The Lakers March Schedule 2015 will have seven games at Staples Center. LA will be on the road for nine games during the Lakers March Schedule of away games.
With the surgery of Kobe Bryant, it became official Lakers have lost the season. Now, the only thing left to do is to try and secure a top 5 draft pick. In another case, the pick goes to the Phoenix Suns, and the Lakers will lose a valuable asset in their rebuilding project. In March, they will play few games with direct rivals for a higher pick. The trick is that the Lakers must lose those games in order to stay in the play for the pick. At the moment, the Lakers have the 4th worst record in the league which guarantees them a top 5 pick. But they can get “lower” and grab a higher pick.
Knicks @ Lakers, Staples Center, March 12, Starting price $22, Average price $126
After rejecting the Lakers during the offseason, this will be the first time Carmelo will come to LA. The duels between the Knicks and the Lakers were once an epic matchup, but the two of the largest NBA cities have fallen down. And with the Knicks in town, there will be millions of side stories about Phil Jackson, Melo, Derek Fisher and much more.
Lakers @ Warriors Oracle Arena March 16th
Starting price $84 | Average price $151
The score between the teams is 2-1. But the fun part is, the Lakers are probably the only team in the league that have scored 100+ points versus the No.1 defense in the league in every game they’ve played. Los Angeles has no problem scoring versus Golden State, but the problem is how to defend them. At least the fans can enjoy a high scoring game. View Tickets.
Jazz @ Lakers Staples Center March 19th.
Starting price $17 | Average price $59
This will be the last duel of the two teams. There was a time when LA had better record than the Jazz. But they started losing, and the Jazz won few games. Now, the tables are turned. Neither team has a chance to make the playoffs, which means the duels will decide ranking in the draft. The Jazz won the first duel between the two teams in Utah.
Sixers @ Lakers Staples Center, March 22th.
Starting price $19 | Average price $71
The Lakers and Sixers have yet to play this season. But in March, they will play twice, once in Los Angeles and once in Philadelphia. The difference between the teams in the standings is two games, so these duels might decide who gets a higher pick.
Lakers @ Timberwolves Target Center March 25th.
Starting price $10 | Average price $60
With the return of Ricky Rubio to the lineup, and the growth of Andrew Wiggins, the Timberwolves have started to win games here and there. And with Lakers losing like they do, they might overcome the Timberwolves as the worst team in the Western Conference. That won’t be a bad thing, considering the lower the seeding, the higher the draft pick.
Lakers March Schedule Staples Center
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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.
The Lakers are sitting in just four games ahead of the Minnesota Timberwolves for last place in the Western Conference and 21.5 games behind the Golden State Warriors. While the 2014/2015 regular season for the Lakers can pretty much be called well before the All-Star game break.
The driving force of Lakernation is will this be the last time I ever see Kobe Bryant play which is getting harder to predict with Kobe resting multiple games, talk of pulling Kobe for the season so he can rest.
Lakers games at the Staples Center attendance has actually gone up in 2015 according to ESPN with an average of 18,962 (99.5%) a 0.7% percent higher than their 2014 of 18,828 (98.8%) average although they have dropped from 8th place to 10th place on home game attendance. The Lakers are currently 6-15 at the Staples Center. Lakers tickets on average have raised in 2015 to $125.00 per ticket average a 27% rise since 2014 ending Lakers tickets average of $98.00 per ticket. This price jump on Lakers tickets is more due to strength of schedule as two of the five home games they played at Staples in January were Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers and Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat.
On the road the Lakers are drawing 18,283 (95.5) per game which has also risen 2.4% in 2015 from their average draw of 17,845 a game in 2014.
Wizards @ Lakers Staples Center Jan 27th
Get in’s $29.00 | average price $64.00 (down 3%)
Holding second place in the Eastern Conference and 5.0 games behind the Atlanta Hawks the Washington Wizards come to the Staples Center in their only game against the Lakers in LA. Lakers tickets price average on the secondary market for the game against the Wizards is down this week by 3% and down -154.68% from their last season average of $163.00per ticket. View all Wizards vs Lakers tickets at the Staples Center.
Nets @ Lakers Staples Center Feb 20th
Get in’s $37.00 | average price $95.00
With the Brooklyn Nets in the news about possibly being up for sale it has boosted the Lakers tickets price average against the Nets at Staples Center up by 5.5% since December 31st 2014. The Nets are sitting in the eighth seed of the Eastern Conference and led by Joe Johnson’s 15.9 points per game and Kevin Garnetts 7.3 rebounds per game. You can view all Nets vs Lakers tickets for the Staples Center.
