level, with many touting him as a potential most improved player.

Lebron James will turn 30 during the next NBA season. While the four-time MVP has shown no signs of wear and tear he’s played an incredible amount of games during the past several years due deep playoff runs and international basketball. If Los Angeles does trade a package involving Blake Griffin for James they’ll be dealing a young star on the ascendency for one of the greatest players in league history who could potentially be starting the downside of his career. The opportunity to acquire one of the greatest players in the history of basketball to pair with Chris Paul is awful appealing, but is one or two potential title runs worth dealing a young superstar like Griffin? Here are the pros and cons of the deal.

Why a potential deal makes sense for Los Angeles: It’s no secret that Chris Paul wants to win an NBA title now. The star point guard has dealt with injury issues throughout his career and may not have that many prime years left. James has never had the luxury of playing with an elite point guard like Paul. The combination of the two, along with the presence of Doc Rivers and the remaining Clippers core could make the team instant favorites in the west. Windows of opportunity can be fleeting in the NBA and the chance to make a couple of title runs should be awful appealing to Clippers management. The impact on the Clippers brand can also not be exaggerated. Even with the criticism James earned following the famous “Decision” he’s one of the most recognizable athletes in the world. Beyond the obvious success on the court the presence of James would be a tremendous asset from a business perspective.

Trade between Miami Heat and Clippers

Lebron James Blake Griffin

Why the deal doesn’t make sense: With the amount of mileage both Paul and James have there is no guarantee of health. If Paul continues to miss time due to injury and the seemingly unbreakable James starts to wear down the Clippers could find themselves in a difficult situation. Paul hasn’t played over 70 games in a season while a member of the Clippers, and he’ll have played 60 games or fewer in two of those three seasons. If the Clippers have the opportunity to deal Lebron James for Blake Griffin its likely an absolute no-brainer but not as much of a sure thing as it was at the beginning of the season. Griffin’s play this season, especially in the absence of Paul, indicates that he’s clearly taking his game to the next level. With the sheer athleticism that Griffin possesses there’s no telling how far he can take his game. He’ll never be the equivalent of Lebron James, but may surpass an older James in the next couple of seasons, something the Clippers are going to have to consider.

Right now the Clippers need to focus on the postseason and beyond. The rumor is that Paul will return in the next week, once-again healthy and ready to the second half push. Chris Michaels

Barry’s Ticket Service is an Official Partner of the Los Angeles Clippers and offers Clippers Tickets for all home and away games.

Barry’s Tickets is located just caddy-corner from the LA Staples Center:
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Open 7 days a week, 10am – 9pm, for pickups.
(213)749-0057

Lakers Heat Christmas Day What To Expect

Kobe Lebron Christmas

Kobe Lebron

Over the past week the Los Angeles Lakers have slowly integrated Kobe Bryant back into the lineup, after his six-month absence due to a torn Achilles. Los Angeles is 2-4 since the return of Bryant, but is coming off of a solid road victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. The Lakers will have three more games to tune up for their big Christmas Day game versus the Miami Heat. Due to their incredible success under Kobe Bryant the Lakers have been a regular participant on Christmas Day for years with many memorable games. This year will be no exception when the Lakers welcome in Lebron James and the two-time defending NBA Champion Miami Heat into STAPLES Center. Much maligned after his exit from Cleveland, James has taken his already incredible game to an even higher level this season, operating at an offensive efficiency that few players in league history have ever achieved.

Here’s a look at what to expect when Miami visits the Lakers on Christmas Day:

Expect to pay an arm and leg for Lakers Vs Heat Tickets on Christmas Day. Prices for Lakers Tickets on Christmas Day against the World Champion Miami Heat can run roughly two and a half times the average game. A 300 level “get in the door” ticket usually will cost about $90 per ticket but for the Lakers Vs Heat they can run $215 per ticket. A 200 level for the Lakers Vs 76ers is about $168 per ticket but the same section (207) for the Heat is about $566.00 per ticket. Dead Center section 111 row B for an average game can run $625.00 per ticket and for the Lakers Vs Heat it is about $1750-$2000 per ticket. If prices are to steep and after your done opening presents you can always go down to the Staples Center to checkout LA Live and the crowd around the Venue then hop into our office next to the Staples Center and see if there is last minute tickets available at a cheaper price.

King James Lebron

King James

Lebron James is really, really, really good: With Lebron James ascending to levels that few have reached, fellow stars Dywane Wade and Chris Bosh have taken a back seat to the Heat superstar. James is shooting just under 60% and 41% from behind the three point line. Under the leadership of Erik Spoelstra, James has refined his game to maximum efficiency, shooting from select spots on the floor, while maximizing his unique passing skills and vision. Considering how well he’s played the last two seasons it’s hard to fathom that James continues to get better as a player. Dywane Wade, who nearly singlehandedly won an NBA title in 2005, has dealt with chronic knee pain over the past three seasons and has to play in spurts, typically missing back-to-back games and playing fewer minutes this season. Bosh has carved out a secondary role that emphasizes his unique ability to extend the floor as a shooting big man, helping make the Heat ball-movement offense work.

