The Warriors February schedule should be an interesting month for Golden State. The best team in the West will be pressed by the schedule. While it is hard to imagine someone catching up on the Warriors for the top spot in the Western Conference, the Warriors February Schedule projects more away games, and some of them versus the best teams in the East (Atlanta, Washington, Toronto, and Cleveland). Without further ado, here are some of the most important games in the Warriors February schedule.
The 2013/14 Golden State Warriors February Schedule ended with a 7-4 record. The Warriors went 4-2 at the Oracle Arena and 3-2 on the road. The Warriors were 1-0 on 0 days rest. 5-3 on 1 days rest. 0-1 on 3 days rest and 1-0 on 6 days rest. Pre NBA All Star Game the Warriors were 2-3 but post NBA All star game they were 5-1 during the Warriors February Schedule.
The 2015 Warriors February schedule looks like this
Warriors @ Kings Sleep Train Arena February 3rd
Starting price $56, Average price $88
While it seems like the Warriors are going for an easy win, this is the first game of February, and it starts on the road as the first game of a back to back set. It is true that the Warriors beat the Sacramento Kings three times already, but there lies the challenge. There is no question that the Kings would love to win one versus the top team in the West, and they will be motivated to do so.
Warriors @ Hawks Phillips Arena, February 6th
Starting price $111, Average price $150
The price of the tickets is the best factor how important is this game. The most expensive ticket in previous seasons between the two teams was priced $78 in 2014. But this year, the Hawks and the Warriors are the best teams in their respective conference. The teams are ranked first (Warriors) and fourth in defensive rating and third (Warriors) and fifth in offensive rating. Warriors Steph Curry and Kyle Korver are the best 3pt shooters in the league, so expect them to rain 3s.View all Hawks vs Warriors Tickets for the Phillips Arena.
Warriors @ Knicks Madison Square Garden February 7th
Starting price $88, Average price $152
Steph Curry has scored his career high points at the Garden in 2013. It was the highest point total scored in the Garden since 2009. Therefore, another visit of Steph in the Garden is sure to attract visitors and viewers. Given the fact how awful the Knicks are this year, fans might be in for another career night even though the Warriors are playing on the second night of a back to back.
Spurs @ Warriors Oracle Arena February 20th
Starting price $102, Average price $115
The Spurs are one of the few teams that have beaten Golden State this year, and the only one to do so in Oracle Arena. San Antonio is slowly gaining steam and making a push towards a higher spot in the rankings. For the Warriors, playing the Spurs is always a chance to show off and earn some praises. It is not every day that you get to play the Champs. View Warriors vs Spurs tickets for the Oracle Arena.
Warriors @ Cavaliers Quicken Loans Arena February 26th
Starting price $55, Average price $96
The Warriors will be in the middle of a tough road trip as they play the Washington Wizards on 24th, and in Toronto the day after Cleveland. But the game versus the Cavaliers is the most intriguing and appealing, as the duel between Kyrie Irving and Steph Curry is sure to generate buzz. Another point is that Curry is the leading candidate for the MVP, an award Lebron James has won few times. View Cavaliers vs Warriors Tickets at the Quicken Loans Center.
Warriors February Schedule ticket prices are subject to change. All Golden State Warriors February Schedule of ticket prices are based on secondary market.
BY: Chris M.
The Utah Jazz February schedule of games is very tough. Almost 80% of their games are versus playoff teams. Most notably western powers such as the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies. However, on the other hand, the experience playing versus them is precious, and the Jazz need experience and high draft pick. The team from Utah already has a plethora of young players, but another top 5 or top 7 pick won’t hurt. They also play the Lakers, a team they directly fight for a higher pick.
The Jazz February Schedule last season saw 12 games played. The Jazz ended February 2014 with a 5-7 record. The Jazz were just 6-6 in their February schedule back in 2013. Ticket prices for the Utah Jazz also tend to dip in February. The 2014 Utah Jazz February schedule saw a -62% drop in ticket prices on the secondary market. With the Jazz currently 14-28 and almost out of the playoffs statistically there is no reason the same trend won’t happen in 2015.
