Heading down the stretch in the Western Conference playoff race the Los Angeles Clippers are solidly in third place with potential to surpass the Oklahoma City Thunder for second place. Like the first place Spurs the Clippers are peaking at the right time, with victories in 12 of their last 13 games. Following their upcoming five game road trip the Clippers can finish off the season at STAPLES Center, heading into the playoffs with the potential to win as many as 60 games. Now the dominant team in Los Angeles the Clippers head into the postseason with big expectations. With consecutive Pacific Division titles and a loaded roster anything less than a deep run into the Western Conference playoffs would be a disappointment for the franchise. From the acquisition of Doc Rivers to the building of a deep bench the Clippers organization has made the moves necessary to contend for a title. The two teams in the Clippers way, the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder, are veteran laden clubs with championship pedigree. Both have reached the finals the past two seasons. While the Thunder took a tiny step back with the trade of James Harden and the injury to Russell Westbrook, the Clippers look ready to make the ascent and challenge San Antonio.
Here are five reasons the Clippers will knock off the San Antonio Spurs:
DOC & GREG
Doc Rivers: Look no further than San Antonio and Greg Popovich for a perfect example of the impact of head coaching in the NBA. The Spurs are an outstanding organization with multiple future Hall of Famers, but they also have arguably the best head coach in professional sports. In seeking Doc Rivers to replace Vinny Del Negro the Clippers significantly improved at the head coaching position. The presence of Rivers has improved the Clippers significantly on the defensive end of the court. The Clippers are currently 6th in the NBA defensive rankings, giving up just 101.5 points per game and 4th in effective field goal percentage, behind Miami, San Antonio and the Houston Rockets. It’s an old adage that defense wins championships, but the adage holds true in the NBA.
The Evolution of Blake Griffin: In the past three months Blake Griffin has gone from a player that many around the NBA still questioned as an elite star, to a potential MVP candidate. When Chris Paul went down with an injury early in 2014 Griffin went on a tear and carried the team on his back until Paul returned. The former top overall pick is playing the best basketball of his career and will give the Spurs fits in the playoffs. Griffin has turned into the dependable post option that the Clippers need to contend for a title.
Youth: Based on the past few seasons the idea of writing off the Spurs due to the age of Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili would be a major mistake. Popovich has masterfully managed the roster this season, somehow locking up the likely top overall seed while managing to not play a single player more than 30 minutes per game. This strategy has preserved the legs of veterans Duncan, Parker and Ginobili. The big question is whether or not this regular season strategy can translate to the playoffs. If Duncan, Parker and Ginobili are forced to play big minutes come postseason the Clippers relative depth and youth should be a factor.
The Clippers Bench: Over the past several seasons one of the secrets to the Spurs success has been their bench strength. They’ve done an incredible job finding and developing young talent to play alongside their veteran core. The Clippers bench depth, more than any other team in the Western Conference, rivals that of the Spurs. During the recent trade deadline the Clippers made moves to acquire Glen Davis and Danny Granger, to provide even more assistance to a unit that includes Matt Barnes, Jamal Crawford, Darren Collison and Jared Dudley. As a result the Clippers boast a reserve until every bit as deep as San Antonio.
Chris Paul: The secret to the Spurs success over the past five seasons is the play of point guard Tony Parker. While Tim Duncan has taken a secondary role Parker has assumed the role of the go-to player in the lineup. His combination of speed and quickness makes him incredibly hard to guard and helps drive the Spurs offense. In the 28 games the two have played against each other during their NBA careers the matchup has essentially been a standstill. Parker and the Spurs have won 18 of the 28 matchups, largely due to the dominance of the Spurs during Paul’s years with the Hornets. Parker has struggled with nagging injuries the past two seasons and the presence of Paul will make Parker work at both ends of the court, expending important energy on the defensive end.
It would be a giant mistake to write the Spurs off after the dominant regular seasons they’ve had the past two years and the deep playoff run they made in 2013, but Duncan and Ginobili are a year older and their ability to continually answer the bell has to come to an end at some point. The Clippers are peaking at the right time and should have what it takes to upset San Antonio in the Western Conference playoffs.Chris Michaels.
You can purchase Clippers Vs Spurs Tickets as well as Tickets to all Clippers games with No Service Fees on any tickets. Located Caddy Corner from the Staples Center itself Barry’s Tickets has been serving the Clipper Nation since 1985 with great seats and even better prices to all Clippers games.
