Tag Archives: NBA Playoffs

Stephen Curry Carries GS Warriors On His Shoulders

Warriors Stephen Curry

CURRY

In one of the most fascinating and close games of the 2013-2014 season, Stephen Curry lifted the Golden State Warriors over the Dallas Mavericks 122 – 120. Curry hit the game winner, a tough step-back jumper with fractions of the second left in overtime, as the Dubs were tied with the Mavs at 120. This was yet another time Curry played big for the Golden State Warriors. He is proving night in and night out that he can be the true leader for the Warriors, leading the team to a successful playoff course.

The Warriors had two significant absences. Andrew Bogut was out with a groin contusion and David Lee remained sidelined due to a strained right hamstring. However, they managed to keep things going till the final seconds of the last quarter and the extra time. Every time Dirk Nowitzki and his company tried to extend the margin, the Warriors answered right back.

Stephen Curry took the team on his shoulders after the half, scoring 17 of his 23 points in the final two periods plus the overtime. Klay Thompson, provided much help finishing with 27 points on a 4 for 9 shooting night. The Splash Brothers proved once again that if they find pace, they can lift the Warriors over almost any team in the league.

GS Warriors Stephen Curry

CURRY

Whilst Golden State missed its two starting big men, they got a significant contribution from Jermaine O’Neal in this game. The veteran center finished with 20 points, eight rebounds and a crucial block, which came with almost 20 seconds left in the game and would have put the Mavs up by two.

The Golden State Warriors are now on their final push towards the NBA playoffs. They have almost secured the sixth spot but they don’t seem capable of clinching the fifth seed, since the Portland Trail Blazers are also doing well as of lately. However, Golden State is a team to avoid for any of the top – seeded teams in the West. The Warriors are one of the hottest teams at the moment and Stephen Curry is playing in a close-to-MVP level.

Warriors

LIGHTS OUT

Steph Curry will be a huge factor for the Warriors come playoff time. The Warriors’ success in the postseason will heavily rely on the superstar point guard’s performance, his shooting but also his ability to cut down on his turnovers. As Curry has shown up to now, he can be the leader for the Warriors, the one to take the team on his shoulders and deliver when needed.

Golden State should face the Clippers in the first round of the postseason and it will definitely need Curry to give his all, much like the entire team will have to do in order to advance to the next round.Chris

Can The Warriors Go Past Round Two?

Golden State Warriors

WARRIORS

The Golden State Warriors have managed to keep their competiveness level at high levels almost throughout the season. Whilst the team faced a bunch of injuries and small periods of slump, they have now solidified their playoff spot and they are, in fact, one of the strongest championship black horses in the Western Conference. The Dubs will most probably meet the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs and this will be a very tough matchup for them. Can they roll past the Clips and advance to the second round?

The two teams have split the season series to two apiece this year. Although the Warriors are one of the teams with the scariest shooting abilities from three-point range they are also a team that has experienced ups and downs this season. When Golden State focuses on cutting down on its turnovers and playing tight defense, they can really be a tough team to beat. Especially when the sharpshooting duo of Klay Thompson and Steph Curry sink their shots from beyond the arc, the Dubs can be unstoppable.

Warriors Vs Clippers Tickets

WARRIORS & CLIPPERS

Nonetheless, the competition level is extreme as of now in the West. The Warriors are a very good team but they will face an even better one in the first round. If the LA Clippers are their matchup, the Warriors will stand some good chances to make it to the second round. Of course, if Golden State manages to steal the fifth seed from the Portland Trail Blazers and meet the Houston Rockets in the first round, things could be even better for them. Portland currently stands two games ahead of Golden State and have not been at their best shape as of lately. Although the Warriors lost two out of their three meetings with the Houston Rockets, they seem capable of matching with Houston’s strong points.

It will all come down to the Warriors’ pace and the conditions of key players most probably, like Andre Iguodala and Andrew Bogut. As long as the Splash Brothers stay hot on the one end of the floor and as long as the Dubs have Iggy and Bogut shutting down the lanes on the defensive end, they can stay optimistic that they can advance to the next round. It will be a surprise to see the Warriors topping the Clips and even the Rockets in the first round. However, this won’t be the first time we saw surprises happening in the NBA.

