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Chris Paul Leads Clippers to Victory Over Blazers

The good news about the great ones in basketball is that they have a short-term memory. They’re always living in the today, and looking ahead to new challenges.

Chris Paul rebounded from a night of Twitter ridicule due to a Steph Curry crossover to a night of acclaim on account of 41 points, 17 assists, 5 rebounds, 4 steals, and only one turnover against the Portland Trailblazers.

Having to lead and will a team to victory as Chris Paul often does is compounded by having to guard the some of the top point guards in the league, night in and night out, and yet Paul continues to fill the stat sheets with points and assists and his teammates’ heads with belief.

The effects of the second game of a back-to-back played into a sluggish start by the Clippers, however, which led to Los Angeles being down by as much as 19 points before they made headway in the third and eventually took the lead in the fourth quarter.

An unnecessary shove of Chris Paul by Chris Kaman led to a whole lot of chest puffing, jowling, one Big Baby flopping, and it may have added additional fuel to an already lit fire. This kerfuffle sets us up nicely for the playoffs as these two teams are on a collision course.

“It didn’t hurt, but CP already had it going before that, to be honest. That just brought more energy into the game. When you’re lacking energy, you’re just looking for anything. Little plays like that can help you, or they can do you in, too. You never know how that’s going to go. I was happy how we responded after that.”

Doc Rivers

The Blazers and the Clippers are currently vying for homecourt advantage given that they’re currently 4th and 5th place respectively in the Western Conference standings.

“If we play those guys 1st round, it’ll be a hell of a series.” – @CP3

LeBron James, impressed by Chris Paul’s effective output on the night, gave CP3 a shout-out on Instagram,

Man my brother @cp3 did work last night and I happen to watch the whole game!! Sometimes u just need to remind em, cause they act like they don’t know what’s up. #Work#Fam#StriveForGreatness

Sometimes you just gotta let ’em know, right CP3?

 Clippers v Blazers Video Recap & Highlights

Chris Paul Phantom Cam Highlight


Steph Curry Puts Chris Paul on Skates

Basketball is beautiful because it allows us to see creativity executed in physical forms at the highest level of elite athleticism.

Devastating crossovers are the summation of wit and velocity combined with a beautiful display of control. They make us ooh and aah when we’re not invested in the unfortunate soul getting crossed over, and they make us gasp with appreciation and horror when it happens to one of our own.

Last night, one megastar on the rise, Steph Curry, pulled off a wicked behind-the-back crossover that put another megastar, Chris Paul, on skates.

The result was as impressive as it was humbling, and at the point of losing one’s balance, there is no return, not even for an NBA demigod.

Steph Curry with the shot. #phantomcam #CurryCrossover

A video posted by NBA (@nba) on

As someone who absolutely loves the art of the sport, I thoroughly marveled at what happened, and hurt deeply for Chris Paul. Steph Curry has become extremely lethal due to his combination of precision shooting and precision dribbling. The fact that he drained the bucket after the crossover completed a beautiful display of basketball at its highest form.

If you search Chris Paul’s name on Twitter, or if you check your Facebook feed today, you’ll probably see the abundance of memes that were immediately created to commemorate a tragic day in Chris Paul’s life. The good news is that Chris Paul owned it and even shared his favorite, after all if anyone can appreciate the beauty that is point guard play, it’s CP3—one of the greatest we’ve ever seen.

Nice move, Chef Curry. I can’t wait for a potential match-up between these two teams that so thoroughly despise each other, and a point-guard match-up for the ages.


SM Photo of the Day: Chris Paul Running The Floor

Starting today, I’m going to start posting my preferred Sports Social Media Photo of the Day as a way to stay committed to at least sharing one item that caught my eye in the sports social media landscape.

Having grown up playing point guard, it’s only natural that this Clippers’ posted photo of Chris Paul at training camp caught my eye.

The angle of this shot is unique in that we don’t often get bird’s eye angles of players in action, and when we do, they’re often not great.

