Out From Under the Sterling Yoke, the Clippers Are Ready!

After a tremendous regular season in which the Los Angeles Clippers repeated as Pacific Division Champions, they stumbled through an all too brief post-season, weighted down by the antics of now former owner Donald Sterling. Amid the threat of insurrection, and with the possibility of a less than winning effort on the court, the team lost in the second round to Oklahoma City. Tonight, they begin a new season with new, enthusiast, and very, very rich ownership, a five-year contract in the back pocket of coach Doc Rivers, and a talented team than could set new heights never enjoyed by the once ridiculed franchise. Continue reading

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Cubs, Epstein, Do Not Miss Opportunity that Dodgers, Friedman Ignore

Opportunities to hire great managerial talents come along infrequently, and to miss such an opportunity can reduce an organization, no matter how much money they have to spend, to little more than an embarrassing also ran. For the second time in less than two decades, the Dodgers have missed such an opportunity, and just like the first time, they will suffer again for years because of it.

Following the retirement of Tommy Lasorda, the Dodgers hired managerial neophyte Bill Russell, who took the job with no prior managerial experience, and he lasted two seasons. Continue reading

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UCLA Bruins in the NBA – Opening Game Updates

In this post, Four UCLA Bruin Rookies On NBA Opening Day Rosters, I described the roles that the three first round picks from the Bruins would likely have as this NBA season begins, and I also mentioned how the New York Knicks signed the undrafted Travis Wear, who in a real surprise, made the opening day roster. I concluded by saying he is number four on the team’s depth chart at power forward, and who knows when and if he may actually enter a game.

Well, in each of their team’s season-openers, Kyle Anderson with San Antonio, Jordan Adams at Memphis, Zach LaVine with the Timberwolves, and Wear in NY, Wear was the only one to play, Continue reading

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More Disappointment For the Lakers and Byron Scott in Phoenix

In last night’s season opening 18-point loss to Houston, the Lakers’ defense was brilliant, compared to the non-existent effort put forth in their 20-point loss tonight in Phoenix. The Suns shot 54.9% from the floor, and a sizzling 50% (13-of-18) on three pointers. The final score was only as close as it was because the Suns seemingly left for the locker room after their lead reached 29 with a couple of minutes left at end of their 39-to-23 third period blow-out. The deep and dazzling Suns’ backcourt, featuring Eric Bledsoe, Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas, seemingly had their way offensively, and playing a total of only 72 minutes between the three, they scored 57 points, hitting 20 of 30 shots (67%), including eight-of-13 on three-pointers. Continue reading

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Lakers-Houston Post-Mortem: Lakers Far Worse Than Even I Thought

Pathetic, is all that I can say. Despite my opinion that the 2014-2015 Lakers are a bad team that will struggle to exceed last season’s 27-55 record, I thought that they would come out strong in their opener against Houston, motivated by the return of Kobe Bryant, the matchup against the former Lakers’ laughing man D-eeee Wight Howard, and the excitement provided by new starting point guard Jeremy Lin and first round pick Julius Randle. I was wrong an all accounts.

The tone was set for the game in the first four minutes, with Howard hitting a basket from far out of his range, five feet, Continue reading

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Four UCLA Bruin Rookies On NBA Opening Day Rosters

Three UCLA Bruins were chosen in the 2014 NBA Draft, all in the first round, but four rookie Bruins appear to have made the opening day rosters of NBA teams.

The Bruin who seems to have made the biggest impression has been Kyle Anderson, the third of the three draft picks at number 30, who was taken by the Champion San Antonio Spurs. Anderson got significant playing time throughout the exhibition season due to the injury suffered by Kawhi Leonard, and Anderson made the most of it, showing the Spurs and coach Gregg Popovich that he definitely had a current role with the team, not to mention a bright future. Continue reading

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Lakers Versus Houston Rockets Starts This NBA Season

The Lakers open the 2014-5 NBA season tomorrow evening at Staples Center against the Houston Rockets, one year and one day from last season’s first game in which they upset the Clippers, giving undue and unearned hope to the fans of a team destined to endure a dismal season. The same thing could well happen tomorrow – the Lakers just might surprise the Rockets, the fans, and themselves, and beat Houston, but that by no means should give, once again, false hope for a successful season.

First and foremost, the Lakers start the season featuring the return of an apparently fully healed Kobe Bryant, Continue reading

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Nash Gone: Lakers Can Move On and Work on Their Future

In July of 2012, the Los Angeles Lakers completed a Sign-and-Trade deal with the Phoenix Suns that was to cause more disarray and havoc, and long-range damage, than could ever have been estimated by the Lakers’ brain trust who negotiated the deal. For the record, besides Nash’s $27 Million three-year contract, the additional ramifications were the following:

1. The Lakers sent to Phoenix their 2013 and 2015 first-round draft picks, AND their 2013 and 2014 second round draft picks. Continue reading

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Nine New Coaches, Re-Treads and Neophytes, to Start NBA Season

As the 2014-2015 NBA regular season is due to start next week, it will mark the debut of nine, count them, NINE new coaches, including several with no prior NBA coaching experience, and some with no coaching experience at all. Also, several retreads will begin a tour of duty with a new team. Hiring a retread is a fairly safe way to go, but ex-coaches with track records of real success are few and far between. Rather, the majority of retreads were fired from their last job, or last several jobs, for obvious reasons. Hiring a coach with no prior coaching experience, or even no prior NBA experience, would seem to be an even bigger gamble, but four teams have gone that route for the upcoming season.

At the top of the list of teams gambling on neophytes are two who legitimate title aspirations who have hired coaches who have never coached in the league before, one of who has never been a coach at any level. Continue reading

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Key Clippers Hit Stride As Regular Season Approaches

At Staples Center last evening, and in front of new owner Steve Ballmer, the LA Clippers pretty much went through the motions for three quarters, but then, with only 60 minutes of pre-season basketball left to get ready for games than count, the team, and specifically Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, stepped it up and showed Ballmer, Coach Doc Rivers, the Phoenix Suns, and the fans, that they were ready to take on Oklahoma City next Thursday in the season opener.

Paul and Griffin, who scored 35 and 34 points, respectively on the night, combined for 26 points in the fourth quarter, Continue reading

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Don’t Make Too Much of Lakers’ Win Over Portland

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Portland Trailblazers in each team’s next-to-last 2014 exhibition game tonight, but don’t get too excited about it, as the win was handed to the Lakers on a silver platter by Portland coach Terry Stotts, who used his five regular starters for a total of 17 game minutes, all from Damian Lillard, as he rested Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Robin Lopez, along with top reserve and former Lakers’ point guard Steve Blake. Granted, the Lakers also rested Koby Bryant, and Jordan Hill also did not play, having now been added to the lengthy LA injured list. The Lakers were closer to full strength then they’ve been in awhile, though, with last night’s return of Jeremy Lin and then tonight’s return of Jordan Clarkson. Continue reading

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Kobe Tries, But Cannot Do It All

The evening after the appearance of Henry Abbott’s ESPN the Magazine article trashing Kobe Bryant, he did his best to almost single-handedly pull his team to a victory against a much better Phoenix Suns team, doing yeoman work in the fourth quarter, but succumbing in overtime. And, when I say a “better” Phoenix Suns team, that in no way should be seen as indicating the Phoenix is necessarily a good team, but it just refers to the fact that the teams in the NBA which are worse than the Lakers are few and far between. Kobe dismissed the article by saying that it’s not the first time nor will it be the last time Continue reading

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