The Los Angeles Lakers, welcoming back Kobe Bryant, put together a solid week of basketball, winning two of three games this past week. The Lakers kicked off the week with a road victory in Denver, followed by a close STAPLES Center loss to Western Conference contender Memphis, followed by a tight win over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday night. The Pacers victory will give the Lakers momentum for their upcoming two cames, tough road matchups with the Portland Trailblazers and Los Angeles Clippers.
Week Recap: Tuesday night Kobe Bryant registered his 21st career triple double in a victory over the Denver Nuggets. Bryant had 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, becoming the second oldest among active players to register a triple double. Bryant played the part of set-up man, shooting just 11 times in one of his most efficient offensive performances of the season. Carlos Boozer had 19 points for the Lakers with Ronnie Price chipping in with 18 points. Jordan Hill and Wesley Johnson also finished in double figures. Following the victory in Denver the Lakers had two days off before hosting Marc Gasol and the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night at STAPLES Center. The game was tight throughout with the Grizzlies prevailing behind a big third quarter effort. Kobe Bryant’s three-point attempt at the buzzer could have tied the game but rimmed out. Jeremy Lin and Ed Davis led the Lakers with 20 points, with Bryant finishing with 15 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. For the second consecutive game Bryant played the role of distributor. Carlos Boozer chipped in 14 points. Sunday night the Lakers hosted the Indiana Pacers at STAPLES Center, earning a tight 88-87 victory, behind a big fourth quarter effort. The Lakers fell behind big in the first quarter but slowly chipped away at the lead, earning the victory with a strong effort in the second half. Kobe Bryant scored 20 points and hit the game winner with 12 seconds to play. Bryant scored nine points in the final 2:32 of play, helping the Lakers overcome a thirteen point victory. In addition to Bryant, Nick Young put together a big fourth quarter, scoring 10 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter. Ed Davis, Carlos Boozer and Jeremy Lin also finished in double figures for the Lakers. Los Angeles finished 28 of 30 from the free throw line, a major factor in the victory. The Lakers traveled up to the Moda Center to face the Portland Trail Blazers on Jan 5th without the services of Kobe Bryant who is resting his achillies and lost 98-94 as Blazers Damian Lillard exploded for 39 points.
Up Next for the Lakers: The Lakers have three games this upcoming week, starting with a road game versus the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. . Portland is currently a game and a half behind the Golden State Warriors for the top record in the NBA, while the Clippers are in 6th place in the West. Following the two road games the Lakers host the Orlando Magic on Friday night followed by a return visit to STAPLES Center by the Portland Trailblazers on Sunday.
Upcoming Games For the Lakers at the Staples Center
Magic @ Lakers Tickets
Fri, Jan 9th at 7:30pm Staples Center | Down 13% | Tickets start at $38.00
The 13-24 Orlando Magic come into the Staples Center lead by Tobias Harris averaging 18.3 points per game and Nikola Vucevic averaging 11 rebounds a game.
Trail Blazers @ Lakers Tickets
Sun, Jan 11th at 6:30pm Staples Center | Down 7% | Tickets start at $40.00
The Lakers look for revenge after their Jan 5 loss to the Blazers at the Moda Center. The Trail Blazers are lead by LaMarcus Aldridge averaging 23 points per game and 10.6 rebounds per game.
Heat @ Lakers Tickets
Tues, Jan 13th at 7:30pm Staples Center | Down 9% | Tickets start at $45.00
The Heats Dwyane Wade brings his 23 points per game average and Chris Bosh’s 7.9 rebounds per game to Los Angeles. The Heat are currently 8th in the Eastern Division by 2.5 games over the Indiana Pacers.
Cavaliers @ Lakers Tickets
Thur, Jan 15th at 7:30pm Staples Center | Down 7% | Tickets start at $117.00
Lebron James is being re-evaluated today after missing three games with lower back and knee strains in hopes to return shorter than his initial two weeks absence. Lebron James is currently averaging 25.5 points per game followed by Kyrie Irving with 20.2 and Kevin Love with 17 points per game.
