Posted on: January 17, 2012 7:22 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 7:56 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver
Los Angeles Clippers All-Star guard Chris Paul will not play in a Tuesday night game against the Utah Jazz due to a left hamstring strain, according to Jazz.com.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said that Paul has "no timetable" for a return at this point.
Paul suffered the injury during the fourth quarter of Saturday's 102-94 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Paul underwent an MRI on Sunday which revealed no major results. He was listed as day-to-day by the Clippers.
The Jazz game marks the second game of the Clippers' first back-to-back-to-back of the season. The Clippers beat the New Jersey Nets on Monday night and will face the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.
In Paul's absence, the Clippers are expected to use a starting backcourt of Chauncey Billups and Randy Foye with recent D-League call-up Courtney Fortson used sparingly off the bench. Reserve guard Mo Williams is expected to sit with a minor foot injury and second-year guard Eric Bledsoe is sidelined with a longer-term knee injury.
On the season, Paul, 26, is averaging 18.0 points, 8.4 assists and 2.8 steals per game in 37.3 minutes per game.
Posted on: January 16, 2012 6:15 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2012 9:40 am
Posted by Royce Young and Matt Moore
Update Wednesday 9:36 a.m.: Howard denied that he had added the Clippers to his list Tuesday, via the Orlando Sentinel. SheridanHoops.com responded to the report by indicating that the Clippers are on his list but that due to the CBA, he woul be unable to join the Clippers until later this summer:
The key word in that question is “now.”via More on Dwight Howard and the Clippers.
Whether you believe Howard as a flat denial or that the Clippers could be a possibility if he reaches free agency, don't expect Howard to be joining Lob City this season, if ever.
It's the power of Blake. It already brought Chris Paul to the Clippers and it could have Dwight Howard interested in joining Lob City.
Howard has a list of teams he's reportedly interested in and it includes the Nets, the Lakers and the Mavericks (along with the Magic, I guess). But you can add one more: the Clippers. Via Sheridan Hoops:
SheridanHoops.com learned exclusively Monday that Howard recently expanded his list of preferred future destinations, adding the Clippers to a list that already included the Nets, the Mavericks and the Lakers.The Clippers aren't really in need of a big man as they just signed DeAndre Jordan to a long extension, but you don't say no to Howard. Especially to the idea of a trio of Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard. If the Clips are Lob City now, that would be Lob Universe, Dunk Continent or Oop Galaxy. It would be... something.
It doesn't seem to be the most plauisble destination for Howard as the Clips are fairly structured right now and Howard could be a fit elsewhere. But if he doesn't get traded before the deadline -- and it's looking less likely that will happen -- his options will be open to a whole lot of places, including both Los Angeles teams.
Howard has options. The Mavs have positioned themselves to make a strong run at both him and Deron Williams this summer. The Nets could do the same. The Lakers might offer Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol to get him at the deadline. Or maybe the Clippers decide to go all out and try and work that sign-and-trade, which could include Jordan.
Whatever the case, one thing seems to be a constant right now: These scenarios most definitely do not include Orlando.
Posted on: January 15, 2012 6:59 pm
Edited on: January 16, 2012 6:12 am
Posted by Eye on Basketball staff
Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul is listed as day to day with a hamstring injury after an MRI Sunday revealed no major results. Officially the injury is being called a strained hamstring.
Paul suffered the injury during the fourth quarter of Saturday's 102-94 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
The injury comes at a particularly inopportune time, with the Clippers embarking on a back-to-back-to-back with games Monday afternoon at New Jersey, Tuesday night at Utah before returning home Wednesday against the Mavericks.
The Clipppers started the season with four point guards: Paul, Chauncey Billups, Mo Williams and Eric Bledsoe. They may be down to only Billups by next week. Williams (foot) sat out Saturday's game and Bledsoe (knee) is still 2-3 weeks away from returning.
Posted on: January 15, 2012 3:22 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Kobe Bryant has never been shy. Not with the ball in his hands and not with his words. He tells it like it is, says what he means and is often a bit braggadocios with it, which obviously, he has reason to be.