Oracle Arena Warriors Tickets Playoff Tickets

Oracle Arena

With just four home games left at the Oracle Arena the Warriors have a potential chance to win all four since three are against non playoff teams and only one the Timberwolves should give them some struggles. Golden State sites in the sixth spot of the Western Conference only two points behind the Blazers but 5 1/2 points behind the Rockets who lost yesterday to the Clippers which would give them home court advantage in the first round, one that the Warriors could definitely use. Although Warriors playoff tickets are on sale now starting at just $125 a ticket the dates and venue of their first round games have not been announced yet. All Warriors playoff tickets for games that are not played come with a 100% refund. Buying Warriors playoff tickets early locks your price in so if ticket prices raise your still set to go. Chris

Can The Clippers Beat The Spurs?

Heading down the stretch in the Western Conference playoff race the Los Angeles Clippers are solidly in third place with potential to surpass the Oklahoma City Thunder for second place. Like the first place Spurs the Clippers are peaking at the right time, with victories in 12 of their last 13 games. Following their upcoming five game road trip the Clippers can finish off the season at STAPLES Center, heading into the playoffs with the potential to win as many as 60 games. Now the dominant team in Los Angeles the Clippers head into the postseason with big expectations. With consecutive Pacific Division titles and a loaded roster anything less than a deep run into the Western Conference playoffs would be a disappointment for the franchise. From the acquisition of Doc Rivers to the building of a deep bench the Clippers organization has made the moves necessary to contend for a title. The two teams in the Clippers way, the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder, are veteran laden clubs with championship pedigree. Both have reached the finals the past two seasons. While the Thunder took a tiny step back with the trade of James Harden and the injury to Russell Westbrook, the Clippers look ready to make the ascent and challenge San Antonio.

Here are five reasons the Clippers will knock off the San Antonio Spurs:

LA Clippers Vs Spurs

DOC & GREG

Doc Rivers: Look no further than San Antonio and Greg Popovich for a perfect example of the impact of head coaching in the NBA. The Spurs are an outstanding organization with multiple future Hall of Famers, but they also have arguably the best head coach in professional sports. In seeking Doc Rivers to replace Vinny Del Negro the Clippers significantly improved at the head coaching position. The presence of Rivers has improved the Clippers significantly on the defensive end of the court. The Clippers are currently 6th in the NBA defensive rankings, giving up just 101.5 points per game and 4th in effective field goal percentage, behind Miami, San Antonio and the Houston Rockets. It’s an old adage that defense wins championships, but the adage holds true in the NBA.

LA Clippers Vs Spurs Tickets

BLAKE

The Evolution of Blake Griffin: In the past three months Blake Griffin has gone from a player that many around the NBA still questioned as an elite star, to a potential MVP candidate. When Chris Paul went down with an injury early in 2014 Griffin went on a tear and carried the team on his back until Paul returned. The former top overall pick is playing the best basketball of his career and will give the Spurs fits in the playoffs. Griffin has turned into the dependable post option that the Clippers need to contend for a title.

Clippers Spurs LA Staples Center

DEANDRE

Youth: Based on the past few seasons the idea of writing off the Spurs due to the age of Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili would be a major mistake. Popovich has masterfully managed the roster this season, somehow locking up the likely top overall seed while managing to not play a single player more than 30 minutes per game. This strategy has preserved the legs of veterans Duncan, Parker and Ginobili. The big question is whether or not this regular season strategy can translate to the playoffs. If Duncan, Parker and Ginobili are forced to play big minutes come postseason the Clippers relative depth and youth should be a factor.

The Clippers Bench: Over the past several seasons one of the secrets to the Spurs success has been their bench strength. They’ve done an incredible job finding and developing young talent to play alongside their veteran core. The Clippers bench depth, more than any other team in the Western Conference, rivals that of the Spurs. During the recent trade deadline the Clippers made moves to acquire Glen Davis and Danny Granger, to provide even more assistance to a unit that includes Matt Barnes, Jamal Crawford, Darren Collison and Jared Dudley. As a result the Clippers boast a reserve until every bit as deep as San Antonio.