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The Blazers are in the middle of the class of the Western conference rankings, but that doesn’t have to mean anything. The West is so crowded, and so tight, that a two or three game losing streak can take you out of the playoffs. Luckily for the Blazers, their January schedule is light and favorable. Except for a three game stretch when they play the Clippers, Spurs and the Grizzlies, the Blazers play mostly weaker teams during January. That could be an excellent chance for the team to pile up some wins, and move up in the rankings. One thing to keep in mind is the division rankings. The Blazers are way ahead of the Thunder, but Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are catching steam, and they might make up. Currently, the Northwest division is the second most lopsided in the NBA, after the Atlantic where the Raptors have the title wrapped up. Here is Blazers’ January home games at the Moda Center. preview.
Blazers vs Hawks, January 3, Average price $53
The Atlanta Hawks are one of the better teams in the East, but they would be hard pressed to compete with the elite in the West. The duel would provide an interesting matchup at the point guard position, as well on the center position. Al Horford is one of the most underrated big men in the league, and he is so skilled, that Robin Lopez will have his hands full. Trail Blazers vs Hawks tickets start at $27.00.
Blazers vs Lakers, January 5, Average price $82
There was a time when the duel between the Lakers and the Trail Blazers were significant. Nevertheless, the fans in Rip City will always boo Kobe Bryant, and hate him for the damage he has done to the Blazers. They do recognize his talent, but they do not like him. Not that Kobe loves Portland, but he enjoys playing there.Trail Blazers vs Lakers tickets start at $37.00.
Blazers vs Heat, January 8, Average price $130
Bosh and Aldridge are very similar players nowadays, with Bosh sporting a bigger range than Aldridge. Anyway, their duel is one to watch for, as it might turn out to be a jump shooting contest. Gone are the days when big men were banging in the post. Nowadays, power forwards are more shooters than bangers, and Bosh and Aldridge are two of the best in the league.Trail Blazers vs Heat tickets start at $29.00.
Blazers vs Magic, January 10, Average price $43
The Magic might serve as the appetizer for the Blazers, who travel to Los Angeles to play the Lakers the following night. An easy win would do wonders for the Blazers, who will go through a tough stretch after this game. Elfrid Payton is the new point guard rookie to watch for, and he will have the chance to learn firsthand from Damian Lillard.Trail Blazers vs Magic tickets start at $26.00.
Blazers vs Clippers, January 16, Average price $76
This game marks a three game stretch in which Portland might go 0-3, or 3-0. In both cases, it will show how good the Blazers really are. After they play the Clippers at home, they go for a back to back set in San Antonio and Memphis. With the Clippers in town, look to see who will dominate more, Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge? Nicholas Batum might be the underrated player in this duel, as the Clippers are low on quality wings, leaving Batum free to dominate and assert his will.Trail Blazers vs Clippers tickets start at $27.00.
Blazers vs Kings, January 19, Average price $51
After the rough stretch, Blazers will be more than happy to welcome the Kings, and the mess they are in. After starting the season strong, the Kings are falling behind, and the coaching change might not be the answer. One problem for the Blazers might be Boogie Cousins, who should be healthy for this duel. Sacramento won the first matchup between the teams.Trail Blazers vs Kings tickets start at $18.00.
Blazers vs Celtics, January 22, Average price $62
The Trail Blazers won the first duel with the Celtics, at the Garden, but now they are playing on the second night of a back to back set. They play in Phoenix the previous night, while the Celtics are more rested. Lillard might have troubles in this game, with Boston’s bevy of guards able to pest him. Rondo, Bradley and Smart can all play point guard, and all three of them are defensive bulldogs.Trail Blazers vs Celtics tickets start at $18.00.
Blazers vs Wizards, January 24, Average price $49
Few teams boast a big frontline as the Wizards do, and an excellent back court in the same time. The Wizards can hurt teams in many ways, but their main weapon is John Wall. His length and quickness can be a problem for Lillard, but he has shown to find a way to contribute in other areas.Trail Blazers vs Hawks tickets start at $30.00.
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You can view the entire Trail Blazers NBA schedule for home and away games.
BY: Chris M.
Ticket prices based on secondary market averages including nbaexchange and are subject to change.