Following the Lakers loss to the Clippers Saturday, Kobe paid Chris Paul, and Derrick Rose, about as high a compliment there is from the Black Mamba.
"He's a dog," Kobe told reporters. "He's going to fight to win, and not too many teams can deal with him.
"Chris Paul is really the only other guy in the league, other than Derrick Rose, who has also that competitive edge," he continued.
Notice the names missing from Kobe's list there. No LeBron James. No Dwyane Wade. No Kevin Durant. No Dirk Nowitzki. No Kevin Garnett. Nope, on Kobe's personal power rankings of players that possess the same competitive edge as him, it goes Kobe and then CP3 and Rose in some order.
That's just Kobe talking, which he likes to do. It's not a slight to the other players but more just something that shows the respect Kobe has for Rose and Paul. Still, it seems like quite an oversight to leave out players like Wade, Durant and Dirk.
And really, what exactly is that "competitive edge" that Kobe speaks of? What tells him that CP3 and Rose have it? What makes him think that those guys are on another level when it comes to wanting to win? It's just Kobe's opinion and he's more than entitled to that, but still, it's quite a thing to only put two players in your category in terms of competitiveness. Kobe wants to be Michael Jordan, who had a legendary amount of it. And only a couple others are in that territory, evidently.
Posted on: January 15, 2012 2:40 am
Clippers 102 Lakers 94: Recap | GameTracker
It was impossible watching the Clippers' win over the Lakers Saturday night at Staples who the best player on the floor was. Kobe Bryant dazzled. He hit impossible shot after imposible shot, including a fading three-pointer with a defender taking up 85 percent of his vision and a turnaround mid-range jumper with similar contest. He finished with 42 points on a decently efficienty 14 of 28 shooting, and only had two turnovers.
And yet Chris Paul was the best player on the floor Saturday night, even with him having left before the game was over thanks to a strained hamstring late in the fourth quarter after essentially icing the game with another jumper. He finished with 31 points, 6 assists, and one turnover. But it wasn't the assists or turnovers or efficiency that made Paul the best Saturday night, nor was it the win he walked out with. It was his ability to work within the flow of an offense, to keep his teammates involved while also taking advantage of scoring opportunities with his array of skills. Paul hit some tough shots just as Bryant did, but the timing, causation, and execution were completely different.
Bryant has been on a ridicuous scoring streak, hitting the 40 mark four times in a row. The easy answer is that the Black Mamba is doing enough, he simply isn't getting help. But the only real differences between this team and last year's title contender is the absence of Lamar Odom and Shannon Brown. But the subtle differences have a huge impact, and the same problem that has bugged L.A. for years is once again popping up.
When the Lakers' offense stalls out to any degree, that's when Bryant's hero mode kicks in. And right now he's John McClaine. He's launching cars up into the air at helicopters and bringing down hover jets with trucks while taking out hordes of terrorists. But the problem is that in doing these amazing feats, he essentially removes any possibility of the Lakers' whole becoming greater than the sum of their parts. There is no flow, there is no rhythm. There is simply waiting for Bryant to score in order to try and rebound the miss or get back on defense if he hits. The result means that the Lakers' weak parts look weaker while Bryant looks stronger in comparison.
This isn't entirely about Bryant. This is about Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol's assertiveness, and the shot making of other players. But those elements have to be allowed to thrive and they can't with Bryant testing the limits of what is possible just because he thinks it's hot. And it's not about how many field goals Bryant takes. He can shoot 50 times, if the shot is a result of the Lakers' offense functioning at the level it can and needs to. Instead, however, Bryant is taking perimeter shots, pull-up, contested, with 18 seconds or more on the clock. He's throwing up baseline runner J's over double teams. And he's hitting! But everyone knows that isn't sustainable. Bryant coul be scoring 40 points a night on 15 shots plus fouls, that's how good he is. But instead he operates on this plane.