5 top games in the Utah Jazz February schedule.
Jazz @ Trail Blazers, Moda Center, February 3,
Starting price $17, Average price $51
The Jazz start the month of February versus one of the top 3 teams in the West. To put it kindly, the start couldn’t be harder than this. The teams have never played so far this season, and this will one of the two duels in February. The second is on 20th February, in Utah.
Kings @ Jazz, EnergySolutions Arena, February 7,
Starting price $10, Average price $22
The Kings started the season strong, but they fall down to earth once Demarcus Cousins suffered the nasty meningitis. From there on, they fired their coach, and the team is now in no man’s land. They are away from a playoff spot, and they need to lose a series of games for a higher draft pick. They are doing the later excellent in the past few weeks, having lost 7 of their past 10 games. Even worse for Utah, they are “catching” the Jazz for a high draft pick.
Use our Jazz seating chart to help you select your seats! View all Jazz February Schedule of games at the Energy Solutions Arena. Select Jazz tickets by price, section and more.
Spurs @ Jazz, EnergySolutions Arena, February 23,
Starting price $11, Average price $42
Fun fact, the Jazz won the first duel between the teams, and the game was also played in Utah. In San Antonio, the Jazz managed to score only 69 points, and lost. If they win now, they have a chance to win the season series with the Spurs since long time ago. But that won’t be easy at all. But the most important silver lining from the game is the experience playing versus a true team.
Lakers @ Jazz, EnergySolutions Arena, February 25,
Starting price $16, Average price $65
The Jazz won the first matchup, but it might be better for them to lose this one. Nobody wants to lose, and publically tank, but the Jazz are in a position that they cannot go much up in the standings. The duels with the Lakers are meaningful factor in deciding who is ranked lower and who gets a higher pick. This especially applies for the Lakers, who would love to have their pick in the top 5, since they will keep it in that case.
Jazz @ Nuggets, Pepsi Center, February 27,
Starting price $13, Average price $32
The two teams that play in the same conference were playoff rivals around 5-6 years ago. Back then, Carmelo was playing for the Nuggets, and Deron Williams was playing for the Jazz. But things have change, and the two teams are now in the bottom of the Western Standings. However, a division game is always fun to see. The key thing to watch in this game is pace. Utah boasts the third slowest pace in the league, and Denver plays at the fourth fastest pace in the league.
All Utah Jazz February Schedule Ticket Prices are subject to change and based on the secondary ticketing market.
With a big matchup in Portland versus the Trail Blazers followed by a home date with Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers it was a big week of basketball for the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers split with the Blazers and Cavs. The Clippers defeated the Sacramento Kings to finish 2-1 during the week.
Week Recap: Wednesday night the Clippers made the trip to Portland to face the Trail Blazers, who are currently in second place in the Western Conference behind the Golden State Warriors. Los Angeles prevailed 100-94, earning a big road victory behind a big effort off the bench by Jamal Crawford. The long-time 6th man scored 25 points off the bench, including a big three pointer to give the Clippers the lead for good with 3:55 left. Chris Paul had 23 points with DeAndre Jordan adding 17 points and 18 rebounds. The victory over Portland set up a highly anticipated nationally televised game versus Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night at STAPLES Center. After losing 7 of 8 games with James resting due to multiple injuries, the Cavaliers were in turmoil coming in with many questioning the long term future of first year head coach David Blatt. As he has done so many times before, James had a big effort at STAPLES Center, leading the Cavaliers to a 126-121 victory in a wild game. The Clippers had six players in double figures with Blake Griffin leading the way with 34 points and 19 rebounds. Center DeAndre Jordan added 19 rebounds and 12 rebounds. It was a frustrating loss for the Clippers who gave up a season-high in points versus a Cavs team that had been struggling. The Clippers had very little rest, heading north to Sacramento to face the Kings on Saturday night with just a nights rest. The game was tied at halftime, but the Clippers pulled away with a solid second half. Blake Griffin led five Clippers in scoring with 30 points, with Matt Barnes adding 26, including four three-pointers. Chris Paul, JJ Redick and Jamal Crawford also scored in double figures for the Clippers.
