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Date archive for: October 2012

Clippers vs. Warriors: Video Highlights

The Clippers rolled to another preseason win on Monday night against the Golden State Warriors by dunking their way to an 88-71 victory.

Since I was unable to watch the game, I can’t provide much commentary, save that there were a lot of throw-downs in and the Clippers are once again on their way to producing another exciting season of basketball.

Based off what we see in this video, the Clips are gel’ing and getting everyone involved in the offensive production—credit Chris Paul’s genius and his unselfishness which has proved to be a model of positive development for everyone around him.

Deandre Jordan having another double-double is a great sign that his off-season training continues to pay off.  It even looks like he’s dunking with more confidence—still the same level of authority on throw-downs, but with a much better grip on the ball.  DJ was inconsistent in offensive production last year, but if he can continue to play at this level of output, the rest of the Clippers roster should reap the benefits as the floor opens up even more.

It also looks like Blake Griffin pulled out one of MJ‘s old tricks by ball-pumping.  He did it so effectively that he surprised even himself.  It was like watching a toddler or puppy becoming self-aware.  After realizing the power of trickery, Griffin proceeded to do what he does best:  throw one down.  Even in replay mode this felt electrifying.

Last but not least, it was soothing to hear an “Oh me, oh my” from the outstanding Ralph Lawler. I’ve missed his commentary that glows with the appreciation that can only come from decades of watching his team struggle.

The Clippers will face the cross-town rival Lakers next:  definite must-watch action, even if it is preseason as the Lakers will be sporting their new, shiny lineup featuring Dwight Howard.

LA Clippers 88, GSW 71

Dwight Howard Shines in Debut as Lakers Fall in Preseason

Lakers Nation got their first glimpse into the Dwight Howard era as D12 kicked off his purple and gold tour with 19 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocks in 33 minutes.

The highly anticipated arrival of Dwight Howard lived up to, and probably even exceeded, the loftiest of preseason expectations of any Lakers fanatico as he recorded his first triple double for the storied franchise.

Much to the chagrin of the experts, Howard recorded 33 minutes of playing time and not the prognosticated 10 or so minutes that would be expected of most players recovering from back surgeries.

In the span on those minutes, Howard looked as dominating as promised.  The imposing force of Dwight had an even bigger impact than the box score would suggest.  Time and time again, attacking foes were forced to redirect their bodies into unfavorable positions after penetrating when faced with the reality of a golden behemoth guarding the basket.

Not since Shaq have the Lakers sported such a dominating force in the paint.  Even Kobe Bryant’s larger than life persona dwindled slightly in the presence of this smiling gargantuan.  A smile that has led many to criticize the multi-defensive player of the year as someone who doesn’t take winning a championship as maniacally as Kobe does, but a smile that also gets put away when it matters.  Howard showed last night, in a dominating fashion, why it doesn’t matter that his smile is goofy—the big man can flat out control and affect a game, even without scoring.

Oh yeah, there was also Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace rounding out one of the top starting units in the league.

While most people will rightfully dwell on the facilitating impact that Nash will have on the Lakers, we should take note of the potentially devastating tandem of Pau-to-Howard.  You noticed it right away last night:  a super intelligent big man named Pau will certainly find an open Dwight Howard at the hoop for easy baskets.

The ever under-appreciated Pau Gasol once again appears to be the forgotten piece in a highly lauded Lakers squad.  I like to think that if Pau were shorter and less lanky, he probably would have played point-guard.  He has excellent court vision and is incredibly unselfish, always celebrating a team victory over personal stats.  The shadow cast by Dwight’s youth, power, and smile will undoubtedly overpower the presence of one of the best offensive big men in the game.

Therein lies the potential greatness of this reloaded Lakers squad as defenses will be forced to pick their poison:  Nash, Kobe, Pau or Dwight.  A yellow hydra whose heads are Hall-of-Fame.

But even mythical monsters have flaws.  As impressive as the starting squad may be, they are balanced out by an offensively inept bench capable of giving up big leads.  Either the offensive firepower of the starting unit will be forced to create huge leads, or the starters will see a lot more playing time that in the long run may affect them—especially come playoff time.

For now, an 0-6 preseason record hovers over this new Laker team like a stain on an overpriced, quality shirt.  With so much experience at hand, I doubt it will take them as long to gel as it did the Miami Heat.  One thing is certain:  I’m very happy to once again watch the Lakers play.  It had been a long time since I could put up with the likes of Bynum’s bratty face accompanied by Stu Lantz’s ridiculous statements.  At least this time Stu’s hyperbole won’t seem so outlandish, even by his standards.

It’s an exciting time to be an NBA fan in L.A.  Now, if we could only get the whole TWC & DTV deals ironed out.

Here’s looking at you, Dwight!

Lakers New Lineup Features Dwight Howard and Steve Nash.
Pick your golden poison.