Bucks @ Lakers Staples Center Feb 27th
Get in’s $24.00 | average price $81.00
The Milwaukee Bucks are currently in 5th place in the East and 5 games behind the Chicago Bulls for the fourth spot. The Bucks made the headlines this week playing the New York Knicks in London England at the 02 arena where they came away with a 95-79 win. Although Lakers tickets average against the Bucks is still down -26% from their $110.00 2013 price Lakers tickets for the Feb 27th game are actually up 5.19% from their Dec 2014 average price of $77.00. View all Bucks vs Lakers tickets at the Staples Center.
Hawks @ Lakers Staples Center March 15th
Get in’s $29.00 | Average price $79.00
The Atlanta Hawks are currently the hottest team in the NBA. Sitting in first place in the Eastern Conference 5 games ahead of the Wizards and the Hawks are 12-0 in their last 12 games. They are 16-3 at the Philips Arena and 17.5 at home. The Hawks are ranked 24th in attendance at home averaging 16,181 per night but on the road they are ranked 7th just behind the Raptors drawing 18,005 (91.9%). While Hawks against the Lakers in Atlanta averaged $82.00 per ticket the Staples Center game is averaging $79.00 per ticket. View all Hawks vs Lakers tickets at the Staples Center.
Jazz @ Lakers Staples Center March 19th
Get in’s $19.00 | average price $69.00
Long gone are the Karl Malone John Stockton days for the struggling Utah Jazz who come into the Staples Center 2 ½ points in front of the Lakers. The Jazz are 7-12 at home and 7-14 on the road this season. Lakers vs Jazz average ticket prices are down -37.27% from their Jan 03, 2014 game at the Staples Center which saw an average of $110.00 per ticket.
View all Jazz vs Lakers tickets for the Staples Center.
Clippers @ Lakers Staples Center April 5th
Get In’s $60.00 | Average Price $150.00
The last Clippers @ Lakers game of the season and with only 7 games left in the 2015 regular season the LakerNation would love nothing more than an upset against the Clippers to end the season. The struggling Los Angeles Clippers are currently sitting in 6th place in the Western Conference and only 3 points away from second place Portland Trail Blazers so this game against the Lakers at the end of the season could have a lot on the line for the Clips. Although ticket prices are down -50% from their $300.00 average price in the 2013/14 season they are actually up 7.14% from their 2014 average. View all Clippers vs Lakers Tickets for the Staples Center.
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The Cavs are slowly starting to look like the championship contender many envisioned them to be when they signed LeBron James and traded for Kevin Love. There are still bumps on the road, and the roles are not clearly defined, but the team is playing better and better. It took the Heat one year to find out how they should play, and an injury to Chris Bosh to finally grasp and embrace the idea of position-less basketball and place the ball in James hands. The Cavs took less time, as Irving is slowly learning to play off the ball, and let LeBron create more for others. The biggest problem is their defense, but they are getting there. LeBron claimed they should win all 82 rebound battles during the season, but that hasn’t happened, even though the team has excellent rebounders in Anderson Varejao and Kevin Love. This is their home schedule for the Quicken Loans Arena January.