Up Next for the Clippers: The Clippers have a winnable a game with the struggling Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night. The Clippers cap off the week with a big Sunday game versus the talented Phoenix Suns in Phoenix. With some winnable games coming up the Clippers will look to build some real momentum and perhaps an extended winning streak. Although they are in the thick of playoff contention in the Western Conference, Los Angeles hasn’t had the extended winning streaks that they’ve had in recent seasons. The can kick that off with wins in favored games versus the Celtics and Nets and a big road victory in Phoenix on Sunday night.
Clippers February Schedule
There is only four games on the Clippers February Schedule for 2015 at the Staples Center.
Houston Rockets @ Clippers Feb 11th 2015 7:30pm
Get In’s $22.00 | Average $75.00
The Houston Rockets and Clippers will start off the Clippers February Schedule at the Staples Center on Feb 11th. Currently the Rockets are in 4th place in the Western Conference. Houston is 7-3 in their last 10 games. The Clipppers won their first meeting with the Rockets on Nov 28th 102-85. View all Rockets vs Clippers Tickets for the Staples Center.
San Antoino Spurs @ Clippers Feb 19th 2015 7:30pm
Get In’s $29.00 | Average $85.00
The toughest game in the Clippers February schedule at home will be the San Antonio Spurs. Los Angeles has lost twice to them already this season. The Spurs are currently winners of 7 of last 10 games. San Antonio has also won 4 straight. This Feb 19th game at the Staples Center will be a great test for the Clippers. View all Clippers vs Spurs Tickets at the Staples Center.
Sacramento Kings @ Clippers Feb 21st 2015 7:00pm
Get In’s $26.00 | Average $93.00
The Sacremento Kings will be the third game in the Clippers February Schedule of games at the Staples Center. The Kings are pretty much done for the season currently at 16-25. Sacramento could play spoiler to the Clippers as they beat LA at the Staples Center on Nov 2nd. View all Clippers vs Kings tickets for the Staples Center.
Memphis Grizzlies @ Clippers Feb 23rd 2015 7:30pm
Get In’s $12.00 | Average $66.00
If the NBA Playoffs started today the Grizzlies and Clippers would be facing each other in the first round. Memphis is currenlty 3rd in the Western Conference and 6-4 in their last 10 games. The Grizzlies already beat the Clippers at the FedEx Forum in Nov. Marc Gasol and Zack Randoff will be a tough game for the Clippers February Schedule at home but a must needed win as well. View all Clippers vs Grizzlies Tickets for the Staples Center.
The Clippers February Schedule hasn’t been great for them in the past. In 2014 Los Angeles was 7-4 in February. In 2013 the Clippers were just 4-7 in February and in 2012 just 5-9. All four games on the Clippers Staples Center schedule in February are definitely winnable if LA can pull it together.
The Clippers February Schedule of away games doesn’t get much better for the LA. The Clippers face the Nets in Brooklyn on Feb 2nd. Lebron James and the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Feb 5th. The Toronto Raptors the next night Feb 6th in Canada. The Oklahoma City Thunder on Feb 8th at the Chesapeake Energy Center. The Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on Feb 9th will close out the Clippers February Schedule of road games.
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BY: Chris M.
The Lakers ended their 4-10 November record on a high note with a 129-122 victory over the Toronto Raptors, Kobe Bryant getting his 6,000 assist as well as a triple double becoming the first NBA player in history to score 30,000 points and 6,000 assists. The December Lakers Schedule will feature two of the best teams in the West as the Thunder and Warriors will be coming to the Staples Center.
Lakers vs Pelicans December 7, Average ticket price – $54
The Pelicans who are 7-8 won the first time the teams meet, but that was in New Orleans. Anthony Davis is playing on an MVP level this year, leading the league at PER (34 at the moment), and this is his first visit to the Staples Center this year. Davis and the Pelicans will come for a visit again in April. The December game is his chance to shine on one of the brightest stages in the NBA. Lakers vs Pelicans tickets start at $25.00 per ticket.