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The Portland Trail Blazers are the biggest surprise in the NBA this season. Some analysts could have predicted a good course for them in 2013-2014 but even the most optimistic fan wouldn’t expect a 23-5 start and the first seed in the conference. The Blazers look to continue their hot streak in 2014. Let’s break down their schedule.
The first game for Portland in 2014 comes on January 2 against the Charlotte Bobcats. The Blazers should start the New Year with a victory. The Philadelphia 76ers are their next opponent, again at home.
After a game on the road against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday, January 7, the Blazers return at home to play three straight at the Moda Center. They start on January 8 in a game against the Orlando Magic, three days later they host the Boston Celtics and then they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Portland then goes on a four-game road trip, which starts on Friday, January 17 at San Antonio. A day later they meet the Dallas Mavericks and on January 20 they play against the Houston Rockets. The road trip ends with a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Tuesday, January 21.
Then The Blazers host the Denver Nuggets and the Minnesota Timberwolves, before playing against the Golden State Warriors on the road, on January 26.
Memphis and Toronto will be visiting Portland to play against the Blazers. Neither of those two opponents should be underestimated, despite their slow start in the season.
Another four-game road trip is next for the Blazers, with the first game being scheduled for February 3 against the Washington Wizards. On February 5 the Blazers play against the New York Knicks in the Madison Square Garden. The Indiana Pacers are their next opponent, in what will be a really tough and interesting game. The Pacers and the Blazers are arguably the two hottest teams this season. The four-game road trip ends in Minnesota on February 8.
The Trail Blazers then play two difficult games, the first one on February 11 against the Thunder and one day later against the Clippers. Then they play three straight at home, versus the Spurs, the Utah Jazz and the Wolves.
On February 25 the Blazers travel to Denver to play against the Nuggets again and then they return at home to play four straight at the Moda Center. The Brooklyn Nets, the Nuggets, the Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks will be their opponents.
A five-game road trip then is scheduled for the Blazers. It starts with a game against the Dallas Mavericks on March 7. Houston, Memphis and San Antonio are the next stops for Portland before their road-trip ends on March 14 in New Orleans.
On Sunday, March 16, the Golden State Warriors come to Portland to take on the Blazers. Then the Blazers host the Milwaukee Bucks and the Washington Wizards.
Another five-game road trip follows, with Charlotte being the first stop. Miami, Orlando, Atlanta and Chicago follow. The last game for March comes on Sunday, March 30 against the Grizzlies at the Moda Center.
The Blazers will face the Lakers on April 1, then they will host the Suns, the Pelicans and the Sacramento Kings. Utah is their next stop before the team returns to Portland to host the last two games of the regular season, against the Warriors on April 13 and against the Clips on April 16.
My prediction is the Trail Blazers are for real and will end up winning the Western Conference when all is said and done! Now beating the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals is a whole different ball of wax.
People love sports. If you don’t believe that, just walk in to a professional sporting competition and catch a glimpse of the borderline hysterical behavior. You may have even been guilty yourself, screaming your head off at the referee or razzing the opposing team’s outfielder in between innings. But no matter what we do when supporting our favorite athlete or team, the most accurate gauge of enthusiasm is in the price we’re willing to pay just to “be there” and experience it for ourselves.
In that spirit, check out this list we’ve put together of the Top 16 Most Expensive Sports Tickets from recent years. As you look over these ask yourself: how far you’d be willing to go to experience the action firsthand? Is a ticket to a 3-4 hr sporting event worth a mortgage payment or the price of a new car?
1. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Sport: F1 Racing
Formula 1 Racing is the most popular racing sport in the world, and while events such as the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix can put a sting on your pocketbook, they’re not as expensive as some of the other sports you’re about to see. However, Abu Dhabi is considered the most expensive F1 event in the world, and to make sure you’re a part of it, you’ll have to lay down around $513 for a single ticket. Not too bad comparably, but if you’re an international fan, any savings you might get from the ticket will quickly be negated by travel expenses.
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Highlights Through The Years
2. The Masters 2013
Sport: PGA Golf
While Yahoo! Sports declared The Masters the most expensive event in all of sports, that really depends on how you want to qualify it. Prices fluctuate when you factor in third-party sellers and the natural supply and demand for any sporting competition, so for now, we’ll hold off our endorsement. Still, the $4,486 four-day pass does make The Masters a big deal. What also makes it a big deal is the fact you’ll be literally brushing shoulders with Tiger Woods, Phil Mickleson, and other modern greats of the green, while filling up on $3 beers and $1.50 pimento cheese sandwiches.
