Tag Archives: Russell Westbrook

What does Kevin Durant’s injury mean for the Western Conference?

As the Los Angeles Clippers ready for the regular season, news broke on Sunday that Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder is dealing with a Jones Fracture in his right foot and will miss at least the first month of the season. The fracture at the base of his small toe reportedly will keep Durant out 6 to 8 weeks at a minimum, with some speculating that the Thunder could look to keep Durant out even longer to err on the side of caution with the injury.

It’s the second consecutive year the Thunder has to deal with a major injury to a key player at the beginning of the regular season. Last year the Thunder were without star point guard Russell Westbrook at the beginning of the year, an injury the Thunder were able to overcome and still finish with the second best record in the Western Conference. The injury to Durant could be much more significant. In Reggie Jackson, one of the best backup point guards in the NBA, Oklahoma City had a solid replacement for Westbrook, something that simply doesn’t exist for Durant. Depending on how much time Durant misses the Thunder will likely struggle without Durant, a factor that can impact the rest of the Western Conference teams.

How big of an impact is the injury to Durant on the Clippers chances to earn the best record in the Western Conference? It could be potentially significant.

More than anything the injury to Durant is a reminder that injury luck in the NBA can be fleeting, and the Thunder have had good luck with injuries during their run of strong play over the past several years, prior to last season. Now it’s Durant who’s on the sidelines with Westbrook forced to take a bigger role in the offense. The one constant has been Durant, who has missed only six total games in the past five seasons, including the postseason. The Thunder have not had to play without their superstar for any significant stretch in the past five years, a major factor in their ability to always finish in the top two in the Western Conference.

Durant could miss 15 to 30 games if you take into account the full range of recovery that experts have laid out. If Durant misses the larger number of games, the Thunder could be in a significant hole to the Clippers and Spurs when it comes to best record and the all important home court advantage in the playoffs, a significant factor in the Thunder defeat of the Clippers in last year’s playoffs. The absence of Durant could mean the Thunder go from a 60 win team to a 53 to 55 win team, a factor that may not only put the Thunder behind the Clippers and Spurs, but could potentially put them in a group of teams that includes the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets.

The Thunder need to be careful with Durant and have his long-term health in mind. Although many players recover quickly from such injuries, there are cases like Brook Lopez and Yao Ming where foot injuries have lingered for a longer period of time. If the Thunder are more conservative with Durant it’s a major opportunity for the Clippers to earn home court advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs.

You can purchase Clippers vs Thunder Tickets for their opening game on Oct 30th at the LA Staples Center.Chris M.

Clippers vs Warriors

Top 10 Point Guards in NBA for the 2014 – 2015 season

Point guard play is a very exciting part of basketball to watch. When you see a great ball handler that can take control of his team and move the ball around with precision passes it is a great joy to see. There is nothing like a great ball mover that will thread a strong defense and go to the goal or catch one of his teammates moving to the goal out of the corner of his eyes and making that precision pass the keeps all the defenders at bay. Look for some of the movers and shakers list below from 10 to 1 to keep a lot of defenders at bay this year.

10. Rajon Rondo:
Can put up some impressive triple doubles with an average of almost 12 ppg and almost 10 apg. He will be coming off an injury year where he only played 30 games in the 2013-14 season. Look for him to overcome his major knee injury to continue to put up numbers for the Boston Celtics. The game to watch for is the Celtics vs Spurs to see Rajon and Tony Parker go at it.

9. Tony Parker:
Tony is playing himself into a lot on NBA conversations when it come top point guards. This San Antonio guard will continue to keep up the pace in the upcoming season. Averaging almost 17 ppg he will become one of the fan favorites during the San Antonio campaign on 2014-15. The Games to watch will be Spurs vs Trail Blazers in Dec and Jan to see how Tony Parker and Damian Lillard stack up against each other.

8. Kyle Lowry:
With an impressive 17.9 ppg average it is probably why Kyle was re-signed by general manager Masai Ujiri and the Toronto Raptors. You can bet he will continue to put the numbers and keep the Raptors moving into the 2014-15 with a strong shot at post season play again. Watching Lowry and Wall on the court should make the Raptors vs Wizards one of best match ups for Lowry and the boys.