Lakers vs Kings, December 9, Average price – $80
More than half of the experts in the league expected the Kings to be a lottery bound team. However, a month into the season, and the Kings are just half a game out of the playoff picture, with a realistic shot to make the playoffs this season. Demarcus Cousins is the second best big man in the league at the moment, trailing only Anthony Davis. Fans at the Staples have a chance to see two of the best big man in the league in a span of just few days. Lakers vs Kings Tickets start at $26.00 per ticket.
Lakers vs Thunder, December 19, Average Price $127
By the time the Thunder came into town, Kevin Durant might be healthy. Even if he is not ready to go, hometown Russell Westbrook is healthy, and in his first game back from injury, Westbrook exploded versus the Knicks. The Thunder are one of the most exciting teams to watch, and they have a little history with the Lakers. Someone is going to have a big night, be it Westbrook, Durant or Kobe. Lakers vs Thunder tickets start at $62.00 per ticket.
Lakers vs Warriors, December 23, Average Price $140
Steph Curry schooled Bryant during a preseason game, and he got tap on the shoulder from the Black Mamba. This game has the potential to be a high scoring game, or a shooting matchup. With the Splash Brothers on one side, and Kobe competitiveness on the other, fans are the real winners. Kobe doesn’t forget easily, and he might go directly at the Splash Brothers and challenge them as much as possible. Lakers vs Warriors tickets start at $58.00 per ticket.
Lakers vs Suns, December 28, Average Price $90
Another show time team comes into town just before the New Year’s Eve. Phoenix is currently ranked 8th in the West, a spot Lakers hoped to occupy at the start of the season. With a three guard lineup, the Suns are fun and exciting, and they play at a fast pace. Thanks to Gerald Green, every game provides at least 2 highlights. Not that the Lakers play slow, they also like to push the pace. And as much as Gerald Green can do, Wesley Johnson can also provide few highlights here and there. Lakers vs Suns tickets start at $47.00 per ticket.
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You can checkout the top games and ticket prices for the Lakers January schedule.
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The West Elite: (San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors)
The veteran San Antonio Spurs picked up where they left off and are off to a fast start to begin the season. They’re well coached, experienced and deep and should contend for the top record in the NBA all season. If Tim Duncan and Tony Parker can stay healthy the Spurs are the favorites for a return trip to the finals. The Oklahoma City Thunder welcomed back Russell Westbrook early and their star point guard seems to be the same explosive player he was before his meniscus tear. The Thunder is 5-1 on the season with their lone loss versus the Minnesota Timberwolves. The presence of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook guarantees 55 to 60 wins—how that translates into the postseason is the big question. The Thunder still misses that extra scorer that James Harden once provided. The Los Angeles Clippers are still adjusting to the coaching style of Doc Rivers, but have a deep lineup and bench and an elite point guard in Chris Paul.
The Next in Line: (Minnesota, Memphis, Dallas, Houston)
The Minnesota Timberwolves are finally healthy and displaying the potential that many predicted when Ricky Rubio arrived in the United States. In Rubio, Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic the Wolves have one of the best trios in basketball and an elite Head Coach in Rick Adelman. The Wolves acquisition of Kevin Martin, who thrived under Adelman in Sacramento, has given the club the strong perimeter shooting two guard they missed. Look for the Wolves to challenge the 50 win mark and reach the playoffs for the first time under Love. Memphis switched Head Coaches, with Dave Joerger taking over for Lionel Hollins. They’ve struggled initially in the transition but still feature the same big and physical lineup that’s worked for them the past three seasons. Marc Gasol is one of the league’s best centers and he forms perhaps the best center/power forward combination in basketball with Zach Randolph. The Dallas Mavericks, who missed the playoffs last season, have rebuilt to make another run. The newly minted backcourt of Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon is working so far, giving Dirk Nowitzki the guard play he hasn’t had since the Mavs title run. The key for Dallas, like San Antonio, is the health of their veteran players. Over in Houston the Rockets have the potential to be in the elite group, but have struggled defensively so far this season. Dwight Howard is showing many of the same inconsistencies he displayed in Los Angeles last season and he’s not yet providing the interior defensive presence the Rockets desperately need. Houston can score points on anybody; the big question is whether or not they can defend like an NBA title contender. Right now the jury is still out.