Top 10 Greatest Golf Shots in The Masters
3. Super Bowl XLVII: Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers
Sport: American Football
If you’re an American, then it’s almost guaranteed you know about the Super Bowl. In fact, of the ten most watched shows in television history, nine of them are Super Bowls. Even if you’re not a football fan, you probably tune in every year just to watch the commercials and the halftime show. But as game day draws near, you’ll need some really deep couch cushions if you’re going to attend in-person. Face value ticket prices for 2013 averaged about $1,210, according to NOLA.com, but third party ticket prices were listed as high as $316,000. Good luck footing that bill!
Super Bowl XLVII: Ravens vs. 49ers highlights
4. FIFA World Cup 2014 Final
Soccer is far and away the biggest team sport in the world. While the United States is just starting to embrace it as part of the mainstream, we’re way behind everyone else. With clubs that date back more than a century, there is an enormous amount of heritage and respect tied to the game that ingrains it into the dreams of young hopefuls from the time they first learn how to bicycle kick. But if you think playing in the global tournament-to-end-all-tournaments is difficult, you should try attending. The World Cup 2014 will be held in Brazil, and to get there, you’ll need at least $990 for a single ticket to the Final, plus travel expenses. Furthermore, if you want to see all group and tournament matches for a specific team, it’ll run you about $3,350 per person for all seven matches. Of course, if your team doesn’t make it through the tourney, you can still go to the R16, quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals, or you may want to sell those to help defray trip costs, but doing so will be an uphill battle.
Germany vs Argentina (1-0) World Cup 2014 Highlights
5. BCS National Championship 2013: Alabama vs. Notre Dame
Sport: College Football
Alabama Crimson Tide Head Football Coach Nick Saban has led his team to three National Championships since 2009, including a victory against his former employer (the LSU Tigers) in 2011. During that game, the Tide also topped ticket prices with an average cost of $632.71, according to ESPN. But that was nothing compared to the prices for ‘Bama’s 2012 drubbing of Notre Dame. High-end buyers for the 2012 BCS title game had to pay as much as $250,000 for a luxury box. (Seats were not sold separately.)
01/07/2013 BCS National Championship: Alabama vs Notre Dame Highlights
6. London Olympics 2012: Opening Ceremony
Sport: Track & Field
While events, such as swimming, basketball, and tennis can fetch several hundred dollars per ticket on the resell market, nothing compares to the price for an Olympic Opening Ceremony ticket. SeatGeek tracked ticket purchases throughout the 2012 Games in London and found that people were willing to pay as much as $4,000 for category B seats on eBay. The next closest event was swimming, which clocked in with an average ticket a little north of $700. Depending on the events you decided to attend after the lighting of the torch, this one could have gotten out of hand in a hurry, price-wise.
7. NBA Finals 2010, Game 7: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics
The Lakers-Celtics rivalry is one of the most popular in all of sports. So when the two met up for the 2010 NBA Finals, high ticket prices were to be expected. The result: a single courtside ticket ran $57,950. For a pair (the minimum purchase), it was more than $115,000, or a little north of the price tag on a 2011 Mercedes-Benz SL-550 convertible (according to the New York Times). Considering the Lakers would take the title in the seventh and final game by just four points, some might say the expense was worth it — Lakers fans anyway.
2010 NBA Finals – Boston vs Los Angeles – Game 7 Best Plays
8. New York Yankees Legends Suites
High ticket prices needn’t be tied to the importance of a sports competition. Sometimes tickets are expensive just because of where you’re sitting and whom you’re watching. Take the Legends Suites at Yankee Stadium. The suites hold 122, and each ticket runs close to $2,500, according to Forbes. Furthermore, they have to be leased years in advance in three-, five-, seven-, and ten-year increments. At the very least, that’s around $915,000 per game. And if the Yankees manage to make it into the playoffs, it gets pricier from there, easily cracking the $1 million mark.
Boxing’s current pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather, Jr., defeated knockout puncher Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on September 14 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, and walked away with a cool $42 million, thanks in part to what people were willing to pay at the box office. Ringside seats went for as much as $30,940 per ticket due to both fighters being unbeaten.