Box Score Here

Kings at Lakers, Final Score

Black Mamba vs. White Mamba: Which is Deadlier?

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a black mamba and a white mamba?  Who better to break down the differences than THE White Mamba himself, Brian Scalabrine.

Most of us were under the impression that the main difference between these species was that one was beloved and embraced in any arena anywhere and the world, while the other was reviled and loathed with just as much fervor.

The seething venom of the Black Mamba, contrasted with chill nature of the White Mamba fulfills the yin and the yang of the basketball realm.  It is through this stark contrast that balance is found, and the resulting equilibrium brings an inherent harmony which prolongs the health of the universe and the heavens above.


A new beginning for

A long night awaits.  A road full of techo-administrative twists & turns beleaguers the celebration of a new birth: has finally arrived.

Call it a soft-opening, dress rehearsal or a preface—whatever you fancy is all right by me.  Just give me a few days to get acclimated to the reality that we can finally move forward with a vision:  just in time for the kickoff of the NBA 2012-13 season.

Count it…

In Search of the Perfect Curve, A Hat Story

Brooklyn Dodgers Hat, Curved Bill
Curvy hat.

The very first hat I ever owned (that wasn’t given to me) was an Atlanta Braves baseball cap.

I distinctly remember struggling to find the best tips and tricks for creating the perfect curve.  Prior to Google, one had to ask around or merely observe and mimic to the best of your abilities.  It wasn’t long before someone shared with me the mystifying secrets of using a rubberband to create the perfect curvature for your hat.

I tried this method out for a few nights when I first learned it.  How cool was it that a simple rubber band could form the curve I needed while I slept?  It blew my mind.  The method, however, caused a tighter curve that was beyond my liking.

I had to modify and improvise my own hat-shaping methodology.  For an hour or two each day, I would let my inanimate employees get to work.  The remainder of the time I would take care of the work by occasionally shaping the curve with my hands.

As time went on, the hat molded to my fastidious head, eventually settling into a perfect fit.  My hats had better curves than the curviest model you ever did see (except for Sofia Vergara…those are pretty strong curves).

As is often the case with most people, I grew up and stopped using hats.  It wasn’t a decision I consciously made, I just didn’t spend as much time worrying about what was on my head as much as I cared about what was going in my head during my college years.

Fast-forward a few years after graduating from college.

I’m not the type to catch on quick to things that personally affect me.  There are things in my life that I’ve always accepted as just being factual without questioning why they happen.  I’ve lived all my life sneezing like crazy and thinking I was developing a cold.  I would pat myself on the back when a cold wouldn’t take over, attributing it to my stronger-than-thou immune system.  Never once did it occur to me that I may possibly have allergies.  Allergies didn’t exist in my family growing up.   Allergies were things that other kids with weaker immune systems had.  They were a myth as far as I was concerned… an evil myth blown way out of proportion to scare off kids from eating peanuts.  Delicious peanuts.

The stubbornness of ignorance also affected my view of one of the most basic aspects of living:  the sun.  Millions of times I’ve walked out of my house only to be greeted by the punishing rays of the sun.  I would squint in response until the photons of pain would subside into something more bearable.  At least that’s what I used to do.

The reality that I could arm myself with sunglasses or a hat begin to dawn on me (by dawning I really mean that my girlfriend bestowed the clarity of common sense upon me), and so began the journey of finding a new hat that would serve as shield against the wicked sun.

This search led me to a bizarre mirror of truth as it applies to fashion:  what used to be cool growing up is now the inverse of the very concept.

Louis 14's Skinny Jeans.
Louis 14’s “Skinny Jeans.”

Jeans for boys are tighter now than at any given point in human history (except for maybe when those aristocrat dudes from back in the day would wear leggings—I still call it a toss-up).  Everyone nowadays sports flat-billed hats with factory golden stickers all over them.  What’s with leaving the stickers on?  Heck, even the snap-back models are cool now (I blame the hipsters).

With the conflict of cool fresh in my head, I reluctantly entered into a hat store, knowing fully well that I’d be judged by the store clerk.  Having spotted a hat from afar, one of the old school curvy models, I proceeded to buy it—the girl at the counter indirectly advised against it, making sure I knew that “only tourists” buy those type hats now.

I stuck to my guns, no matter how old school it felt, and purchased a new Dodgers cap.

Later that night, at the theater, I spotted another dude with a curvy hat.  I thought that perhaps at some point he’d see me wearing my hat, and we’d nod at each other in slow motion, like manly men acknowledging each other’s ability to keep it real in a world of rapidly changing hipsterism.

It never happened but I’m sure there are others like us and someday we’ll be in the majority again.

What about you?  Do you prefer flat-billed hats or curvy hats?

Atlanta Braves Hat
Flat-billed Braves Hat. Not good for my cabeza.



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