On the Upswing: (Portland)
The Blazers are off to a fast start (5-2), although only one victory is over a legit playoff contender (San Antonio). That being said the Blazers look to be a club that can occupy the playoff position(s) that the Lakers and/or Denver may be vacating. LaMarcus Aldridge is one of the premier power forwards in the game, while Damian Lillard and Nicolas Batum are consistently improving their game. The Blazers have been efficient, reducing turnovers, and are second in the conference in field goal attempts per game. Their +4.0 scoring margin is good for 5th in the conference.
Bubble Teams: (Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans)
Putting the Lakers in the bubble team category may be a stretch. Their success hinges on how close to .500 they are when Kobe Bryant returns. Los Angeles has improved their overall depth and the youth of their roster, but still lacks the quality depth of most playoff contenders. It’s questionable whether or not Steve Nash has anything left in the tank as he battles persistent injuries. If Nash can’t provide the minutes the Lakers need they may plummet down the standings. The Pelicans are an interesting club. They’ve had some good victories this season as well as some bad performances. They’ve injected some talent into their roster but it’s still not clear how the backcourt trio of Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon, Jrue Holliday will co-exist due to their high ball usage rate. Inside though the Pelicans have the emerging Anthony Davis who’s quickly becoming the superstar many predicted. Davis alone could be the difference maker that vaults the Pelicans into playoff contention.
The Pretenders: (Sacramento, Denver)
The Sacramento Kings have a talented roster that once again looks like a bunch of spare parts. DeMarcus Cousins is one of the most talented big men in the game, putting together a solid season. His checkered past though makes it hard to rely on him day in and day out. Ben McLemore has great potential but he’s young and finding his place in the NBA. The Kings have nice depth inside and some solid role players, but due to the consistent roster overhaul it’s been hard for them to find consistency. They’ll be a lottery team again. Denver, a Western Conference power last season is off to a slow start in the post-George Karl era. Losing several key roster components, like Andre Iguodola, Corey Brewer and Kosta Koufus has disrupted their rotation. They still have Ty Lawson to lead the team but the recent injury to Javale McGee is another blow to their depth. Denver has a significant home court advantage at Pepsi Center that could make them a fringe playoff contender, but it’s hard to see them making much of a run.
Andrew Wiggins Contenders: (Utah)
The Jazz are the NBA’s worst right now. With Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson playing for other teams the Jazz are relying on the young of Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward and Enes Kanter to provide the bulk of the scoring. The trio has potential but they’re young and overmatched against the rest of the Western Conference. Utah is solidly positioned to get a high lottery pick with the ability to add a significant piece next June.
If your looking for discounts on Portland Trail Blazers Tickets then Barry’s Ticket Service has what you need. With a one and one record to start off the NBA season the Trail Blazers are looking toward November to get the momentum going. The Blazers will be looking at some great games at the Moda Center including Dwight Howard and the revamped Houston Rockets, Returning NBA superstar Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls and Carmelo Anthony and the New York Nets.
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The NBA preseason is coming to a close and most fans are gearing up for the exciting tip of the 2013-14 regular season. I have predicted that the Portland Trail Blazers are going to have a breakout year. I was hoping to do some research on the preseason stats of this Trail Blazers team but it does not look as if that is going to happen. The only stat I can find is the overall preseason record for the Trail Blazers. At this point they are 4-2 with a final preseason game against the Golden State Warriors on October 24th. After six preseason games there is not a single website on the Internet that has team or player stats. Am I missing something?
The Internet Era
Prior to my research of NBA preseason stats I was a firm believer that almost anything could be found on the Internet. I am quite efficient with Google and search, in general. This makes me believe that either preseason stats are not recorded or no one cares about the NBA preseason schedule. It is hard to fathom the latter. With millions of diehard fans looking to consume as much content as possible how on Earth could no one care about these games?
