Tag Archives: Oklahoma Thunder

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

Whats wrong with the Lakers?

Star center coming off back surgery. CHECK

Former two-time MVP point guard injured two games in. CHECK

A glaring lack of depth forcing the starting unit to play big minutes early on. CHECK
Flashback to this summer after the Howard and Nash trades and it’s hard to believe that six games in Mike Brown’s out and the Lakers are 2-4.

But is it really?

Look beyond the star-power and you have to wonder if Mike Brown isn’t just a convenient scapegoat for a team that may not be as well-constructed as we all thought. Or was Mike Brown simply the wrong coach to begin with? Perhaps he was.

Many point to the Princeton office as a mistake, perhaps rightly so. But were the Lakers issues under Mike Brown offensively related? Take a look at the Hollinger stats and the Lakers sit csolidly at number seven in offensive efficiency, higher ranked than last year. Granted it’s a small sample size but one can make the argument that offense wasn’t really the issue.

Perhaps the problems are much bigger than that.

For Mike Brown’s sake you’d think the Lakers would have at least waited for Steve Nash to return and take a real assessment of the direction of the club. But, that didn’t happen and now they’re in head coach search mode, adding some additional turmoil to the equation. Clearly bringing back the greatest coach in NBA history in Phil Jackson would be a benefit. And, Mike D’Antoni can clearly teach offense and worked perfectly with Steve Nash in Phoenix. Still, head coach aside is this year’s Lakers club really equipped for the long slog through the Western Conference and a likely matchup with the Heat in the finals? For all the star-power there are some real question marks

Defense: It does seem unusual to question the defense of a club that has the top defensive force in the league in Dwight Howard, as well as Metta World Peace and Kobe Bryant. But, there are some real matchup issues that could be pretty evident against top teams. Take the Thunder for example. Who exactly is Steve Nash going to guard? You can put him on Sefalosha, but that forces Kobe Bryant to expend huge energy on the defensive end to guard Russell Westbrook, because Nash clearly can’t. The same holds true of the Heat in an expected finals matchup. The Lakers size is clearly a huge advantage against the Heat small-ball, but if the Heat does go small, with a lineup of James, Bosh, Allen, Battier and Wade you again have to ask the question: who exactly is Steve Nash going to guard?

Does Gasol Really Fit in: You have to wonder if Mitch Kupchak is tossing around any trade ideas for Pau Gasol. A few pundits have speculated on the benefit of perhaps trading Gasol for a player like Ryan Anderson. Anderson would give the Lakers a lot more versatility and a key shooter on the perimeter while providing some relief towards the luxury tax.

The Minutes these guys are playing: The eighty-two game season is a long haul and early on the Lakers vets have been forced to play some real extended minutes. While the Heat’s sudden depth have given them the ability to play their starts relatively light minutes Kobe, World Peace, Howard and Gasol are playing minutes early on that don’t bode well for a long season and an extended playoff run. The sheer amount of game time the stars are getting is directly related to their poor bench. Save the Charlotte Bobcats the Lakers bench may be the worst in basketball. It’s hard to imagine this current roster going head to head in a seven-game battle with a team like San Antonio.

A potential poor playoff seed: With such a veteran roster it’s vital to get a high playoff seed. If the Lakers continue to struggle and don’t receive a top four playoff seed their road to a championship will be that much harder. It’s a lot easier to make a run through the playoffs with home court advantage. It’s a lot harder if it involves being a road team against the likes of San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Still, for all the Lakers question marks they still have the top center in the league one of the greatest point offensive point guards of all time and a top ten all-time player in Kobe Bryant. Their size inside and unique matchup issues will make them a tough out in the postseason. Unlike the Heat, who had time to build their current championship club, the Lakers really don’t have all that much time. If they don’t win this season they’ll head into next year with Bryant and Nash a year older—and the Heat a year wiser.

Lakers face the Sacramento Kings tonight tickets are still available for the game by clicking here.