Spurs Vs LA Clippers

CHRIS

Chris Paul: The secret to the Spurs success over the past five seasons is the play of point guard Tony Parker. While Tim Duncan has taken a secondary role Parker has assumed the role of the go-to player in the lineup. His combination of speed and quickness makes him incredibly hard to guard and helps drive the Spurs offense. In the 28 games the two have played against each other during their NBA careers the matchup has essentially been a standstill. Parker and the Spurs have won 18 of the 28 matchups, largely due to the dominance of the Spurs during Paul’s years with the Hornets. Parker has struggled with nagging injuries the past two seasons and the presence of Paul will make Parker work at both ends of the court, expending important energy on the defensive end.

It would be a giant mistake to write the Spurs off after the dominant regular seasons they’ve had the past two years and the deep playoff run they made in 2013, but Duncan and Ginobili are a year older and their ability to continually answer the bell has to come to an end at some point. The Clippers are peaking at the right time and should have what it takes to upset San Antonio in the Western Conference playoffs.Chris Michaels.

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Can the Clippers win the NBA Championships

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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

Who Will The Clippers Face In First Round Of Playoffs

LA Clippers Playoff Tickets

Lob City

The Los Angeles Clippers are going all the way towards a strong championship run this season. The team currently is within the chase of a better seed in the West, which will increase its chances to win the title in the conference and head to the NBA Finals for the first time in its franchise history. Let’s see which the potential opponents for the Clips are in the first round of the playoffs.

Doc Rivers’s group currently stands at the fourth seed of the Western Conference. The truth is that it has been stuck there for quite some time. In fact, the Clippers will most probably fight till the end with the Portland Trail Blazers and the Houston Rockets for the seeds three to five. LA is 4.5 games behind the conference-leaders, Oklahoma City Thunder. We are just 20 games before the end of the regular season and the truth is that things could. However, it’s almost clear which will be the teams that will make it to the playoffs, with only the eighth spot still being a mystery.

Thanks to the recent additions of Glen Davis and Danny Granger, which fill the exact holes the Clippers had in their team, Chris Paul and Co. are expected to record an even better course till the end of the season, in comparison to their record up to now. It’s significant that the Clips have managed to stay at the fourth seed during the time CP3 was out with an injury.

Clippers Blazers Playoff Tickets

Clips VS Blazers

The Clippers could also meet the Trail Blazers in the first round. This will happen if the two teams finish at the fourth and fifth spots. Although the Blazers started the season red hot, leading the Western Conference for some stretches of the season, they have now fallen to the fifth spot. This will be a very difficult matchup for the Clips, but they still have the best odds to eliminate Portland in the playoffs.

So one potential opponent for the Clippers is the Golden State Warriors. This will be a tough matchup for the Clips, since the Dubs are a very dangerous opponent. The Warriors have won two out of their three meetings up to now in the season against the Clips. Due to their ups and downs, it’s still unclear where the Warriors will end up ranking at the end of the season. However, they are for sure a potential opponent for the Clips in the first round.

LA Clippers Staples Center

Clipper Nation

A Houston Rockets Clippers is a potential first round match up as well. The Rockets have climbed to the third seed in the West, but they could fall again to the fifth in no time. This will be the first playoff appearance for Houston with Dwight Howard onboard so it’s still uncertain how the team will perform. The Clips should be able to roll past them in a seven-game stretch.

Clippers Playoff Tickets for all Staples Center games are onsale now. If a game isnt played Barry’s Tickets offer a complete refund on your tickets or you can apply it to another game if you like.Chris Michaels

Playoff Preview Between Clippers and Warriors

Warriors Vs Clippers Tickets

Warriors Vs Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers will host the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, March 12. The game is projected to be spectacular and really fun to watch. The Clippers are one of the best in the NBA when it comes to providing moments of joy to the home crowd, thanks to the highflying from Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. On the other hand, the Warriors have the best shooting duo in the league, in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and if they start firing it up from outside they are really tough to be stopped.

The game will be difficult for either team but it will also be a statement one. The two teams could meet in the playoffs and even during the first round. The Clips currently rank fourth in the Western Conference but thanks to their recent additions and their great outputs, they have the potential to climb even higher. On the other hand, the Dubs currently occupy the sixth spot in the conference and they are projected to finish the regular season somewhere around that spot. This means they could face the Clippers in the first round. That’s why this game is so important.