Cavs vs Mavs, January 4, Average price $72
One team that can fully explore Cavs weakness on the defensive end is the Mavericks. They have the best offense in the NBA by far, and with so many weapons, teams are having hard time holding the Mavs below 100 points per possession. Tyson Chandler owns the glass, and if the Cavs are not careful, he will punish them. Cavaliers vs Mavericks Tickets starting price is $66.00
Cavs vs Rockets, January 7, Average price $86
Another duel where the Cavs are poised to lose the rebound battle. Just few days after hosting the Mavs and Tyson Chandler, Dwight Howard and the Rockets are in town. And the Rockets are another team with many weapons, particularly on the perimeter, where they can shoot lights out. James might have to guard Harden, the leading scorer at the moment. Love is one player that can hurt the Rockets, as they do not have someone who can step out and is mobile enough to guard Love.Cavaliers vs Rockets Tickets starting price is $36.00
Cavs vs Bulls, January 19, Average price $189
The duel of two former MVP players is sure to produce some entertainment, and probably some bad blood. James is not liked in Chicago, and neither does he love the Bulls. Joakim Noah has tossed some words towards LeBron multiple times. While he was with the Heat, James was an obstacle the Bulls could not pass. Now with the Cavs, he might be even more dangerous. And we cannot forget Kyrie Irving and his duel with Derrick Rose. Cavaliers vs Bulls Tickets start starting price is $82.00
Cavs vs Jazz, January 21, Starting price $34, Average price $78
You better bet LeBron hasn’t forgotten the first duel between the teams, and Gordon Hayward’s game winning shot over James. The Jazz better be prepared for James’s revenge, as he is known to remember things. Even though he doesn’t show it, LeBron is a player with long memory. And he knows how hard his duels with the Jazz are, and how much he hates losing in Utah. Now at home, he will probably show them good he is.Cavaliers vs Jazz Tickets starting price is $34.00
Cavs vs Hornets, January 23, Average price $189
The Hornets are looking to trade Lance Stephenson, the player LeBron loves to play against. The Cavs won the first duel of the season. The Hornets are still in a mess, but they do have one player that can punish Cleveland, and his name is Big Al Jefferson. No player on Cavs roster can guard Jefferson inside, and he was a problem for James as well. The point guard matchup between Kemba Walker and Kyrie Irving is another one to watch for.Cavaliers vs Hornets Tickets start starting price is $86.00
Cavs vs Thunder, January 25, Average price $147
Is there a better matchup and a duel in the league than this one? The Thunder won the first game of the season, but that was with James in street clothes. Just think about, Ibaka vs Love, Irving vs Westbrook, and of course, James vs Durant. Three premium matchups at three different positions make this game a must watch.Cavaliers vs Thunder Tickets starting price is $96.00
Cavs vs Blazers, January 28, Average price $90
In the first week of the season, the Blazers absolutely dominated the Cavs in their first matchup. But Cleveland is much better team now, with chemistry improved and their team play improved as well. The teams have top 5 players on two crucial positions, point guard and power forward. However, how Batum defends LeBron might decide the duel. And we cannot forget Wesley Matthews, a player who thinks is the best at his position and can go hot on a given night.Cavaliers vs Trail Blazers Tickets starting price is $43.00
Cavs vs Kings, January 30, Average price $193
The Kings might be a different team by the time this two meet. Fresh out of firing Mike Malone, the Kings are looking to play at a faster pace. Their biggest problem is Demarcus Cousins and his health, as the big man has missed few games due to illness. When he is in the lineup, he is probably the most dominant post big man in the league, which could spell trouble for the Cavs. Cavaliers vs Kings Tickets starting price is $77.00
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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.
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BY: Chris M.
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Each year as the start of the new NBA season approaches will always look to the draft to see which players will be successful and which ones are lucky to be drafted. There is always a draft pick or rookie that will make an instant impact each year and will make his statement for the rookie of the year. This year is no different. There are a few rookies that have been drafted that stands out above the other rookies. You can look for the following names to be mentioned when it comes to rookie expectations.
Jabari Parker was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks and is currently playing forward. In his October 9 outing against the Detroit Pistons he put up 11 points and added three rebounds with one assist and one still. That was with 31 minutes of playing time. He has been used at both forward positions but still a question as to where he will be positioned during the regular season. No matter where Coach Jason Kidd will place him in the lineup look for Jabari to be a huge contributor and make a nice run for the rookie of the year.
Nerlens Noel is having a somewhat rough start to the season. Being drafted by the Philadelphia 76’ers to play forward and center he does have the potential to be a strong defensive presence in the NBA. After playing in the first two preseason game for the 76’ers he is listed as day to day while he is nursing an injured right thigh. Look for Noel to be healthy for the regular season and to improve the more he plays.
Andrew Wiggins showed why he was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves when he scored 11 points by shooting 5 for 10 from the field against the 76’ers on Friday night. He also added three rebounds. Three of his eleven points came from one three-pointer. Playing at guard and forward he will go through some slumps as does everyone else but look for him to put together a streak of consistency playing an average of thirty minutes per game.
Dante Exum a rookie guard for the Utah Jazz played twenty nine minutes in his October 8 outing off the Jazz bench. He was a little rusty only hitting one of his five shots. This want last long because he will have to improve to gain some sharing time with starting point guard Trey Burke. He will have to improve his ball skills to make his run at rookie of the year. Exum is one to keep an eye on throughout the year.