‘Tis the Season of Dunks” for the Los Angeles Clippers! The Clippers ended November with an 11-5 record placing them three games back from their rivals the Golden State Warriors. LA plays 11 games at the Staples Center during December with the biggest one being the Clippers vs Warriors Christmas Day game which is also Argyle Santa Hat Giveaway! Don’t miss any of the action!
With No Service Fees and 100% Verified Clippers Tickets as the Official Partner of the Clippers and an office right next to the Staples Center for FREE Pick up of your tickets. Barry’s Tickets has you covered no matter your Holiday Budget!
Clippers vs Timberwolves, December 1, Starting price $6, Average price $45
The Timberwolves are a young team, and this will be the first time the first round pick Andrew Wiggins comes to town. He might not be ready for stardom, and is still a work in progress, but the kid shows flashes from time to time about how great he can be. The duel could be a lot more fun if Rubio wasn’t injured, but there is still enormous potential for an exciting game. Minnesota is a lottery team, but the guys play hard, they compete for 48 minutes, and provide a highlight or two. Clippers vs Timberwolves tickets are still available.
Clippers vs Magic, December 3, Starting Price $7, Average price $48
Tobias Harris, Nikola Vucevic, Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton are a young core that can do some serious damage in the next 2-3 years. For now, Vucevic is the only proven player from the group. The Serbian center can go for 20 and 20 at any given night, and the Clippers must contain him in order to win. Deandre Jordan will have his hands full, but he might serve a poster for Vucevic.You can purchase Clippers vs Magic tickets for the Staples Center.
Clippers vs Pelicans, December 6, Starting Price $18, Average price $50
Blake Griffin versus Anthony Davis! Can the casual fan ask for more? Probably not. Two of the best power forwards in the league go head to head in a matchup that should provide enough entertainment and highlights. Davis is arguably the MVP of the first month, and if he continues his strong play, and the Pelicans make the playoffs, there is no reason he should not win it. The Pelicans will visit the Clippers once more this season, but at the moment, both teams are at full strength and playing good basketball. Purchase Clippers vs Pelicans tickets.
Clippers vs Suns, December 8, Starting price $7, Average Price $73
Two seasons ago, Eric Bledsoe was backing up Chris Paul. Now he is running his show in Phoenix, where Coach Jeff Hornacek has the Suns playing hard and at a fast pace. Besides Bledsoe, the Suns have two more point guards that can cause damage in Dragic and Thomas. But none of them comes close to the level of CP3 and his playmaking and shot making abilities. And the Suns frontline is weak compared to the big guys the Clippers boast. The Clippers already beat the Suns on 15th November. Order Clippers vs Suns tickets today.
Clippers vs Pistons, December 15, Starting Price $10, Average Price $62
Few teams can match the frontline of the Clippers, and the Pistons are one of them. Their record doesn’t reflect their talent, but Andre Drummond is a beast, and Greg Monroe is one of the best copies of Tim Duncan and his sound and fundamental post game. The Pistons are still figuring things out, but they can be dangerous. And they are the Eastern Conference team leader in alley-oops with Drummond reaching for every ball that comes close to the basket.Order Clippers vs Pistons tickets today.
Clippers vs Pacers, December 17, Starting price $6, Average Price $80
Even without Paul George and Lance Stephenson, Indiana has managed to hang in the top 8 in the East. After a few games, the team is playing motivated and engaged. The Pacers already have some quality wins (versus Dallas, Miami and Chicago), and there is no reason to doubt they will bring their A game. Roy Hibbert and David West are a good inside duo, posing challenges for Griffin and Jordan. CP3 might have his way with the point guards of Indiana, but he will need help to carry the Clippers in this one. Order Clippers vs Pacers tickets today.
Clippers vs Bucks, December 20, Starting price $23, Average price $39
Giannis Antetokounmpo is a reason enough to tune into this game. The Greek Freak is playing excellent basketball at the moment. Coach Jason Kidd has his team playing inspiring basketball, and his players give their all. Few people had the Bucks at No.4 in the East going into December, but the Bucks are going back to their “Fear the Deer” campaign. They are a dangerous team, and rookie Jabari Parker is playing better by the day. Order Clippers vs Bucks tickets today.