Social media is chock full of people blasting out short bits of information about sporting events. Unfortunately, no one has full game stats. They might mention that Damian Lillard has 16 points at the end of the third quarter but that is doing me no good. Either I have lost my ability to find data online or there are no stats for this particular team. I will admit that the Trail Blazers aren’t the favorite to win the West heading into the regular season but they do have the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year. From the few articles I could find about the NBA Preseason it looks as if he is lighting it up.
Damian Lillard 2013 NBA Preseason
One of the few articles I could find related to the Trail Blazers this preseason explained that Lillard had a tremendous game against the Sacramento Kings. Lillard had 16 or his 28 points in the third quarter and he lead his team to a 109-105 victory. The Kings are not expected to be a contender this year but the Trail Blazers scoring 109 points in a preseason game puts a smile on the face of many fans in Portland. The game against the Kings brings up some interesting points.
Lillard is the point guard of the Portland Trail Blazers but he is going to be asked to do much more during the 2013-14 NBA season. Unlike Chris Paul and other distributing point guards, Lillard is going to be asked to put up 30 points a game in some games during the season. Whether or not he can do this consistently has yet to be seen. When teams focus on Lillard he is going to have to adjust his game to score while also being willing to distribute to JJ Hickson and LaMarcus Aldridge.
LaMarcus Aldridge and Injuries
Something I am greatly concerned about is LaMarcus Aldridge and his injuries. Big men have struggled to stay healthy in the NBA. This is especially true in Portland. In previous articles I have mentioned that a big man is no longer a necessity in the NBA. A point guard and scorer is much more important with the new NBA hand checking rules. If teams have a player that can beat a defender off the dribble it makes the offense much more efficient. I think it is safe to say that NBA centers and power forwards are not beating anyone off the dribble.
LaMarcus Aldridge sat out the game against the Sacramento Kings to rest his sore right knee. This could be an ongoing theme for him in 2013-14. Big men are known for having knee problems over the course of their career. Luckily, Aldridge is a very young player but that does not mean he will avoid situations that could cause further injuries. Bumping into knees of other players is very common in the NBA. When athletes are leaning up against other 6’10”, 275 pound men there is going to be some type of contact with the lower body. Some of the best big men in history had terrible knee problems throughout their entire careers.
Something the Trail Blazers might do is rest Aldridge every few games or so. We are no longer living in an era in which NBA players can compete in all 82 games of the season. Even the most durable players need a night off every so often. When I was growing up Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were on the court every single night. This just does not happen these days. I can remember Jordan playing when he had the flu. One of the most epic performances by Jordan was in the NBA Playoffs when he had the flu and could barely walk. He was known for playing out of this world when he was sick.
Today’s NBA players are not going to play through pain or sickness. In all reality, this is probably a good idea as health is a much bigger concern today than it was 15 years ago. Players are doing their best to keep their body healthy. The NBA season is very long and enduring. Playing through an injury might cause further problems down the road. If LaMarcus Aldridge feels as if his knees are not in the best of condition there is nothing wrong with sitting out a game or two. Losing two or three games is not going to end the season for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Home Court Advantage
If the Portland Trail Blazers truly want to make a run at the playoffs in the 2013-14 season they will need to defend their home court. If they make the Moda Center, formerly the Rose Garden, a tough place to play for opponents it will go a very long way towards producing a playoff product. Fans love to attend games in which the team is not only competing but winning. If attendance numbers start to increase it will make the atmosphere even more difficult for the opposition.
During the amazing runs by the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s they almost never lost at home. At the time the United Center was rocking every single home game. When Michael Jordan was announced as part of the starting lineup the crowd went crazy. When I was a child, the Bulls were one of the first teams to actually turn off the lights for the introductions. This was a huge event and everyone got to the game early so they could see the light show and the introductions. Songs ended up becoming very popular just because they were part of introductions.
The technology era has changed the way many fans consume professional sports. It is no longer the case that fans need to attend the game to watch their favorite players. In the 1990s my parents had to purchase a special satellite package in order to see most of the Bulls games. Even though we paid the extra money there were still times when the games were not on TV. Today, it is a given that every game will be available for fans willing to pay money. If they cannot watch it on their TV they can watch it online or listen to the game on SiriusXM satellite radio. This has made it difficult for some small market teams to get fans in the seats at a sporting event.
