J.J. Redick’s 30 Points Helps Clippers Defeat Blazers

Standard

J.J. Redick leads Clippers to victory over the Blazers with 30 points.

The Clippers squeezed out a win over the Portland Trail Blazers with help from J.J. Redick who showed signs of the version of himself we’ve come to expect. The buckets were falling from all over the place, and J.J. finished as the Clippers’ top scorer.

“I’m a positive person and my glass is always half-full, I knew I would start making some shots. I never got too discouraged, but frustrated for sure.”

—J.J. Redick

Top 10 NBA Plays – November 8

Standard

I don’t always agree with the rankings—in fact, I think the number one play in this list belongs at number 10—however, there’s still quality material here.

This edition of the Top 10 Plays is highlighted by Steph Curry crossovers, Luol Deng dishes, and DeAndre Jordan climbing the heavens for another edition of #TheLobTheJam. Enjoy!

Allen Iverson on the Impossibility of Coaching

Allen Iverson - The Answer
Standard

Besides having all-world capabilities and doing it with flare on the court, Allen Iverson became a hero of mine as a kid because of his relentless commitment to himself and doing things his way.

It’s great to see that one of my favorites shows self-awareness when asked if he would ever consider coaching. Owning his history and the infamous “Practice?” rant, Iverson treats us to a few chuckles and reminds us why he was such a great personality and beloved throughout the NBA.

By the way, has anyone noticed that Allen Iverson doesn’t age? What sorcery is this?

Listen to AI answer the question here (turn on the volume):

Clippers in Troubled Waters After Loss to Warriors

Warriors Destroy Clippers - 2014, November
Standard

After an underwhelming start to a season with the highest of expectations, the L.A. Clippers capsized after being overwhelmed by the firepower and speed of the Golden State Warriors.

The contest was over before it even got started as Golden State activated its cheat codes known as Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, and blitzed the Clippers from all angles on the court. A lifeless LA team showed brief signs of life, but ultimately succumbed and never recovered from double-digit deficits.

If there were any good signs—other than perhaps lighting a fire under the Clippers’ belly early in the season—I didn’t see them. Usually a loss can be attributed, at least in large part, to key misses or lack of contributions from specific players. In this case, however, the loss was a total team effort. Even Blake’s mustache didn’t show up.

The Clippers were out-rebounded 39 to 30 in the box score, although it felt a lot closer to 139-30. Points in the paint favored LAC, however, these only served as measly band-aids that were ruptured by the long-distance sharpshooting of Golden State.

I saw a beautiful game from one team, they are a better team right now and by a lot.

—Doc Rivers

With no hustle, no aggressiveness, and possibly even suffering woozy effects from the haymakers the Warriors threw at them, the Clippers perpetuated the question mark that has been hovering above them at since the start of the 2014-15 season: what’s wrong with this team?

With four of five starters returning, and a bench composed of familiar faces, the current iteration of the LA Clippers doesn’t resemble the potent offense from last year. Even in the three wins coming into last night’s game, the Clippers have proven to be anemic in offense and indifferent in defense.

Few are the lobs, few are the jams. JJ Redick’s handsomeness can only disguise his inefficient shot for so long. All things considered, Doc was justified in expressing candid and tremendous frustration in his post game interview:

Q: What was the post game locker room message? (via OC Register)

“I didn’t say much. I just let them blow smoke up each other’s asses. That’s all they did, in my opinion. I just think if you’re going to talk, you’ve got to be real. I’m not a big fan of group meetings unless they’re real group meetings.”

—Doc Rivers

Doc’s brutal feedback also included descriptions of a weak and soft team—a stigma that perennially haunts a roster full of talented, nice dudes.

The criticism may appear harsh on the surface, but if anything, it’s an indication of how far this franchise has come along. No longer do they get a pass from the media, fans, or even their own coach. With Doc at the helm and two legitimate superstars leading the battle, expectations are higher than they’ve ever been and that should provide enough solace and motivation for the team to keep going forward.

I expect the Clippers to respond to this loss and their coach’s commentary. With time the chemistry will build and I’m certain we’ll get back to the exciting brand of basketball we witnessed last year.

If you want to check out Doc’s entire post-game conference, along with even more criticisms for his team, check out the audio below.

…what we lacked was heart. I don’t mind being tired, and we can use that as an excuse, but listen, I just know me. If I’m tired and getting my butt kicked, I’m going to leave the game with no fouls left. That, to me, was just weak on our part.

—Doc Rivers

El Portero – Iker Casillas

Spain vs Netherlands - Casillas
Standard

The legend and fury of Spain’s style of play came to a stunning halt yesterday as the Netherlands handed them a devastating 5-1 loss.

Iker Casillas was dragged all over the field by a cutting Robben, who blasted a goal into the back of the net and through Casillas’ heart.

Seeing Casillas defeated and humiliated five times over reminded me of Eduardo Galeano‘s “El Portero” from Fútbol A Sol y Sombra:

…It is always the keeper’s fault. And when it isn’t, he still gets blamed. When-ever a player commits a foul, the keeper is the one who gets punished: they abandon him in the immensity of the empty net to face his executioner alone. And when the team has a bad afternoon, he is the one who pays the bill, expiating the sins of others under a rain of flying balls.

The rest of the players can blow it once in a while or often, and then redeem them-selves with a spectacular dribble, a masterful pass, a well-placed volley. Not him. The crowd never forgives the goalkeeper. Was he drawn out by a fake? Left looking ridiculous? Did the ball skid? Did his fingers of steel turn to putty?

With a single slip-up the goalie can ruin a match or lose a championship, and the fans suddenly forget all his feats and condemn him to eternal disgrace.

Damnation will follow him to the end of his days.