Clippers vs Warriors, December 25, Starting Price $72, Average Price $104
These two teams have a long history in the past few years. Every matchup brings tension as a playoff game, and players from both teams have admitted they do not like each other. They’ve met in the 2014 playoffs, with the Clippers advancing. But this year, with Steve Kerr on the coaching seat, the Warriors are playing even more efficient basketball with more ball movement. The Splash Brothers are killing it, and Curry is a time bomb waiting to happen. The Warriors are second in the Western Conference, just a half game behind Memphis going into December. Not to mention, a Christmas matchup is always a special one. Order Clippers vs Warriors tickets for their Christmas Day game at Staples Center today.
Clippers vs Raptors, December 27, Starting Price $37, Average Price $75
The Raptors have been arguably the best team in the league over the first month. They lost to the Western leading Grizzlies to close out November, but they are still the best in the East. Nobody expected them to be this good, but they are proving experts wrong. Fresh off an extension, Kyle Lowry has matured into a great leader at the point guard position. While many see the highlights from Demar Derozan and Terrence Ross, Lowry is the machine that carries the Raptors. A matchup with CP3 is a great chance for Lowry to show his worth. Purchase Clippers vs Raptors Tickets today.
Clippers vs Jazz, December 29, Starting Price $27, Average Price $59
After wining some games to start the season, the Jazz are back where they belong, in the lottery. They should stay there for a season or two more, but they have solid young guys that can be dangerous. Gordon Hayward is one of them, and this season, the Clippers are having troubles with small forwards. Hayward has proven he is worth the money Utah put in him, and he might go off versus the Clippers. The team from Los Angeles won the first meeting between the teams. Purchase Clippers vs Jazz tickets today.
Clippers vs Knicks, December 31, Starting Price $40, Average Price $160
There are few things that are more entertaining on New Year’s Eve than a matchup between the Clippers and the Knicks. Fate didn’t let Carmelo and CP3 to play together, so they must compete against each other. The Knicks are still adjusting to the triangle, and Melo is having back issues, but he should be healthy for the game. Clippers vs Knicks tickets are available for all sections of the Staples Center.
Use BTIXDEC15 to get a $15.00 off $150.00 or more on on Clippers Tickets marked BV!
Barry’s Tickets is located Caddy-Corner from the Staples Center!
1020 S. Figueroa, Los Angeles, CA 90015
(across from the Staples Center inside the Luxe City Center)
Open 7 days a week, 9am – 9pm, for pickups.
213 749 0057
BY: Chris M.
Ticket prices subject to change.
It’s been almost seven months since the blockbuster trade that brought Dwight Howard to LA, to join forces with Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. No one can say that this trade was worked out well for the Lakers up to now. However, during the last weeks the team has really picked up its performance and Howard is no exception. He finally shows what a dominant player he can be, a beast down the block.
In recent win of the Lakers over Howard’s former team, the Orlando Magic, he scored 39 points and also grabbed 16 and denied 3 shots. An amazing stat he had was his 39 free-throw attempts, of which he managed to get 25 to go in. This tied the NBA record for most free-throw attempts in a game. Since the start of the season, lots of teams have followed a weird –yet successful- tactics against the 6’11” center. They intentionally fouled him when the Lakers had possession, even if Howard didn’t have the ball and tried to score a basket. That led him to missed free-throws.Nevertheless, Howard proved during the last game that he can handle such situation and he punished the Magic.
Possibly the most essential fact is that Howard is finally healthy. He entered the season not at his full strength, after passing through a serious back problem that could be proved to be even more severe. The surgery he underwent last spring and his time off the courts made him lose his pace.
After the All-Star break, D-12 started showing some urgency, as the rest of the team did. In fact it was time they all did. His numbers show the truth, 17.6 points per game, almost 15 rebounds and 2.6 blocks. It’s like he is a different player and it’s way more than just stats.