Clippers Vs Warriors Tickets

Lob City

The Clips will have to make a good job defending their perimeter and also pick and roll situations. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson need just fractions of seconds before they get a shot up and sink it to the basket. The battle between David Lee and Blake Griffin will be an interesting one and a key to the outcome of the game. Griffin is the scoring leader for the Clips this season. If Lee manages to contain him below his season-averages, then the Dubs will greatly increase their chance to escape with a victory.

LA’s latest additions are certainly going to be a factor in this game, too. The Clips will need Danny Granger and Glen Davis to contribute, each one on the sector he’s best at. The Golden State Warriors’ reserves have just recently uplifted their performance and the Clips will have to make sure they can match the surge from their opponents. The Clips are expected to have Jamal Crawford back, who stayed out of action in the least two games due to a calf injury. Crawford’s contribution will certainly be a factor in the outcome of the game. The veteran guard is the second-leading scorer for LA this season. Chris Paul is also gradually getting his game back.

LA Clippers Vs Warriors

Griffin

The certainty is that this game will be exciting to watch for all the fans in the arena. As the both teams battle for the battle for top 5 spots in the western conference playoffs, we’ll certainly see some devastating dunks from Griffin and the rest of the highflyers, but we’re also expected to a bunch of threes going down. This will end up being a high-scoring game.

As of today the Clippers are sitting in fourth place in the Western Conference with 5th place Portland Trail Blazers only a half a game back which makes this Clippers Vs Warriors game that much more important as a possible preview of the first round playoffs. If you want to checkout the game you can use our Clippers Vs Warriors Tickets Discount Code and save up to 20% on tickets for this high-flying game! Just use CLIPSWARR at the checkout! All tickets are guaranteed to be authentic since Barry’s Tickets is an Official Partner of the Los Angeles Clippers! I for one will be there that’s for for sure.

Chris Michaels

Portland Trail Blazers 2013-14 Season Preview

The Portland Trail Blazers are coming off two lackluster seasons in which they did not make the NBA Playoffs. Last year the Trail Blazers went 33-49 and finished 4th in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference. This is now two consecutive seasons the Trail Blazers have a winning percentage that is below .430. If the Trail Blazers hope to get back to the NBA Playoffs this season they are going to have to rely on some young players and the development of head coach Terry Stotts. Fortunately, Stotts will be coaching the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard. If everything falls into place this should be a very fun team to watch.

Damian Lillard in 2013-14

In his first season in the NBA Damian Lillard averaged 19 points and 6.5 assists. Time and again we have seen that a point guard can completely change a franchise. When Chris Paul went to the Los Angeles Clippers they immediately became a contender in the Western Conference. If the Portland Trail Blazers can build around Lillard the future will be bright. That said, there needs to be some scoring production out of LaMarcus Aldridge and the front line. If the Trail Blazers get a little more balanced with their scoring there is a strong possibility they can make the NBA Playoffs next year.

Even though Lillard averaged 6.5 assists per game it was quite obvious that many teams only had to focus on one player. This year, coach Terry Stotts will need to find some other scorers. The two highest paid players on the team this year are LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum. These two players need to step up big to take some of the load off Lillard. It is important to note that most of the players on the Portland Trail Blazers are young as there is only one player over the age of 30. This should help them tremendously as they progress through the 82 game season. If they can avoid injuries those back to back games will not be as difficult as they would be on older teams like the Los Angeles Lakers.

Getting Into the Playoffs

If the Portland Trail Blazers want to make the playoffs in 2014 they will need to improve by about 10 games. Although most teams do not want to just barely get in the playoffs with the eighth seed this might be a step in the right direction for Portland. They finished last season at 33-49. If they can win 10 more games that would put them at 43 wins with just 39 losses. Over the last few years, an above .500 record has gotten teams into the playoffs. Although this may not seem like a huge difference, it really is. To win 10 more games in an NBA season can be quite difficult for a team with so many young players. Psychology will play a huge role in this season as the team needs to get off to a good start. Most young teams feed off winning or losing streaks. If the Trail Blazers come out and lose their first few games it might cause problems in the locker room.

