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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.

#Countit

Clippers Honor Ralph Lawler

After 36 years as the broadcasting voice of the Los Angeles Clippers, Ralph Lawler was honored by the team with #LawlerNight and March 9th was officially declared “Ralph Lawler Day” by the city of L.A.

On hand to honor the man who has been through thick and thin with the Clippers was his broadcast partner Mike Smith, as well as a number of former Clippers players.

City Council President Herb J. Wesson Jr. presented Lawler with a framed proclamation officially recognizing “Ralph Lawler Day.”

“I’m just thrilled that you’re all here. I’ve always felt that I work for the fans,” commented Lawler showing the genuine class that has endeared him to Clipper fans everywhere as well as colleagues in the  media.

“I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve this, I just show up for work every day. It’s MY pleasure believe me. Thank you all so much.”

—Ralph Lawler

In addition to the halftime celebration, several key media personnel provided video recorded messages for their estemeed colleague, including the voice of the Dodgers, Vin Scully.

Several current Clippers players, as well as head coach Doc Rivers also provided congratulatory messages for Ralph in the form of videos.

Although the Clippers organization took it upon themselves to acknowledge an outstanding man who takes his craft seriously, as much now as he 36 years ago, the celebration felt somewhat incomplete, or at least rushed.

That’s not to say that the Clippers don’t appreciate Ralph, rather that the occasion—if it was going to be promoted heavily and made out to be a special event—lacked the oomph of class that such an outstanding tenure truly deserved (especially when you consider the multiple decades of truly abysmal basketball that Ralph has had to call).

Although Ralph received a framed jersey, as Petros from the Petros and Money Show pointed out on the 3/10 broadcast, Lawler has received framed jerseys from the previous owner of the Clippers. At the very least, the Clippers could have and probably should have retired the honorary jersey Lawler received.

[Ralph Lawler] is the only Clipper who deserves to have his jersey retired. — Doc Rivers

Every fan in attendance also received a commemorative shirt with Lawlerisms printed on the front and back.

Clippers gave out commemorative shirts on #LawlerNight.

He’s the Tommy Hinesohn (Celtics broadcaster) of the Clippers. When you have a guy that’s been in the organization his whole career and has given his life to an organization, you should pay him respects.

—Doc Rivers

Regardless of how the event turned out, congratulations to Ralph Lawler: an outstanding personality in LA Sports and the NBA at large. May destiny favor the future for a broadcaster who has professionally kept afloat despite the many decades without true success by the team he covers so passionately.

Hopefully in the near future he’ll get the best tribute of all: to be able to make his iconic bingos, oh me oh my, and the lob, the jam! calls in an NBA finals series for the Clippers.

Ralph Lawler Night - Clippers

Oh Me Oh My Shirt - Clippers

Ralph Lawler Day - Clippers

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

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

Clippers in Troubled Waters After Loss to Warriors

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

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