With the constant and long-lasting injuries of Pau Gasol, he had to step up and take more responsibilities, both offensively and on defense. He now seems to have accepted his role as a defensive wall in the paint and as top option on the offensive end, together with Kobe. The Lakers will definitely need him at his best as they progress through their schedule. Especially in the Playoffs, Howard can be an ace hidden in the sleeve for them. There is arguably no player currently in the NBA that can defend him in the post on a consistent basis. If he catches the ball close to the basket, it’s really possible that he’ll score or get fouled, or both. That’s the Dwight Howard the league got to know, during his first years in Orlando and that’s who the Lakers’ fans expected to see after the trade.
The number one priority now should be health for Howard. As he stated, he feels great with his body and admitted he has started finding his rhythm. Coach Mike D’Antoniagreed, saying that he sees the improvement in his condition and performance day by day. At last, as Dwight is the Superman we expected him to be.
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Four years ago at the trade deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers made what was considered a blockbuster move — they traded a package centered around Marc Gasol (although at the time we thought it was Kwame Brown) for Pau Gasol. Pairing him with Kobe Bryant led the Lakers to three straight finals and two NBA titles.
After tonight, Pau Gasol may be offensive option No. 4 on the Lakers.
To what is certainly the frustration and consternation of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and other owners (nice competitive balance), the Lakers have had the best offseason they have had since 1996 (getting Shaquille O’Neal and drafting Kobe Bryant). The Lakers were able to work trades for both point guard Steve Nash and the most dominant center on the planet today, Dwight Howard.
The Lakers are now the team best positioned to challenge the Miami Heat for the NBA title, they can match up in raw talent. And with real strengths at point guard and center — the two weakest links of the Heat — Los Angeles may well be the best team in the NBA.
Acquiring Dwight Howard is another bold move for the Lakers, just what we’ve come to expect from a franchise that measures success in championship rings.
So Howard is coming off back surgery and might not even be ready to start the season? So what? The Lakers don’t do Novembers. The Lakers do Junes. This is who they are.
Stay Tuned, this could be an amazing season in Los Angeles.
Deron Williams is returning to the Nets. He announced on Twitter that he has agreed to a five-year, $100 million contract with the Brooklyn Nets. Williams, the top free agent available, decide to stay with the Nets over signing with the Mavericks, who hoped they could convince him to come back to the area where he grew up. It’s a enormous triumph for the Nets as they get ready to move into the new Barclays Center to start the 2012-13 season.
They have been extremely productive since the start of free agency on July 1. They traded for Joe Johnson and are rumored to be in talks with the Orlando Magic to bring Dwight Howard to Brooklyn.
Deron’ choice comes a day after the Nets agreed to a deal with Atlanta for All-Star guard Joe Johnson, and among reports they are still hoping to make a deal with Orlando for Dwight Howard. Brooklyn also has a deal in place to re-sign versatile free agent forward Gerald Wallace.
Williams will be the centerpiece of a decent nucleus in Brooklyn. Joe Johnson will be his backcourt mate, and Gerald Wallace will start off at small forward.
Williams averaged 21 points and 8.7 assists last season and had a 57-point game. One of the league’s major point guards since entering the NBA as the No. 3 pick of the Jazz in 2005, he was ahead of his rivals when last season started after playing in Turkey through the lockout.
The Nets now have three former All-Stars in the lineup – Deron, Joe and Gerald Wallace – and are prepared match any offer for restricted free agent Lopez. The wild card is Howard.
Just 2 years after a 70-loss season, the Nets will have one of the NBA’s greatest backcourts and are poised to make a quick move up the Eastern Conference standings. Williams will cause the rest of the dominoes to fall as he was the top guard and overall player in this summer’s free agency class.
Williams didn’t always seem to appreciate playing in New Jersey, with the Nets spending the past two seasons in a temporary home in Newark. But he should really play in front of packed crowds in Brooklyn as the most important attraction at the Barclays Center.
Friday night the NBA hosted a number of events, none more interesting than the 2012 Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game (5 p.m. | ESPN) and BBVA Rising Stars Challenge (7 p.m. | TNT).