But maybe the bigger issue is the lack of a real playmaker, like Paul, on the Lakers. For years, that role has been filled by the system. The triangle under Phil Jackson naturally gave the stars on the Lakers the chance to distribute, create, and produce. Now under Mike Brown, the Lakers are struggling for an offensive identity.
The Clippers are the opposite at this point. The may be flawed conceptually, but they are making it work with the pieces they have. The Lakers elected to challenge Paul to score Saturday night, taking away his weapons. He responded by showing them what an efficient shooter he is and burning down their Nets with an array of mid-range jumpers and leaners. The Lakers tried everything, but when they threw doubles and traps at Paul, his teammates had already been involved and were ready to produce. Chauncey Billups with 19, Caron Butler with 13 and even Randy Foye (who was not good overall) with 13. The Clippers have a complete team top to bottom, and that's a huge reason for their wins over Portland, Miami, and the Lakers. They may not be as good, but they are a more complete team.
The Lakers were hurt by rebounds. They were hurt by inexperience. They were hurt by a slow start for Bryant. And they were definitely hurt by the brutal nature of their schedule. But if they want to get back to being a title contender, they have to stop with the sideshow stuff. Watching Kobe Bryant do his damage is amazingly fun to watch, but it's no longer 2006. The only way the Lakers are going forward is if they do it together. If they want a blueprint, all they have to do is take a good long look at little brother.
Posted on: January 15, 2012 1:10 am
Edited on: January 15, 2012 1:15 am
Posted by Ben Golliver
Los Angeles Clippers All-Star point guard Chris Paul suffered a strained left hamstring during the fourth quarter of a Saturday night game against the Los Angels Lakers.
Paul suffered the injury after hitting a pull-up jumper with a little more than 4 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. The jumper gave the Clippers a 95-82 lead but Paul immediately limped off the court. The Clippers broadcast team reported shortly thereafter that Paul suffered a strain left hamstring and would not return. The
Paul watched the remainder of the game from the Clippers bench. He departed with a season-high 33 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals and 1 turnover in 39 minutes on 12-22 shooting. Clippers held on to beat the Lakers, 102-94.
Paul is averaging 16.1 points, 8.8 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game this season.
Here's video of Los Angeles Clippers All-Star point guard Chris Paul straining his left hamstring during a Saturday night game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Posted on: January 13, 2012 7:17 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2012 2:19 am
3-on-2 Fast Break is a weekly feature here on Eye on Basketball where our intrepid bloggers tackle two questions, comparing two elements. This week, we focus on Saturday night's showdown at Staples between the Los Angeles Cippers and Los Angeles Lakers. Follow Eye on Basketball on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
1. Let's keep it simple. Which of these two teams wins on Saturday night and why?
Royce Young: Lakers. The Fighting Kobes are in a really good rhythm right now. Kobe is playing great, Andrew Bynum is looking dominant and all the pieces are fitting together. The Clippers kind of put all their eggs into the basket of beating the Heat and while I'm sure they'll be up for the Lakers, they've got to get past that overtime win first. And don't think the Lakers have forgotten everyone getting all excited about the Clips sweeping the two exhibition games at Staples in early December. People were talking about the changing of the guard in L.A., but those games didn't count. This one does.
Ben Golliver: The Lakers have some serious positive momentum going thanks to a four-game winning streak which could become five if they top the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night. That the Clippers get two rest days heading into this one while the Lakers are stuck with the back-to-back gives Lob City an edge, but that probably cancels out the revenge factor that the Lakers are feeling after getting wiped up in two highlight-filled preseason games. Chauncey Billups has hit double figures and shot at least 6 free throws in four consecutive games for the Clippers; they will need his production if they are to keep pace with Kobe Bryant and company. Chris Paul finally had his signature game with the Clippers, scoring 27 points and making 11 assists in a Wednesday win over Miami and he gave the Lakers fits in last year's playoffs. I see him doing it again on Saturday to give the Clippers the win.