Lakers cant hold on lose to the Thunder

Oklahoma City 103, L.A. Lakers 100

Location – Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Officials – #43 Dan Crawford, #10 Ron Garretson, #41 Ken Mauer, #65 Sean Wright
Attendance – 18997

Kevin Durant buried the go-ahead 3-pointer with 13.7 seconds remaining as visiting Oklahoma City took a commanding 3-1 lead over Los Angeles in their Western Conference second-round series.

Durant’s long-distance dagger over Lakers swingman Metta World Peace capped a 31-point, 13-rebound performance. Russell Westbrook added a team-high 37 points as the Thunder ended a 14-game playoff losing streak to the Lakers in Los Angeles.

With the score tied in the final minute, the teams traded sloppy turnovers: Westbrook fell and fumbled the ball, while Durant picked off an errant pass at the other end. Durant then ragged time off the clock before coolly knocking down a 25-footer from the top of the arc, silencing the capacity crowd at the Staples Center.

Kobe Bryant misfired on a 3-pointer at the other end – capping a 2-for-9 fourth-quarter shooting effort – and Thunder guard James Harden secured the rebound to put the game away.

Bryant led all scorers with 38 points for the Lakers, who will look to stay alive with a win in Game 5 Monday night in Oklahoma City.

Bryant had 16 first-half points – highlighted by sensational back-to-back layups to end the second quarter – as the Lakers led 56-46 at the break. He added 10 points in the first 6 1/2 minutes of the third quarter to keep Los Angeles in front by double digits, but Durant responded with a 3-pointer following a Westbrook miss as Oklahoma City went on a brief run to trim the deficit to 74-67.

Bryant quelled the Thunder surge with a tough layup following an offensive rebound, then knocked down a long 2-pointer at the buzzer to finish with 15 points in the quarter as the Lakers carried an 80-71 edge into the fourth.

World Peace preserved the lead with Bryant on the bench, drilling a pair of 3-pointers to make it an 11-point game – but the Thunder hung around, riding nine straight points from Westbrook to close to within four with just over four minutes remaining.

Durant completed the comeback with a mid-range jumper and a Kendrick Perkins putback of a Westbrook miss – Perkins’ only field goal of the game – capped a 20-5 run that gave Oklahoma City a 98-96 advantage

If the Lakers come back to the Staples Center the game will be on May 28th. We have Lakers tickets for that game in stock now.

Los Angeles Lakers vs Oklahoma City Thunder Preview

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
NBA / Western Conference
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
Thursday, February 23rd, 2012. 9:30 PM EST

Analysis of the Los Angeles Lakers
Following a difficult stretch where PF Pau Gasol was slumping and the Lakers looked like they might be in a tough situation, star SG Kobe Bryant called a players-only meeting to correct the issues the Lakers were facing and set the tone for the rest of the season. The 20-13 squad listened and won their next two games, including a win on the road over the defending champion Mavericks. The Lakers, perhaps now the hottest team in the land, will have a tough test on the road in OKC however.

Analysis of the Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder are what the NBA is all about. Through keen drafting (getting the entire core of their team during the 2007, 2008, and 2009 drafts), and other smart roster moves the Thunder have built a championship-caliber team from the ground up and with little trade help. They’re a small-market team with team-first players (including two time scoring champion SF Kevin Durant) and a win-or-go-home philosophy. There is little doubt that this team, with the NBA’s best record at 26-7, will be a tough team to knock out in May and will at least be difficult to handle during the 2nd half of the year.

Key Players
Los Angeles Lakers: C Andrew Bynum
The 24-year-old sensation is a first-time All-Star this year and probably the 2nd best center in the league (behind Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic). He has played out of his mind so far in 2012, but will have a difficult test against the stingy defense of centers Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins. A night where he can put up his normal numbers against those two is definitely needed for the Lakers to win away from home.