Back in my day All-Star Friday night would be a place where they’d just talk to the All-Stars on camera, live, and get Karl Malone mad. The Celebrity Game and “Rookie” game have both gone through a number of changes over the years. This year in the Celebrity game they augmented the rosters with some former NBA-All Stars (passed their prime), and one WNBA notable (Tamika Catchings). The coaches for the two teams (somehow separated into “East” and “West”) were Orlando Magic Dwight Howard and Oklahoma City Thunder Kevin Durant respectively. I really had no idea who the celebrities in the celebrity game were except for the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Kevin Hart.
There were even more changes in the Rookie game. This year they put all the rookies and sophomores into a pool, and had Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley alternate picks to fill out the two teams. The rosters used to only be 8 players strong, but because Jeremy Lin is a huge story right now, they increased the roster size to 10 players. In the older format it was very rare for the rookie team to beat the sophomore team. This way seems a bit more interesting though; you know, provided that the people making the picks actually know what they are doing. Ex Los Angeles Lakers Shaq’s first two picks, LA Clippers Blake Griffin and Jeremy Lin, both hardly played at all during the game. On the other hand, Chuck’s first two picks dominated when they were in the game. Early on DeMarcus Cousins was dunking on everybody, and his first pick Kyrie Irving won the MVP of the game (He went 8-8 from downtown). Also the two teams had every uneven coaching. Shaq’s team was coached by an assistant coach for the Chicago Bulls and Steve Kerr (TNT). The Chicago Bulls assistant was coaching in a game where no one played defense, so he was wasted; and Kerr was a GM but never a coach. On Charles’ team the two coaches were Maurice Cheeks (Oklahoma City Thunder assistant coach), and Mike Fratello (TNT). Mo Cheeks and The Czar were both NBA head coaches — and Mike was totally into the game actually coaching.
I’m having difficulty finding an actual Box Score of the game, but Gordon Hayward finished the game with 14 points, a pair of blocks, and countless nice passes. His outside shot was still missing; however he got to do a little bit of everything and he looked like he was having fun. I was particularly impressed with his defensive rebounds — which he snagged due to his length and athleticism, I would like to see more of that for the Jazz. Derrick Favors also added 14 points, in 14 minutes according to John Hollinger. He made pretty much all of his shots, including all of his free throws — and he was the only guy out there on Chuck’s team who failed to convert his thinking into “Exhibition Game Mode”. In a way, he was the analog to Shaq’s team’s dour blue collar bigman Greg Monroe. They both played back to the basket, had some dunks, but many more of their finishes were fundamentally sound. And they both played post defense, instead of just letting people dunk it. Monroe, of course, stole the game and the highlight of the game when — in super-duper garbage time, actually disrupted a potential John Wall Jam, and turned it into a full court assist with seconds left on the clock.
Both of our guys played well off the bench, and seem to be enjoying themselves. Hopefully they can get more playing time together in the second half of the season. I think the last time I watched the rookie game was when Andrei Kirilenko was a sophomore, and he was the only guy playing defense for his team. Nice to know that few things have changed for the mentality of our players.
NBA All-Star Weekend 2012 officially kicks off Friday in Orlando. Here’s a schedule of all the top-tier All-Star Weekend events.
Usually known as the Rookie/Sophomore Game, the 2012 edition of the Rising Stars Challenge is different because TNT analysts Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley selected the rosters from a pool of the top first- and second-year players. Reigning Rookie of the Year winner Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin headline Team Shaq. Top overall draft choice Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers and versatile big-man DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings anchor Team Chuck.
All-Star Saturday Night opens with the Haier Shooting Stars, which pits the defending champion Team Atlanta against Team Orlando, Team New York, and Team Texas.
The next event is the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, in which six of the league’s top point guards battle to complete an obstacle course that tests their dribbling, passing, and shooting ability. Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors, the defending champion, will take on Irving, Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs, John Wall of the Washington Wizards, Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Deron Williams of the New Jersey Nets.
The Foot Locker Three-Point Contest follows the Skills Challenge in which Magic forward Ryan Anderson will challenge the defending champion James Jones of the Miami Heat. Other competitors include Mario Chalmers of the Miami Heat, Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City, Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Anthony Morrow of the New Jersey Nets. Durant replaces Atlanta Hawks swingman Joe Johnson, who will sit out the contest due to injury.