There is one cure for getting fans in the seats – winning. If the Portland Trail Blazers can put a winning product on the court there is no argument to be made they will sell more tickets. A team in playoff contention is much more fun to watch than a team that is floundering near the bottom of the division or conference. This is why the Portland Trail Blazers have gotten younger in the past few years. A young team that is playoff bound will bring tens of thousands of people to the arena. Unfortunately, if this young team shows too much immaturity and they give away games you can be rest assured fans are not going to fill the seats during the 2013-14 season.
Something that diehard NBA fans like to track is away attendance. I hate to keep going back to the mid 1990s Bulls but they were the template on how to run an organization. When the Bulls went to another arena they almost always sold the game out because people wanted to watch Michael Jordan and company. No matter how bad the opponent the Bulls would bring the fans into the stadium. This is something the Trail Blazers need to work on but having Damian Lillard at full tilt might be just what the doctor ordered. If he goes off for 40 points a few games this season it will put fans in the seats.
Once again the Clips showed their teeth and won easily on the road by double digits to record their 13th straight win and the six consecutive on the road. They have already broken their all-time winning record with their last win against the Sacramento Kings. “We hear it all but we’re about just getting these wins and if they come within a streak or when we haven’t won somewhere, that’s fine.” said star forward Blake Griffin after the game. He led all scorers with 23 and some monster dunks during the game. He also grabbed 11 rebounds and made once again clear that he is capable to retain his all-star level gameplay and help his team reach its goals this season. He was successful on 7 of his 11 attempts from the field and also hit a 3-pointer in his 32-minute performance. For yet another time, Clippers Head coach did a great job distributing minutes effectively between the starters and the bench. “I thought our starters did a good job in the first quarter and then our second quarter, we jumped on them” , commented Clippers Coach Vinnie Del Negro.
Chris Paul also had a great game with 17 points and 13 assists. The usual suspects off the bench, Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes contributed as well as they normally do combining for 37 points. The team shot an overall 55.2% from three point range, 11-21 and also made 38 shots from the field in 71 attempts, 53.5%, while holding their opponents to just 36.3% and a disappointing 3-17 from beyond the arc. Although the Suns had a good start and were up 14-12, two made shots from downtown from Caron Butler boosted the score to 50-69 for the Clips but they didn’t stop there and continued to make it a 31 point game, 60-91 in the end of the third period.
It was a rather non-flattering performance for the Suns, who were left wide open on defense in many times and turned the ball over allowing their opponents to score easy baskets. Jared Dudley had a team-high 19 points and Luis Scola finished with 11, while the rest of the team ended up in single digits. The Suns tied their season low in points scored. Head Coach Alvin Gentry was ejected with 2:33 left in the first half, after receiving two consecutive technical fouls. Six technical fouls were issued to both teams during the first three quarters.
Phoenix played without their star forward Michael Beasly and knew even before the game that this one would be tough for them. The Clippers are still playing without Chauncey Billups and Grant Hill, who both are sidelined with injuries. During their winning streak, they have won by an average of 13 points, four of them are with a 20+ points difference.
The Clippers play in front of their home crowd at Christmas against the Nuggets and then face the Boston Celtics at the Staples Center on Thursday. Last two games of the year are against the Utah Jazz, first one away and the last one, Sunday December 30th at Staples Center. Phoenix plays home on Wednesday night against the Knicks.
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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.
Home of the sacramento kings formerly known as arco arena
Then power balance arena is now called SLEEP TRAIN ARENA With that said, the Sacramento Kings found a new sponsor to buy the naming rights to their arena. Sleep Train Mattress Centers stepped up, and the Kings’ facility now will be called Sleep Train Arena. The team announced the multiyear deal Monday.
Let the jokes begin…the kings who have won only 33 percent of their games over the last 5 yrs will put their fans in a DEEP SLUMBER
And if your not ready for sleep before a kings game you will be after.