7. Damian Lillard:
This Portland guard can put on quit a show with an average of over 20 ppg. He is an excellent three-point shooter. With a 40 percent three-point shooting average Damien Lillard will continue to be worth the price of admission to see him continue to put up impressive numbers again this year. The Trail Blazers vs Warriors will be a great test pitting Lillard and Curry against each other.

6. Kyrie Irving:
Kyrie will carry an average 20.8 ppg and almost 7 appg into the 2014-15 season to keep the Cavs on their feet again this year. He is one guard that defense hate to see get hot and move the ball. He will have another good year carving up the defense during the quest toward the playoffs this year. When Irving and Parker hit the court for the first time at the Quicken Center it will be a good preview of how well the new look Cavaliers and older Spurs will be. The Cavaliers vs Spurs in the NBA Finals is a pretty good bet this 2014-15 NBA season.

5. John Wall:
John will help the Washington Wizards to make some noise in the eastern Conference this year. This is another NBA guard that averages close to 20 ppg. With almost 9 apg his teammates are very appreciative of his unselfish ball movement. Look for the Wizards to continue the great play that led them to a great playoff run in the 2013-14 year.

4. Goran Dragic:
Making the ALL-NBA Third Team last year you can bet this point guard will pick up where he left off last year. Sporting a 20.3 ppg average will help him do just that. Look for him to continue to put up the points for the Phoenix Suns. A 50 percent shooting average from the field will help lead the Suns to a strong push in this upcoming NBA year.

3. Stephen Curry:
Stephen is not known for his defense but who is when you have an average of 24 ppg. Curry was the NBA’s seventh leading scorer in the 2013-14 season. He attempted an average of almost 8 three-pointers each game. He will put a lot of numbers again this year while he leads Golden State to another playoff year. Curry vs Westbrook will be the match up to watch when the Warriors vs Thunder games happen as they could easily end up being a NBA playoff preview early in the season.

2. Russell Westbrook:
This Oklahoma City guard averaged 26.7 ppg during the playoffs in 2013-14. That will bring his average to almost 22 ppg during his powerful NBA career. If he has an injury free year he can put up some impressive numbers. The more he play his consistency improve in a great way. He will put up some huge numbers in the Oklahoma City run this year. Russell Westbrook and Kyrie Irving will meet on the court for the first time under the new Cav’s look the Thunder vs Cavaliers could be an early NBA Finals look.

1. Chris Paul:
Chris Paul will show you why he is in the number one spot if you will just take a look at him the next time you have the opportunity to see him. Chris is one of the best floor managers in the league. He also led the league in assists and steals last season. Look for him to maintain his 19 ppg and 10.7 apg in a powerful run for the Clippers. The biggest game of the year could be the Clippers vs Cavaliers not just because of Lebron but Chris Paul vs Kyrie Irving could end up being where the game is won for either team. Also the Clippers vs Warriors is another big game between Chris Paul and Stephen Curry as last year the two went at it.

Derrick Rose:
What about Chicago Bulls Derrick Rose you ask? I didnt add him to my list because he has only played a total of 10 games in the past two years. While I would add him somewhere between 2-5 his mental and physical health factors still have questions. The Oct 31 Bulls vs Cavaliers opener will be a good test to see where he is at. Rose finished the preseason this year with 57 points in 56 minutes of playing time and went 24 of 41 and also over 50% in three pointers and finished the eight game preseason with a team high avg of 16.2. If he can stay healthy and get through the entire season the Chicago Bulls have a very good chance of winning it all.

Would love to know who your top 5 NBA Point Guards are for this upcoming season?

Chris M.

Clippers Steal The Thunder

Clippers Vs Thunder Tickets

CP3

One of the big storylines heading into game one of the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder second round series was the two point guards, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook. Westbrook, even after dealing with a knee injury for the better part of a year, is one of the most athletically gifted point guards in the NBA. Paul, the consummate veteran, had a solid opening round series against the Golden State Warriors, but has had to deal with a strained hamstring during the postseason. While many wondered how Paul would fare against an athletic Oklahoma City team, many pointed out how Paul always seems to step up big when challenged.

Boy, were they right.