The Sprite Slam Dunk Contest concludes All-Star Saturday Night. This year’s dunk showdown features four players who have never before competed; it’s all fresh faces. In addition, the dunk contest will debut a new, one-round format in which each competitor has the opportunity to execute three dunks. The field is Chase Budinger of the Houston Rockets, Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz, Paul George of the Indiana Pacers, and Derrick Williams of Minnesota. Evans replaces Knicks rookie Iman Shumpert, who had to bow out of the competition due to injury.
The main event of the weekend finally tips Sunday evening. Magic center Dwight Howard, the leading vote-getter among all players, will start for the East, while Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will tie a record for consecutive All-Star appearances with 14.
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With the Kenyon Martin signing done, the Los Angeles Clippers have obtained one more big body to help contend with the L.A. Lakers’ big front court in the future Battle of Los Angeles Now, both teams are seeking to add yet more depth in order to bring home the bacon. The returning players from overseas, like K-Mart, are one possible avenue for each team. Everyday, it seems, the Lakers are rumored to be interested in so and so, or so and so is rumored to be demanding a trade to the Lakers (see Orlando Magic Dwight Howard). Until recently, I cannot ever recall a single player either demand a trade to the Clippers or hope that the Clippers picked them up off of the waivers. However, that has all changed with the formation of Lob City through the acquisitions of Chauncey Billups, Chris Paul, and even Caron Butler, who now has an NBA championship ring. Not only are players hoping that the Clippers might take them in, but are actually dreaming about it. Even Dwight Howard, arguably the best Center in the league, has persistently been rumored, now, to want to end up with the Clippers. While that may or may not be true in reality, the media has crowned the Clippers as the next Big Thing.
Out of the available pool of free agents, including those who are currently overseas, who is the best fit for either the Clippers or the Lakers to put either team over the top? Starting with the China-boys, this analysis may become polarizing quickly. First up is J.R. Smith. Two weeks ago he annihilated the Chinese league for 60 points on 14 of 18 treys. Qingdao will probably have to sell their team and give up now like the Seattle SuperSonics did. J.R. Smith, one of the streakiest and most annoying players in the NBA (and its sister-leagues) today, probably set back the Qingdao team a decade with that explosion. J.R. Smith
Not two weeks ago did J.R. Smith remind the NBA of his talents. He exploded for 60 points over Qingdao in the Chinese league, drilling 14 of 18 three pointers in the process. Now, everyone knows J.R. Smith can shoot the ball and shoot it well. Everyone also knows that he can dunk the ball and dunk it well. But his off the court behavior and me-first attitude on the court could end up being more of a burden than a blessing to the team that lands him this coming week. The Lakers want to sign Smith to complement Kobe and finally get someone to hit a perimeter shot. While I love Matt Barnes, he is a far cry form the player who regularly turned it on for Don Nelson in Golden State a few years back. And while I love Ron Artest (read: Metta World Peace), he has always been a chucker and a sort of offensive clunker. He still brings it defensively and is vital to their success, but for as much as a chastise J.R. Smith, I’d still rather have him taking ill-advisde shots than Metta World Peace. The Clippers are also interested but since they’re already defensively inept in the backcourt (largely due to a lack of size), adding Smith would only make them defensively worse. Also, there are likely not enough shots to go around on the perimeter between Cp3, Billups, Foye (a chucker), and Mo Williams (another chucker). What the Clippers need is a real backup SF (or even starting SF). If the Lakers sign Smith, I’d give it a B+ signing (only if Kobe can keep J.R. in line). For the Clippers: C-.
Taking a look at the list of domestic players, the only one who really stands out for either team is Gilbert Arenas. While Larry Hughes’ teardrop tatted beneath his eye does stand out, unfortunately his game does not. Arenas so desperately wants to play for any L.A. team in his hometown that he’s scheduled his own public workout for later in this week. Arenas was last seen sporting an ill-advised beard and a shaky jumpshot in Orlando last year, and the fact that no team has yet signed the enigmatic combo-guard is not a good sign. Last year he played 25 minutes off the bench behind such wonders as Jameer Nelson and Jason and Quentin Richardson. What? If Agent Zero cannot even displace any of those three chuckers, who is to say that he can displace any of the Clippers’ chuckers, who are actually playing at a fantastic level right now (see: Mo Williams). The Lakers could use someone to create offense, but not someone to dribble out the shot clock. I’d give the Clippers signing Arenas a D- and the Lakers signing him a C+.