The Lakers are a lot more fun to watch: Last year’s debacle, where the Lakers barely made the playoffs after being touted as a title contender coming into the season, was a failure on multiple fronts. Beyond the underachievement of the team was the fact that Los Angeles just wasn’t fun to watch. The Lakers offense was stagnant and plodding due to their lack of youth and multiple players (like Gasol) playing out of position. This year’s club may not be as talented but they’re a lot younger and a lot more fun to watch. Mitch Kupchak has done a good job infusing life into the lineup on a limited budget.

Miami has built a solid core: General Manager Pat Riley has smartly built a veteran core around James, Wade and Bosh through smart moves and veterans taking reduced contracts. Shane Battier is versatile defender often found guarding power forwards while providing grit on the boards and hitting the open three point shot. Ray Allen, perhaps the greatest three point shooter in league history, hit one of the biggest clutch shots in league history last season to send game six of the NBA finals to overtime. The ageless Allen helps extend the floor as one of eight legitimate Heat three-point shooting threats. The Heat shoots just under 39% as a team from behind the three point line.

The surprising evolution of Michael Beasley: Perhaps the most interesting Heat acquisition is Michael Beasley, the former second overall pick who fizzled out in Minnesota and Phoenix. Beasley is a talented scorer who may have found a home during his second stint with Miami. He has an impressive PER of 22.1 while averaging 11.4 points per game in just 17 minutes played. Beasley is shooting a lights out 55% from the field and 50% from behind the three point line.

Kobe the Distributor: During his re-insertion into the lineup Bryant has often taken a secondary role, more of a classical “point-forward”, looking to make the extra pass. As he gets comfortable athletically his shot volume should increase and he should once again be the go-to guy down the stretch. Bryant hasn’t quite found the rhythm yet, but his minutes and offensive contribution is increasing.

Lakers Miami Tickets

Lakers Miami

Any Kobe Bryant and Lebron James matchup is a big deal with this year’s game being perhaps more anticipated than in years past. The STAPLES Center crowd and the national television audience should eagerly tune in to see how Bryant, coming off a potentially career ending injury, can match up with the reigning champions. Expect a great deal of energy from the Lakers, especially from their athletic youngsters like Wesley Johnson and Nick Young. With Pau Gasol the Lakers will have an advantage over the smallish Heat interior and will need to exploit the big Spaniard’s advantage in the post to offset the difficult Heat “small-ball” attack. Look for a spirited effort from the Lakers, especially Bryant, as they play in front of a national television audience. By:Chris Michaels

Lakers Finally Taste Victory With Kobe

Los Angeles Lakers

LA Lakers

With Kobe Bryant’s return to the lineup still a work in progress the Los Angeles Lakers lost consecutive games to Phoenix and Oklahoma City to start the week before rebounding with a huge Saturday night victory in Charlotte over the Bobcats. The Lakers are now 12th in the Western Conference with an 11-12 record, a half game behind the Minnesota Timberwolves in a bunched group of contenders.

Week Recap: After losing to the Toronto Raptors in Bryant’s debut the Lakers hosted the surprising Phoenix Suns at STAPLES Center on Tuesday night. The Sun ran out to a lead behind the solid play of point guard Goran Dragic and held off the Lakers fourth quarter comeback. Bryant score 20 points in 29 minutes of play, looking sharp in contrast to his Sunday debut. Bryant led a balanced Lakers attack and also notched three assists. The Lakers had three days off before traveling to Oklahoma City to take on Kevin Durant and the Thunder. Oklahoma City jumped out to a fifteen point halftime lead and never looked back, winning in impressive fashion. Bryant played the role of a distributor, attempting just six shots in 23 minutes, but notching 13 assists. The Lakers had no answer for Kevin Durant who scored 31 points on just 13 shots. With the Oklahoma City win the Lakers record with Bryant back in the lineup dropped to 0-3 and the loss set up a must win game Saturday night in Charlotte. The Lakers outscored the improving Bobcats by seven in the fourth quarter to notch a three point victory. Bryant led four Lakers in double figures with 21 points. Bryant nearly had a triple double with 8 assists and 7 rebounds to go with his 21 points. Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill had a solid night inside with 15 points each.

The Week Ahead: The Lakers continue their east coast road swing with a back to back Monday and Tuesday nights in Atlanta and Memphis. The Hawks are having a solid season in a very weak eastern conference and feature a solid trio of veterans in Jeff Teague, Al Horford and Paul Millsap. Memphis, a fifty-win team each of the past two seasons, is in the midst of a three-game losing streak including a Sunday night loss at home to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Grizzlies are trying to make do with All Star center Marc Gasol. Following the Monday/Tuesday back-to-back the Lakers return home to STAPLES Center for a Friday night matchup versus Kevin Love and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Minnesota got off a hot start this season but has played .500 basketball of late. The combination of Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love gives Minnesota one of the best inside/outside duos in the NBA. After a short one game home stand Los Angeles makes a tough trip north to Golden State to take on Stephon Curry and the Warriors.By:Chris Michaels

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