Julius Randle a rookie forward for the L.A. Lakers will have to make some adjustments if his last outing on Friday night is any indication of what is to come from this rookie. He only played eighteen minutes and shot a low 4 out of 12 from the field. The Lakers will move the ball around a lot and Randle needs to get used to the ball movement so he will learn his placement on the court. He will need more playing time to develop his confidence. But he will get better and make a strong push during his 2014-15 season year.
According to Google Trends Andrew Wiggins is getting the most interest by NBA Fans!
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Last season the Lakers finished 3-2 in the summer league with Marcus Landry leading the team in scoring. They’ll have a vastly different roster this summer with Robert Sacre likely the only returning player. Following the opening three games the Lakers will then take part in a tournament to determine the winner. Last season the Golden State Warriors defeated the Phoenix Suns in the title game, 91-77 behind 33 points off the bench from Ian Clark who ended up on the Utah Jazz roster this past season. Tickets for the NBA Summer League are on sales now so if your looking for a great getaway with some sun, fun and to get your basketball fix then shoot out to Las Vegas to catch some up close basketball at great prices. Usually you can walk up and just get tickets at the door. Chris M.
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.
The NBA regular season starts on October 29th, 2013 and millions of diehard fans are looking forward to this season. The biggest game of opening night is the Chicago Bulls traveling to South Beach to take on the defending NBA Champion Miami Heat. Most experts and fans feel as if both of these teams are going to be very good. Per the usual, teams like the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder are going to make a run at the playoffs but some will want to know what team or teams are going to surprise in the 2013-14 season.
Portland Trail Blazers
In the last few years the Portland Trail Blazers have struggled to put together a good team. Last year they had the rookie of the year, Damian Lillard and this year they are hoping to put some pieces around this amazing point guard. The major concern for the Trail Blazers is their youth. Young NBA teams can take some time to develop as they have not played a large number of games together. Once these young athletes get to know each other’s style of play the sky could be the limit for Portland. There is only one player on the team that is over the age of 30 and the season is grueling.
As I mentioned in a previous article on Barry’s Tickets, a young NBA team has a distinct advantage in the second half of the season. The question is, can the Blazers win enough games in the first half of the season so that the second half actually means something? If the Trail Blazers can get to the All Star game in contention for the playoffs they should be able to make a decent run in the second half of the season. Having fresh legs will make a world of difference this season.
The NBA has become a point guard dominated league. In the 70s, 80s and and 90s NBA teams wanted a center that could dominate the paint. Shaq was a force as he helped the Lakers win multiple titles. Many experts feel as if Kobe has never been the same player without Shaq in the middle. When Kobe has a great season it is often when there is a presence at the center position for the Los Angeles Lakers. That said, many teams have accepted that a point guard is now much more important than a center. The big men get hurt easier and they don’t have the ball in their hands nearly as much as they used to. I am truly shocked that more NBA teams do not draft a prolific point guard with their top pick. One team that went out and got a point guard in the 2013 NBA Draft is the Utah Jazz.
Trey Burke was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves but was traded to Utah. In my opinion, this was a great move for the Utah Jazz as a point guard can completely change a team; much quicker than a center or a big man. After watching Trey Burke play for the Michigan Wolverines last year I can say that he will make a huge difference for a team in the NBA. He lead his Michigan team to the Final Four and he has a floor presence unlike most athletes his age. I do not feel as if Trey Burke will be a high scorer in the NBA but he will be able to get his team in the correct offense. I think Trey Burke will be a similar player to Chris Paul. There is no way that we can predict he will be as good as Chris Paul but even if he is half as good he will drastically improve the Utah Jazz.
New Orleans Pelicans
Most people know of this team as the New Orleans Hornets but they have changed their name to the Pelicans for this season. That might be a little bit of foreshadowing for the season that is coming. If you look at the roster it is littered with college basketball stars. Names like Austin Rivers, Jeff Withey, Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday immediately catch the eye of anyone that enjoys the college game. As we all know, you cannot put an NBA team together with just college basketball superstars. While many college players will go on to have great NBA careers there are some college stars that simply do not fit the mold of an average NBA player. Height, weight, wingspan and overall athletic ability are often much more important than college stats.
If the Pelicans can find a true point guard to run the show this could be one of the most improved teams in the NBA. The Pelicans were downright bad in the last two years as they won 21 and 27 games respectively. With this being the case it is not going to take that much to improve. After shipping Chris Paul to the west coast this team has struggled to find its identity. As mentioned with the previous two teams, a point guard is now very important in the NBA. In fact, I would say that a point guard is more important than a center or a power forward. When I was growing up the power forward and shooting guard positions were essential as these were the positions in which most points were generated. Points come from everywhere on the court in the current state of the NBA. With the hand checking rule changing the way defense is played it is no longer difficult for teams to score 100 points.