LA Clippers Vs OKC Thunder

CP3

Behind one of the greatest performances of his career the Clippers traveled to Oklahoma City and blew out the Thunder in the opening game of their second round playoff series behind a virtuoso performance from Chris Paul. Paul scored 32 points in just 28 minutes of play, shooting 12 of 14 from the field and 8 of 9 from behind the three point line. He also notched ten assists while just turning the ball over two times. Paul made six three-pointers in the first half as the Clippers jumped out to a massive 17 point halftime lead on the way to a 122-105 victory.

Overall the Clippers shot 55% from the field with five total players in double figures. Blake Griffin scored 23 points to go along with 5 boards and 5 assists, while Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes and JJ Redick also hit double figures. Los Angeles had 26 assists and just 8 turnovers. It was a perfect start to game one and a message to the Thunder and the rest of the NBA that the Clippers are ready for a long playoff push.

Thunder Vs Clippers Tickets

BLAKE

For Oklahoma City the story was again their lack of balance offensively. As this year’s postseason has evolved, the Thunder has become one-sided to a fault, relying solely on the combination of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Other than a couple of big performances from Reggie Jackson in the Grizzlies series, the Thunder has become the ultimate example of a two man team. After three quarters on Monday night the Clippers led the Thunder by a score of 104-78. Of the 78 Thunder point the combination of Durant and Westbrook scored 54. This deficit included a 22-7 Clippers lead in bench scoring.

Victory in hand the Clippers have a massive opportunity to send the series back to STAPLES Center with a commanding 2-0 lead. They’ll face a desperate Thunder team hoping not to fall behind in the second round like they did in the first round. The Clippers will start game two with a tremendous amount of confidence due to the sheer size of the blowout. Game two is Wednesday night at 6:30 Pacific.

Dont miss any of the action! Clippers Tickets for all playoff games on sale now with no service fees on any tickets.

Barry's Tickets

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BY: Chris M.

Damian Lillard The Next NBA Superstar

Damian Lillard Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard

is putting up significant performances this season. He and the Portland Trail Blazers are surprising the NBA world with their outputs. The last season’s Rookie of the Year is continuing to improve his performance this season. In fact, he does better in almost any part of the game, in comparison with the previous season. His scoring, his shooting, his defense and his clutch performances have seen improvement. But can he be considered as a star? Does he rank amongst the elite point guards in the league?

The 6’3” Weber State product has exploded offensively. After putting up two consecutive 36-point performances against the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Minnesota Timberwolves, he went on to score 29 against the New Orleans Pelicans. He also shot over 47 percent from the floor in those three games. In overall, Lillard is averaging 21.3 points per contest this season to go along with 5.8 assists and 3.7 boards. His shooting from the floor has reached the 41.0 percent mark on average and 42.6 percent from three-point range.

Damian Lillard Blazers

Damian Lillard

Despite the big numbers, Damian Lillard’s importance to Portland goes beyond that. He is a general when on the floor, he draws much defensive attention and that’s where the entire offense starts for Portland. Lillard has built a great chemistry with LaMarcus Aldridge, especially on the offensive end. He plays with him the pick and roll and due to Aldridge’s finishing skills and versatility, this duo is really hard to stop. Lillard started showing some real clutch and leadership skills. Several times this season he has hit game-winning shots.

Taking a look at Lillard’s attributes, we first see that very explosive. In fact, he ranks at the top spots of the most explosive guards in the league, together with Russell Westbrook, Tony Parker and Chris Paul. His first step is super quick first step but he also has great body control when in the air. Additionally, he is an excellent ball handler and has developed his moves this season. His shot has also improved in comparison to the previous season. He has good court-vision although it could be further developed. What Lillard needs to work on now is improving his distributing role in the Portland Trail Blazers team. So can he be considered a star?

The answer is no. Because in order to rank amongst the elite point guards of the league, like CP3, Westbrook or Tony Parker Lillard will need to retain this exceptional performance. Consistency is what differentiates stars from the rest of the players who simply are on hot streaks. However, Lillard seems like he has the potential to do so.

In general, it’s fair to say that Damian Lillard is an emerging star. Really, he can reach the star and the superstar level but he is just not there yet. Nonetheless, the future is ahead and he will just have to continue and deliver.By:Chris Michaels

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