Oklahoma City Thunder: PG Russell Westbrook
Westbrook is the unsung hero of the Thunder. Just 23, Westbrook is a 2-time All-Star and one of the top-5 point guards in the league. He’s often overshadowed by Durant though and is given a lot of flak from fans for losses when, frankly, he doesn’t deserve it. The star is averaging 23 points and a game where he puts up somewhere around 30 against a PG-weak Lakers squad would almost guarantee a Thunder victory.

Key Statistics
Blocks:
The Lakers are a decent shot-blocking team (with the combo of Bynum and Gasol you’d expect nothing less), but the Thunder are the best in the country. Averaging a ludicrous 8 blocks each night, the Thunder count on Ibaka to get the majority of these rejections. The Lakers only average 5 blocks, and that 3-block differential could mean a 6-9 point difference in the game favoring the Thunder. With two elite teams like this, those points could mean the game.

Prediction
The Lakers, while hot, haven’t yet gone up against the Thunder in Oklahoma City yet. There the Thunder have only lost 1 game and the crowd will be there to make sure they don’t make it 2. This matchup is difficult to analyze in that both teams are playing extremely well and both teams are very similar. They have their respective superstars as well as their invaluable role players and the 1 supporting All-Star (Westbrook and Gasol respectively). Ultimately I think this is a coin flip, and I’ll give the edge to the home team.

Prediction = Oklahoma City Thunder: 99 – Los Angeles Lakers: 97

The Lakers return home on February 29th to the Staples Center to face the Minnesota Timberwolves. You can purchase Lakers Vs Timberwolves Tickets now.

Mavericks 91 Lakers 96 (recap)

Dallas Mavericks 91 Los Angeles Lakers 96

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 9:30 PM
Location –   American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Officials –   #24 Mike Callahan, #30 John Goble, #60 James Williams
Attendance –    20577
Mavericks Vs Lakers Tickets averaged from $40.00 to $500 a ticket. We stock Lakers Tickets for all home and away games.

LAKERS 96, MAVERICKS 91: Pau Gasol had 24 points and nine rebounds Andrew Bynum had 19 points and 14 rebounds as visiting Los Angeles got past Dallas in the start of a difficult back-to-back trip.

Kobe Bryant had 15 points, but was just 4 of 15 from the field for the Lakers, who are just 6-11 on the road and travel to face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. The Thunder are an NBA-best 14-1 at home.

Gasol had 16 in the first half for the Lakers, making their first trip to Dallas since the Mavericks eliminated them in the Western Conference semifinals in 2011.

Derek Fisher came up big for the Lakers late in the fourth quarter and scored 15 points. Matt Barnes had nine points and nine rebounds.

Dirk Nowitzki had 25 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Mavericks (21-13).

Vince Carter appeared to be on his way to a monster game with 18 first-half points, but he scored just two in the second half. Jason Terry scored 16. Brendan Haywood grabbed 11 rebounds.

The Lakers went on a 12-0 run for a 42-28 lead in the second quarter, but the Mavericks stormed back with a 20-6 run to tie the score at 48 at halftime.

The teams stayed even throughout the third quarter and deep until the fourth before Fisher’s 25-foot 3-pointer and drive to the lane gave the Lakers an 89-82 lead. Bynum made it 93-86 but Terry made a deep 3-pointer and Nowitzki tipped in a shot with 27.1 seconds remaining. Matt Barnes made two free throws and Fisher added one for a 96-91 lead.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Former Laker Lamar Odom missed the game with what coach Rick Carlisle said was an excused absence to attend to a family matter in Los Angeles. Carlisle said Odom would rejoin the Mavericks after the All-Star break. … Dallas owner Mark Cuban has no sympathy for the Lakers, but said he does miss Phil Jackson. “Phil was smart,” Cuban told the Los Angeles Times. “He was fun to mess with, knowing that he’d come right back, return volley, and I’d return volleys like a good tennis match. The volleys went on and on. They got more intense. I really miss that. … You don’t often find the perfect bucket boy.” … Dallas was just 8 of 32 on 3-pointers.

Lakers Vs Thunder Tickets for their February 23rd matchup at the Chesapeake Energy Arena are still available.