A point guard is needed to distribute the ball and get the offense going. With the Pelicans being a young team one would think they are going to try to get up and down the court. This makes it even more important to have a solid point guard that does not turn the ball over. Finding that great point guard can be difficult which is why some teams cannot seem to turn the corner and make the playoffs. Some in New Orleans have wondered if it is going to end up being the curse of Chris Paul. There is little argument to be made that Chris Paul gave New Orleans their best years of basketball. They have yet to come close to that quality of basketball since they let him go to the Los Angeles Clippers. Speaking of the Clippers.
Los Angeles Clippers
It is hard to say that the Clippers are going to be a surprise team as they are already one of the best teams in the west. I think this is the season they can make some huge strides towards getting to the NBA Finals. Now that Blake Griffin and Chris Paul have played with each other for a few seasons they should be able to get off to a quick start. If the Clippers can get off to a start that is above .600 in the first 25 or 30 games they have a chance to win the Western Conference.
Most experts are predicting the Oklahoma City Thunder to win the west but there is an opening for the Clippers. What is quite unique about 2013 is the fact that coming into the season it is accepted that the Clippers are the best team in Los Angeles. It has been a very long time since this was even considered by the fans and the experts. Anyone that has watched NBA basketball for the last four decades knows that Los Angeles is dominated by the Lakers. If Kobe Bryant is not 100% healthy this year the Lakes are going to struggle just to make the playoffs. There are even rumors that they might go out and get Carmelo Anthony. If this happens we know there is truly trouble in paradise.
What to Expect in 2013-14
This is going to be a very exciting year for professional basketball. LeBron James and the Miami Heat are getting older so they are vulnerable. Dwayne Wade has had all kinds of injury problems. It would not be surprising to see him sit out several games this year just because of health issues. If the Heat run into any injury problems that leaves the door open for some younger teams to grab the best record in the NBA. I think it is safe to say that the 1990s Bulls team has nothing to worry about when it comes to the all time best record of 72-10. The only way a team will come close to that type of record is a team that has enough young players to make it through the entire season without injuries.
I don’t think we will see the Heat make it to the All Star break without injuries. Keep an eye on some of the younger teams as they may surprise you in the upcoming season. As mentioned in this article, point guards are going to rule the league this year so take noticed of the teams that have a true leader at the point guard position.
Lamar Odom, one of the most sympathetic but enigmatic characters in L.A. sports history, returns to team with which he started his NBA career. It might be amazing, it might go bad, or it could be just simple strange.
With Mo Williams finally deciding Friday to exercise his $8.5-million contract option, the Clippers and Dallas Mavericks were able to agree to a four-team trade that will bring Lamar Odom (32) back to the Clippers team that drew up him in 1999.
Odom will earn $8 million for the 2012-13 season, but the Mavericks could have bought out his contract for $2.4 million by Friday if Dallas didn’t find willing trade partners in L.A. and the Utah Jazz.
In December 2011, Odom was traded from the Lakers to the Mavericks, though he was dropped just several months later after he failed to perform.
Staying in Los Angeles will mean a lot more than a career boost and extra family time for the NBA forward — it also means that he and Kardashian, 28, will be able to make starting a family of their own a top priority. The Clippers had some trepidation about getting Lamar, because of his awful season and seemingly disinterested attitude in Dallas last season after he demanded a trade from the LA Lakers, who tried to move him in an attempt to land point guard Chris Paul.
However the Clippers had any worries allayed after Coach Vinny Del Negro and President Andy Roeser both met with Odom on Thursday at the team’s practice facility in Playa Vista.
Like many Clippers fans, seeing Odom for the first time was an experience – it was just like love at first sight. He played every position and no position, all at the same time. He sailed around the court effortlessly, never showing up out of place. Odom was tall and athletic and qualified, but most significantly, he was smooth. He was cool without even trying – a state every 14-year-old desperately tries (and fails) to achieve.
This is a fantastic trade for the LA Clippers, who need to strengthen their bench depth to make a much deeper run in the playoffs next year. Odom should really be satisfied to be back in Los Angeles, even if it’s not with the Lakers. Odom’s past playoff results will be a valuable addition to a young Clippers team that has minor championship experience.