Floyd Mayweather vs Saul Canelo Alvarez Highlights
10. UFC: Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson
When Jon Jones defended his UFC light heavyweight championship against top contender Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 on September 21, he did so in front of an always lively Canadian crowd, who as countrymen to UFC great Georges St.-Pierre, take their MMA very seriously. The fight, which took place in Toronto, featured a number of tickets that went for north of $1,000, with four being offered at $2,995. For that price, patrons were so close to the cage, they needed an umbrella to deflect the bloodshed.
UFC 165 Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson Fight Highlights
11. Stanley Cup Finals 2013: Boston Bruins vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Sport: Ice Hockey
The US isn’t known for its embrace of professional ice hockey. Historically, the sport has been more of a Canada-Russia thing. So when two American cities squared off for the Stanley Cup in 2013, no one expected average prices to reach $1,380; but then, no one expected the Boston Marathon bombing to happen either. Forbes attributed the uptick in pricing to the tragedy, noting how repeat championship appearances often drive future ticket prices downward. Since the Bruins had been to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2011, the 30 percent spike in this year’s prices indicated the city was latching on to every source of pride it could to overcome the senseless tragedy of April 15, 2013.
NHL Stanley Cup Finals 2013 Boston Bruins vs Chicago Blackhawks Game 6 – highlights All Goals
12. Wimbledon Finals 2013: Andy Murray vs. Novak Djovokic
International tennis stars Andy Murray and Novak Djovokic squared off in July 2013 in what would become one of the more expensive events in Wimbledon’s history. On the morning of the championship match, ticket prices soared to around $65,000 each. For the price, last-minute buyers were treated to a three-hour battle for the ages that resulted in Murray defeating Djovokic, becoming the first British winner of the men’s singles title since Fred Perry in 1936 and the first Scot — man or woman — to win Wimbledon singles since Harold Mahoney in 1896.
13. Vancouver Olympics 2010: Men’s Hockey Final — Canada vs. US
Sport: Ice Hockey
Whether it was place, circumstance, or a combination of the two, the men’s 2012 Winter Olympics ice hockey final managed to top that year’s Super Bowl in terms of face value ticket prices. A single pass to the overtime thriller that saw host country Canada taking the Gold Medal from the US, 3-2, would have cost an individual $3,250, according to CNN Money. Despite the expense, the neighboring countries were still able to pack in more than 17,000 people.
Top 10 Hockey Plays Of The 2010 Olympics
14. WWE Wrestlemania 29
Sport: Professional Wrestling
Given the fact the outcomes are rehearsed ahead of time, it’s perfectly understandable if you don’t want to acknowledge the WWE as a sport. The company classifies its product as “sports entertainment,” which sounds closer to reality. Regardless, it does take a high degree of athleticism to be able to do the things many of these wrestlers do, and patrons of the company’s annual event, known as Wrestlemania, are willing to pay big money to see their ring heroes up close and personal.
What qualifies as “big money” in the pro wrestling world? In November 2012, ringside tickets for last April’s show went on sale at $2,075 a pop. But hey, at least you got to keep your seat!
Phoenix, Arizona’s Chase Field hosted the 2011 contest between the National League and American League All-Stars. If you were in attendance and sitting right behind home plate, then you had to pay $3,600 for the honor. But per the rules of the event, you were also required to purchase an additional ticket at the same price, which meant the entire experience would have cost $7,200 before even getting to the hot dogs and beer.
16. Major League Baseball World Series Game 7 2016
Cleveland, Ohio’s Progressive Field hosted the 2016 World Series game seven between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians. If you were in attendance and sitting behind the Chicago Cubs dugout, then you had to pay $19,500. But per the rules of the event, you were also required to purchase an additional ticket at the same price, which meant the entire experience at the World Series game 7 would have cost $39,000 before even getting parking, food, drinks or MLB merchandise. The get’in price for the game 7 of the World Series was $2,400 per ticket.
Cubs vs Indians | World Series Game 7 Highlights (Cubs Win World Series)
As you can see, when it comes to sports, fans are willing to pay almost any price to support their favorites. While most people reading this wouldn’t dream of shelling out $30,000 for a single ticket, there’s always someone out there with the wallet and the passion to push the laws of supply and demand a little further than we thought possible.
What is the most that you would be willing to pay to attend a sporting event, and under what circumstances would you be willing to pay it? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and definitely consider ordering your next concert, sports, or theatre ticket from http://www.BarrysTickets.com/ in the future.