Both of these teams have emerged as threats this season to take down the old kings of the Western Conference. They are sick of being overshadowed by the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers and are ready to be dominant forces. The Rockets came as a surprise to everyone when they signed Jeremy Lin and James Harden in the offseason. Two guys who were great role players, but played with superstars. The Clippers are known for their high flying dunkers, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, and their incredible leader Chris Paul.
However, the Clippers may be without their great ball handler as he is considered a game time decision after bruising his knee in the Clippers game against the Orlando Magic. That seems to be the only significant injury news as Jeremy Lin stated he is ‘good to go’ for tonight’s game. The Rockets are not shooting too well from beyond the arc as of late and I think that will hurt them against this team who is very tough inside. I give the advantage to the Clippers who have been playing unbelievable this year. I give a lot of credit to how well the Rockets have done, but the Clippers have too many weapons. More importantly, Clippers or Rockets, who you takin?
During last night’s game against the Utah Jazz, both Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade only played the first three quarters. Were they injured? No. They were actually benched. Two of the the Miami Heat’s ‘Big 3’ stars were benched for their poor performance in the game. The Heat look to be in a pretty bad funk, but can the defending NBA Champions bounce back?
Of course they can. There is absolutely no reason for this team to panic. One big advantage they have right now is that they play in the Eastern Conference which has significantly less talented teams than the Western Conference. If they were playing in the West, then they would be competing to stay afloat with the Thunder, Clippers, Warriors, and Grizzlies. However, this team is stocked with talent and they know what it takes to get to the Finals and walk away with the trophy. This team just needs to get through this month and stay at a winning pace until April when they start picking it up again. This team will make the playoffs and in my opinion will be playing in the Easter Conference finals.
Things on the court may not be going well for Kobe Bryant, but at least his personal life just got better. This couple has had a rocky past since 2003 when Kobe admitted to cheating on Vanessa with a 19-year-old girl who claimed that it was not consensual. Kobe escaped those charges almost as well as he escapes defenders on the court, except it cost him $4 million. Remember that ring he bought Vanessa? Well I certainly do and that is how you apologize to a woman scorned!
Things seemed to be going well for the couple up until last year when Vanessa filed for divorce citing ‘irreconcilable differences’. Apparently Kobe just couldn’t stay faithful. However, that was a year ago and things have changed severely. The Lakers are awful and Kobe is no longer single. The couple took to Instagram and announced their reconciliation. “We are pleased to announce that we have reconciled. Our divorce action will be dismissed. We are looking forward to our future together.” Great news for Kobe, but the Lakers still won’t make the playoffs. You just can’t win them all.
No Pau Gasol. No Dwight Howard. How are the Lakers’ chances looking? Not too good. Especially since they are on a five game losing streak looking to play the defending Western Conference Champions, Oklahoma City Thunder. So if the Lakers don’t play on playing defense tonight, things will get ugly. At least the Lakers will have point guard Steve Nash this time around. Last time these two teams met in Oklahoma, Nash and Gasol were both out and the Lakers lost 114-108.
This won’t be a close game, UNLESS that team that played Brooklyn showed up. However, that seems highly unlikely. There is much else to say about this game considering how badly injured this Los Angeles team is and how poorly they have played. OKC definitely wins this one and puts the Lakers even further down in the standings. Lakers or Thunder, who you takin?
Kevin Durant has always had the persona of a nice guy on and off the court. He always seems to maintain his composure. However, in recent games we have seen frustration get the best of the three time scoring champion. Over the course of three games, Durant has been given three technical fouls including two technicals against the Brooklyn Nets that resulted in his first ejection ever. Feeling that he let his fans down, Durant took to his Twitter and apologized for his recent performance. “3 techs in 3 games, not like me…@KendrickPerkins is a bad influence on my life lol jk..I will be better, sorry guys.”
It was a classy gesture by a great player and guy. However, could it be frustration setting in? Most likely. During that Brooklyn game, the Thunder weren’t playing well. They actually played horrible. I wouldn’t dwell on this. Durant is still a great player and more importantly respects the game of basketball. I wouldn’t look too into this. The Thunder still sits atop their division at 26-7.
It’s the battle of Los Angeles. These teams could not be at more different sides of the spectrum right now. The Clippers are the high flying team that ended 2012 with a 17 game winning streak. The Lakers are the veteran team that looks like it can’t keep up with the athletics of the NBA anymore. Even Kobe Bryant, the superstar of Los Angeles basketball, has said that his team is old and cannot keep up with this Clippers team. He even compared the Clippers to Lakers teams ran by Magic Johnson. Bryant said, “They’re very spectacular and they’re fun to watch. There’s no question about it. They have higher jumpers than ‘Showtime’ did, though.” He went on to say that the Clippers are expected to blow the Lakers out tonight.
Kobe did you forget which team you play for? Why are you hyping up your opponent when your team is the one who needs all the support they can get? Well if the Lakers don’t have any confidence in themselves, I guess neither will I. I was already picking the Clippers to win tonight, but now that it sounds like Kobe’s heart isn’t in it, I am even more confident with my pick. Lakers or Clippers, who runs Los Angeles? Who you takin?