The last candidate is Wilson Chandler, who may or may not ever get out of his contract in China. Chandler is a young player with a multifaceted game. For some reason, he reminds me of Danny Granger, although he’s never really had the chance to put up Granger-like numbers. Chandler is not phenomenal at any one thing but is pretty good at most of them. The Lakers don’t exactly need another wing to steal shots, but if Chandler could be used to generate legitimate offense off the bench (that does not come from off-balanced three pointers), then he might be a good signing. However, he would likely command too much money for the Lakers. The Clippers could also really use him, as his game would readily remedy a lot of the penetration problems the Clippers currently have (and also move Caron Butler to the bench where he belongs). But Chandler would probably cost too much for them, too. That being said, I’d give each team an A- for acquiring Chandler. In the end, though, the Lakers ought to refrain from acquiring anymore older talent and begin looking at younger talent. Maybe let the Mini-Mamba loose. The Clippers should stand-pat and let the team gel first before acquiring anyone else.
The NBA All-Star Game is a game held annually between the top players in the Western and Eastern Conferences of the National Basketball Association. The game is part of All-Star
Weekend, held every February, which includes other exhibition activities such as the Rookie Challenge, Slam Dunk Contest, and Three-Point Shootout. The first NBA All-Star Game was held in 1951 in Boston, Massachusetts. The game gives fans the chance to see the best players in the NBA play together in a more relaxed atmosphere. The game is a celebration of basketball and sportsmanship and a real treat for any NBA fan.
Players for the NBA All-Star Game are selected in two different ways. NBA fans choose the starters, and the reserves are chosen by coaches, though the coaches cannot vote for their own players. The All-Star teams are coached by the coaches from each conference with the best record through the second week in February. Coaches, however, cannot coach two years in a row anymore. This is known as the “Riley Rule” – because of Pat Riley’s success with the Lakers in the 1980’s, he coached the Western Conference All-Star team nearly every year. The coach with the next best record is selected in this case to coach the team.
In May 4 2010, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced in a press conference that Orlando has been selected as the site of the NBA All-Star Weekend 2012, the 61st edition of this popular event.
The NBA All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, February 26 in the Amway Center, the new Orlando Magic Stadium to be opened in the fall of 2010. In the previous 2 days, the Amway Center also host the Rookie Challenge and the regular contests of the Saturday Night. The NBA All Star Jam Session will be held in the Orange County Convention Center.
This is the second time the All-Star visits Orlando, 20 years after the unforgettable 1992 edition, when Magic Johnson came back to the courts after starting his battle against the AIDS to win the MVP trophy and send a huge message to the whole world.
Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson or Clyde Drexler were some of the greatest stars in 1992. Craig Hodges won his third three-point contest and Cedric Ceballos made a name for himself with a “no-look” dunk. In 2011 Blake Griffin stunned the arena by jumping over a car in the slam dunk contest.
The NBA All Star Weekend is second only to the Super Bowl when it comes to the biggest party weekend on the planet. Celebrities, pro athletes, and many more come to party with the NBA elite. Last year in Los Angeles, Dwight Howard had his own private party with performances by Rick Ross and Rihanna. Now the All Star Weekend in 2012 has shifted to Orlando, Florida. Dwight Howard’s hometown. With his contract expiring at the end of the season, this could be Dwight Howard’s last year in an Orlando Magic uniform.
The Eastern and Western Conference all-star teams will be led by the coaches with the best records in their respective conferences as of February 12 – two weeks before the game. Last year’s coaches – Boston’s Doc Rivers and San Antonio Spurs Gregg Popovic – are ineligible; league rules prohibit a coach from running the all-star team in consecutive seasons.
EASTERN CONFERENCE is made by teams Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, and part of WESTERN CONFERENCE are excellent Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings etc.
NBA All Star Game Tickets are onsale now. You can also purchase NBA All Star Rookie Challenge NBA All Star Slam Dunk Contest.