Locker room issues often do not come up for older teams. The oldest player on the Portland Trail Blazers is 30 years old. The captains are both in their early to mid 20s. If there are a few off the court issues it may spill over to on the court issues. This is something that coach Terry Stotts is going to have to address as quickly as possible. There are some coaches that thrive off the adversity. There are others that completely fail. It looks as if coach Terry Stotts has this season to prove himself or he will be out the door. The Trail Blazers are not going to take another 50 loss season even though they are a young team. This is a team that was one of the most enjoyable teams to watch just a few year ago when they were running up and down the court scoring well over 100 points a game.

Being in the Western Conference often meant that a team had to go up and down the court at breakneck speeds to have any chance to win a game. That is no longer the case as the Western Conference is getting older and even a little slower. Teams like the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers are not running nearly as fast as they used to. There are still teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder that get up and down the court but not every team is running this style of offense heading into the 2013-14 season. This might give the Portland Trail Blazers a little bit of an advantage as we head into the All Star break. It is well known that older teams struggle after the All Star break as their legs get tired and injuries start to mount. If Portland can use their youth to get up and down the court there is a good chance they could improve immensely this season.

When making a prediction on the season it is hard to come up with an exact number on the wins. If the Trail Blazers can finish the season at .500 they will be doing well. I would imagine the Trail Blazers will finish the season better than they start. As with most young teams, it takes a few weeks to understand how to win games. If the Trail Blazers can stay above .500 prior to the All Star break I would think they will make the playoffs as the 7th or 8th seed. If the Trail Blazers are several games above .500 going into the All Star break they may end up getting a 4th or 5th seed just because they will have fresh legs later in the season. It will be fun to see how this one plays out. I will continue to come back to this article as we get deeper into the season.

Trail Blazers 2013-14 Season Updates

With the Portland Trail Blazers being one of the more interesting stories heading into this NBA season I am going to try to do a weekly column discussing some of the goings on in Portland. I will definitely do an article once every two weeks explaining what I see with the Portland Trail Blazers. Very rarely do we see a team this young in the NBA. If the coaching is above average it will be fun to watch this young team develop. I do feel as if they need one more scorer to really make a strong playoff push this year. They have a center and a point guard so now they need a shooting guard or a forward that can score. If they can get a 20 point scorer through a trade this will be a team that has a great shot at being outstanding this year.

If the front office is not willing to trade for a scorer it could be a challenging year. Last year we saw that Damian Lillard was a stud but he cannot do it all by himself. I would like to see him score about 22 points a game and two others average in the high teens. If this is possible it will be one of the best teams to watch on the West coast. Portland fans deserve a good team to watch as they have not had the best product on the court in the 2000s. The Trail Blazers have only made the playoffs three times since 2003 and there have been some horrible teams in the mid 2000s. Some fans may be fed up with it but if the young team starts to produce the attendance numbers will increase. If the city can get behind this team would could see a consistent contender in the very near future.

To stay up to date on the Portland Trail Blazers make sure to access the Barry’s Tickets blog. There will be some great articles available during the NBA season. If there is a particular team analysis you would like to see please feel free to comment below and we will address that concern. It will be a fun year for the Los Angeles Clippers and the Portland Trail Blazers. The Lakers will likely struggle this year because they continue to get older. We can only wonder how many games Kobe has left. Even though Kobe Bryant is one of the best players in NBA history he is getting down to the final few years of his career. If the Lakers continue to milk Kobe for all he is worth it may be the case that the Lakers are not a great team when he does decide to retire. We will have to see what happens this year.

Can anyone stop the Miami Heat?

During the 2012 NBA finals, we saw the Miami Heat smash the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games. LeBron James finally redeemed himself and won his first ring, alongside Chris Bosh and D-Wade. It’s true that the Heat put their Championship chances in jeopardy, after Bosh’s injury during last year’s Playoffs. However, The King stepped up and zipped the mouths of all his critics about his late-game performances and his inability to deliver in crunch time.
So what has really changed since then?