This image, however, captures the freedom and control that comes with running the floor as a point guard. No one else in sight, it’s the subject at hand’s role to move the ball up-court, in control, while keeping an eye on the players ahead.

In this shot we see potential. In this shot, what we don’t see augments the value of what is visible. In this shot, I can relate and I am immediately transported to the multitude of games that I played as a kid.

Even the practice uniforms adds intrinsic value because it’s not an official game. It’s a setting and a situation we could all find ourselves in if we continue to play the game we love. No matter how long I spend away from the court, when I pick up that ball, I’m back in this exact mindset and feeling.

I need a framed copy of this. Count it!

Chris Paul - LA Clippers - Training Camp
Chris Paul – Running The Floor

Clippers Finding A New Purpose in Doc’s System as Training Camp Begins

With the start of the NBA season fast approaching, the Clippers have moved on from media day into training camp at UCSD’s RIMAC arena.

Reports from those on-site are that new coach, Doc Rivers, is instituting some actual coaching into the offensive system—something that’s sure to be foreign to a former Vinny Del Negro coached team.

Rivers distinguishes his current motion-oriented changes from running style offenses by pointing out:

“Every team talks about running. We want to be a running team. But for us, we really want to be a motion team. We want to be a team that’s in constant motion, constant movement, so it’s very difficult to load up on us.”

By contrast, previous years’ offensive sets consisted of a whole lot of Chris Paul doing everything and anything to destabilize a defense while everyone stood around watching. It was either that, or Blake Griffin receiving the ball in the mid-post and backing down his defender with 50% efficacy.

By having retained the services of Matt Barnes and Jamal Crawford, the Clippers’ bench maintained a viable level of competitiveness, something that played into the scrimmages held Wednesday which resulted in the B-team winning the first game. The starters took game two in retaliation while Rivers reflected on the positives of friendly competition.

Stellar offensive plays were never in shortage at Lob City in the past couple of seasons. What was very badly needed, if this team is to take it to the next level, was some form of defensive acumen that would complement the offensive skill set of Paul and Griffin. Fortunately for the Clips, Doc Rivers is known for having built some of the most defensively minded teams in recent memory.  Said Blake Griffin, “The 1st hour & a half of practice was all defense. We didn’t do 1 thing offensively, except some shooting.”

In addition to driving up the overall defensive expectations of his players, Doc Rivers has been keen to focus on one of his best assets on hand: DeAndre Jordan.  The Clippers’ big man, though spectacular off the oops, has often been inconsistent on the defensive end. The length, size and youth of DeAndre gives Doc a lot to play with, but ultimately he understands that it all starts with mental accountability.

“I’m asking him to do them better and more consistently and to take ownership of it and not get sidetracked on the [offensive] side,” Rivers said. “If you’re a great defensive player, you’re a great defensive player 100% of the time. You can’t be a great defensive player half of the time because you didn’t get the ball once or twice. That can’t sidetrack you. It’s got to be ‘I live for my defense, and my offense I’ll get. But I can’t let it affect my defense. Nothing affects my defense.'” – Doc Rivers as quotes in the LA Times.

The quotes and reports coming out of the early days of training camp all point to a new iteration of a talented team that can perhaps harness its true potential by maintaining a high level of offensive play while staying engaged defensively. Chris Paul has already expressed his endorsement for the newly installed changes saying “It keeps everybody engaged on the defensive end and keeps everyone involved on the offensive end.”

While talent and poise have provided the wind that has carried the Clippers into the playoffs, it is a new identity and mental toughness burnished by a defensive focus which can perhaps finally get them over the hump and into, at the very least, the conference finals.

Exciting times in LAC land, can’t wait to see how the rest of training camp plays out.

For a video recap of the day’s events, check out this link from the Clippers’ official training camp update.

Clippers Training Camp Video - UCSD

Chris Paul on Living in L.A.

I love it… I was very skeptical about it initially because it’s so far away from North Carolina, my home, born and raised. I love it, and the people of L.A. have been tremendous not only to me but to my family.

My family comes out to L.A. and they say, ‘Man, you really like it out here.’


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