Matt Moore: The matchups here are enough to make your head spin. All-Star, phenomenal, once-in-a-lifetime guards? Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul. Behemoth young centers with size, strength and defensive ability? Andrew Bynum and DeAndre Jordan. Crafty veterans on the wings? Ron Artest, Derek Fisher, Steve Blake and Matt Barnes against Chauncey Billups, Caron Butler, and Mo Williams. Power forwards with huge scoring ability who are almost unguardable? Pau Gasol and Blake Griffin. It's a tight set of matchups. I like the Clippers in this one. We saw what Paul was able to do against the Lakers in the playoffs last year, and they haven't upgraded a defender to guard him yet. On the other end, Pau Gasol doesn't like it when things get physical and the Clippers are in-you-face as they come. Bryant can swing this as he can any game, but I like Lob City to open up and outrun the older Lakers.
2. We know Kobe's going to score, Griffin's going to dunk, CP3 is going to dish, and Pau is going to do Pau things. But what's the big unknown in this game that will end up deciding it?
Royce Young: Points in the paint. Who gets the most easy baskets? Both teams are pretty solid defensively and both teams have players that can fill it up. But jumpshots only carry teams so far, especially late in games. The Lakers have Bynum and Gasol who are paint monsters, while Griffin gets a lot of his easy in transition. Execution will be tough because you know this game will be physical. It's going to come down to the little things like free throws, turnovers and again, easy baskets in the paint. Both teams can defend it well, but who is going to break down the other defense enough to score simple points.
Ben Golliver: The answer to the big unknown question is always Andrew Bynum. He poured in his career-high 42 points against DeAndre Jordan back in 2009 and he's shown spurts of serious offensive productivity in this young season. Given that the game is on the second end of a back-to-back there's no guarantee that Bynum can fully exploit what is an exceedingly difficult match-up for Jordan. The only person who can keep Bynum off the offensive glass in this one is himself. The Clippers are second-to-worst in rebound rate on the young season and Jordan can be bullied with Bynum's width and strength.
Matt Moore: Turnovers. The Lakers have turned the ball over a stunning amount this season up until the past few games, also notably the best games of Bryant's season. The Lakers are last in turnover percentage differential, while the Clippers are top-four in that same category. The Clippers also rank 3rd in transition offense according to Synergy Sports. The Lakers are ninth in transition defense. If the Clippers can get out and run, that's going to put more wear and tear on an older and banged up Lakers team. But if the Lakers get to grind it out, expect the Lakers' superior experience to win the day.
Posted on: January 12, 2012 3:02 pm
Posted by Royce Young
The first All-Star ballot returns are out and leading the entire league in votes is Dwight Howard with 754,737 votes with Kobe Bryant second with 690,613. Second in the East is LeBron James (640,789) and in the West Kevin Durant (633,538).
If the voting ended today, the East's starting five would be Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, LeBron, Carmelo Anthony and Howard. In the West it would be Chris Paul, Kobe, Durant, Blake Griffin and Andrew Bynum.
And looking over the vote totals, those starting lineups seem to be a bit set in stone, barring injury. Nobody is really all that close to catching anyone (Dirk is closest behind Griffin, and he's more than 100,000 votes back).
So, are the fans getting it right so far? Kind of looks like they are, quite honestly. Can't argue with the West too much. The one quibble I'd have is that Kevin Love has been absolutely killing it in Minnesota so far this season averaging 25-15, but he's not part of Lob City, so it's hard to see him ever topping Griffin. Same goes for LaMarcus Aldridge, who is off to a fantastic start. I'd also like to mention that Kyle Lowry has gotten off to a terrific start this season, but it's not good enough to top Paul.
In the East, there's really nothing to change. Melo isn't really a power forward, but you can fudge the All-Star rosters a bit. Rajon Rondo isn't playing better than Rose, there's no better 2 in the East than Wade and of course LeBron and Howard are the best at their positions in the entire league.
If the voting holds like this -- and it should -- we'll have a pretty accurate representation of the best in each league to start the All-Star Game. Again, I'd go with Love over Griffin, but that's not a sure thing case to make at this point. And it's not going to change anyway.