Well, Miami’s chances have surely become better. LeBron, after a close-to-unreal season won his 4th MVP award in the last five years. The Heat recently knocked off the Bucks in just four games. They broke the franchise record for most wins in a season, with 66. They are putting on display a game that proves they possess what it takes to repeat. Plus they have a more powerful roster from last season. After managing to retain the core of the team, they added Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis in their arsenal. They were really tough for any team to stop throughout the season. Most of their opponents had to just pick their poison when they were facing them.
Is there a team that can really beat the Heat in seven games?

First of all, it was a season with many injuries of star players. Even when the Playoffs started, many key players for strong teams were not in their full health.

Let’s take it one by one. The most dangerous opponent for the Heat at the moment is the Oklahoma City Thunder. Despite the fact that Durant lost his fellow superstar Russell Westbrook, they are still arguably the best team in the West. Although Durant is having another great season putting up huge numbers, the team could actually be less powerful than last year, when they got hammered by Miami. Kevin Martin is surely a great player off the bench and a terrific shooter. However, the loss of James Harden is surely was costly for Oklahoma. Now, with Westbook sidelined, there were many voices that the repeat just got easier for the Heat.
Apart from the Thunder, the Spurs could post a threat for the Heat, at least theoretically. Gregg Popovic’s veteran ensemble is always a countable opponent. They showed their force in the first round when they swept the injury-depleted Lakers. Health is a concern for them, too. Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker experienced some injuries and were not at their 100% at the start of the Playoffs. They should be ready come NBA Finals time.
In the West, the Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks are the two teams that could seriously assail the Heat. The Knicks rely much on the offense of Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith and that could be a problem for them. Keeping in mind that the Heat’s defensive system is very effective against the pick and rolls and also the fact that Miami has the defensive guru in the name of Shane Battier in their roster, it could get tricky for the Knicks to exploit them.

Indiana on the other hand proved that they came to fight. They broke New York’s home court advantage last night, taking Game 1 of their series. They also troubled the Heat extensively during their matchup last year. Miami finally advanced after Game 6. Nevertheless, LeBron and Wade hit the wall of Indiana’s big men, Hibbert and West. Should the Pacers roll past the Knicks in the East Semis, the Eastern Conference Finals will really be interesting. Of course they are still playing without their rstar Danny Granger, who is out due to a knee injury.

Miami will have to overpass the obstacle of the Chicago Bulls. This is yet another of the many teams that lacks of its best player. Derrick Rose, one of the best players in the NBA has yet to play this season. There is much speculation about his return during these series. However, nothing is certain and of course it’s questionable which version of him we’ll see after his extensive time off the courts. Chicago will also play without All-Star forward Luol Deng, at least in Game 1.
There is no doubt that the Heat are capable of winning any team currently in the NBA even with all players at full health. But now, their road to their second consecutive Championship might be a bit easier.

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Dwight Howard and the Lakers face Paker and the Spurs today

Lakers Vs Spurs Playoff Tickets

Lakers Vs Spurs Playoff Tickets

After a miraculous run during the last weeks of the regular season the Los Angeles Lakers ended up even higher then they were expected to be. They finished 7th in the Western Conference and now the second-seeded San Antonio Spurs are on their way to another challenging run, this time in the Playoffs.
The momentum for LA is big. Not only did they manage to make it to the Playoffs after losing their superstar Kobe Bryant and also after being almost paralyzed by the constant injuries this season. They also topped the Houston Rockets in the season finale and clinched the 7th seed. This could turn out to be crucial for their post-season course. The reason for that is no other than the fact that they avoided the sizzling Oklahoma City Thunder, at least for the moment.

Despite that there was a huge gap on the record table between the Spurs and the Lakers, one could notice that San Antonio is a much more preferable opponent for LA.

The Spurs edged the season series 2-1 but it was nowhere near an easy job for them. In fact San Antonio won the first matchup by just a two point deficit and also the second one by just three. Both of the games were decided by details and could have easily turned the other way around. Also, during their latest meeting, the Lakers got a must-win game without Kobe. That game was a preview of what’s going to be the story in the upcoming series.

The blueprint for the Lakers’ success is simple. Everybody needs to step up. Of course, much load will be on the shoulders of Dwight Howard. He will need to reach the monstrous performances he had during his Orlando Magic days. He is more that capable of dominating the paint, even with an ever young Tim Duncan on the opposite side. After the injury of the Black Mamba, D-12 has exceled his offensive rhythm. His accuracy from the charity stripe will also play a big role. Every detail counts during the Playoffs and his below-50% shooting from the line could be one of them.

Of course Howard will need some help. Fortunately, his teammates have showed some urgency during the last games. The encouraging fact for LA is that they expect Steve Nash to be ready for Game 1. They will need their entire available arsenal to beat their opponents. Gasol also will be a key player in the series. The two-time NBA Champion has to step up as another strong presence inside and help Howard in rebounding.
On the other side, Gregg Popovic has a few headaches on his head. Parker and Ginobili came back from injuries, but it still remains to be seen if they are at their full strength. Also, despite their great course this season, his team encountered some serious problems when playing against the Lakers in their previous matchups. The addition of the T-Mac of course only adds to the team’s firepower. The Spurs will have the pressure on their side as they are considered to be the favorites. Shall they slip one of their first two games, they will lose home court advantage and then the momentum suddenly will be on LA’s side.
With the drama of the regular season disappeared after the capture of the 7th seed, the road ahead has no limits for LA. Even without Kobe and despite not having their ideal lineup – the one that was projected to make them almost unbeatable – the Lakers can still respond well to yet another challenge and advance to the next round.

First game of the series tips off on Sunday the 21th of April at San Antonio and the two teams play again on Wednesday. Then the series move to the Staples Center on Friday the 26th and Sunday the 28th. If necessary, the next games will take place on Tuesday the 30th, Thursday the 2nd of May and the last game will be on the 4th of May.

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Can the Clippers tame the Grizzlies at the Staples Center?

Clippers Vs Grizzlies

Clippers Vs Grizzlies Match Up

With their win against the Sacramento Kings in the season finale the Los Angeles Clippers secured the 4th seed in the Western Conference. They also won the home-court advantage for their first round opponents, the Memphis Grizzlies.

This was the ideal way for LA to finish the regular season, the best in their franchise history. Everything is set right now for that success to continue to the postseason. The Clippers now have their whole roster – finally – available as the Playoffs begin.

Chauncey Billups recently returned to the lineup. With his experience he can be a great factor to complement the star duo of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin and assist on making plays. Throughout the season Vinnie Del Negro’s team has shown that it has a perfect balance between the first unit and the reserves. Players like Jamal Crawford, Caron Butler and Matt Barnes can provide the veteran presence needed in any team when the ball gets heavier and every detail counts. This is another essential factor that could make the difference between a win and a loss in the Playoffs.

In the first round the Clips will face the Memphis Grizzlies. The two teams played against each other again in the first leg last year. That time the Grizzlies had the home court advantage but LA won the series. Also, they just recently beat Memphis during their latest regular season meeting, on the 13th of April. With this win the Clippers sealed the season series, 3-1.

Things now are a bit different from last year for both teams. First of all, the Grizzlies changed the core of their team with the movement of Rudy Gay. Especially the offense has shaken up after that trade. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph take now more load in scoring, supported by Conley.

Also, the Clippers look like a much more complete and mature team this season. They were dangerous last year. However, this season LA has proven to be lethal when they are able to reach their top level of performance and retaining their fast-paced offense. Chris Paul is having one of his most productive seasons of his career, not statistically but in the aspects of leading his team and making things easier for his teammates. His matchup against Mike Conley will be key for both teams and could turn the scale in one team’s favor. LA’s frontcourt will also have to play hard against Gasol and Randolph and limit their chances for easy hoops.

There’s no doubt that Clippers fans should be excited. Finally they have the chance to celebrate their first Division Title and see their team finish in the top 4 in the Western Conference. Also, this could be one of the few seasons in franchise history that there are vital chances for LA to win a Championship. Their Playoff course shall determine if they are deservedly considered as the bosses of the City of Angels or their success this season was circumstantial.

The Clippers and Grizzlies tipoff at 7:30 tonight at the Staples Center.

Barry’s Ticket Service is an Official Partner of the Los Angeles Clippers. You can purchase Clippers playoff tickets for all Staples Center games now.

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Barry’s Ticket Service

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