Project Shanks NBA Preview: Pacific Division

By Matthew Carpenter
PSDC Writer

NBA PACIFIC DIVISION PREVIEW

Projected Order Of Finish

chris-paul-clippers

1. Clippers. Championship Formula: Elite point guard? Check. Still the best in the business. Multiple players who can create their own shots? Check. Jamal Crawford is the best second unit creator in the league (depending on how the lineup shakes out in Phoenix). Can the team defend in the half court? They can now (post-Vinny). Multiple players who can attempt to guard Durant and LeBron? Check. Great coaching? Check. Look at the development of Blake Griffin and the previously abysmal team defense. Doc Rivers is a top-5 NBA coach. There’s no doubt about it. Distractions? While Spencer Hawes will piss someone off (probably Chris Paul) I guarantee nothing will be as bad as last spring… [Read more…]

Here’s The Thing – LeBron’s Image: Rising Like A Phoenix?

By Stephen Thomas
PSDC Funnyman and Brad Pitt Doppelgänger

I’m Stephen Thomas with Here’s The Thing.

The NBA offseason has begun in earnest, and naturally the biggest question involves LeBron James, as the sports nation waits breathlessly to see if he’ll start using Rogaine or not. I kid, I kid! Everyone wants to see where LBJ will play next season, so that wherever it is they can say Michael Jordan would have done it better. [Read more…]

Controversy in OKC: Thunder/Clippers Game 5

By Darreck Kirby
PSDC NBA Writer

By now you’ve all likely seen or heard about the controversial pair of calls at the conclusion of Game 5 between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers. What you may not know, is that there shouldn’t even be a controversy to speak of.

Reggie.Jackson.Matt.Barnes.Controversial.Play

[Read more…]

Reflecting on the Donald Sterling Case and What it Really Means

By Jake Hyman
PSDC Writer & Host of the New York Sports Minute Podcast

OK so I’m about a week late, I know. Donald Sterling may be vanishing out of the American consciousness by the time this gets published but I urge you to not look away. There is a method to my tardiness.

In the wake of Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling’s racist and bigoted comments being made public via TMZ,  a slew of commentators, columnists and your every-day Joe took to a variety of communication mediums to voice their outcry, displeasure and in some odd cases, backhanded support for the embattled owner.

Meanwhile, I sat there and listened. And I read. And now I write. [Read more…]

There Is Punishment, But No Justice For Donald Sterling

By Michael Conway
PSDC Writer

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Adam Silver has been on the job as NBA Commissioner for nearly three months. He has been characterized by his interest in raising the NBA’s minimum playing age to 20, by accusations that this fines for ill-advised on-court behavior are weaker than previous commissioner David Stern’s, and by the very fact that he is not, in fact, his predecessor. Today, faced with a cleaning up the colossal mess of Donald Sterling—a mess Stern allowed to rot and mold on the curb of the NBA like the most hideous, racist, free futon ever offered on Craigslist—Silver took his chance to be a little bit more. With his voice occasionally quivering and touched by emotion, Silver confirmed that the recorded voice of a racist was indeed the voice of Clippers’ owner and well-documented racist Sterling. In light of that development and the “deeply offensive and harmful” nature of those remarks, Silver took his chance to introduce himself to America as more than the guy after Stern. Perhaps the press conference began late because Silver needed a little more time to swing the mighty hammer of the Association behind his head to ensure that Sterling felt the full force of his lifetime ban and $2.5 million fine.

Well, maybe more focused on the ban. Sterling is still worth $1.9 billion. [Read more…]

Donald Sterling Continuing As Owner is Punishment Enough

By Robbie Marbury
PSDC Writer

Donald Sterling and Chris Paul

Today the NBA will announce the punishment they have decided to dole out to Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, for being an incredibly despicable human being. I’m sure there will be a hefty fine, probably a suspension and maybe even an effort to force him to sell the team. In my opinion there is only one punishment that will be harsh enough to impact a billionaire such as Sterling, and that is to force him to remain the owner of the Clippers. That’s right; he should stay the owner.

If the NBA tries to force Sterling out of the league, they run a high chance of being sued by him. As bad as his horrific comments were, they aren’t illegal, and it would be hard for the league to win a lawsuit without having a confession from Sterling. The tape that TMZ shared with the world was recorded without Sterling’s permission or knowledge, which means the likelihood is small that TMZ would risk being sued as well, and share the recordings with the NBA for authenticity purposes.

Also, if the league forced Sterling to sell, he would net north of a billion dollars for the Los Angeles Clippers. Does that sound like the appropriate punishment for the Billionaire Bigot? I say he stays with the team, and watches it crumble around him. As long as Sterling is the owner of the Clippers the sponsors will continue to back out, and stay away. Players will demand to be traded, and no one will sign there. Fans will stop coming to the games because the team is so awful. You know, kind of like they did for the first 25 years he owned the team.

Once there is no more money coming in from sponsors, and the team is back to rock bottom, Sterling will be losing money hand over fist, and have no choice but to sell the team — which is what everyone wants — but now the team will be worth nothing by NBA standards, and whoever buyas on the team will be getting it at a fraction of its current worth.

Sure, if would take lots of work from a future owner to rebuild a team that was decimated by departures, but it would be worth the work. The NBA is near the end of its current TV deal, and is looking at a new TV package that will be richer than any other American sports league outside of the NFL. With the new TV deal, a new owner would not be in jeopardy of losing money every season. The Milwaukee Bucks just sold for $550 million; imagine what a team in Los Angeles would be worth. If Sterling is stubborn enough to hold onto the team, which he is, they value of offers would decrease with each passing day he owns the team.

This solution will hurt Sterling, it will also allow the players to get even with him by being able to walk away. Doc Rivers can “retire” for a few years and go back to broadcasting with TNT, and bash Sterling on national TV every Thursday night. The only problem is the fans will be hurt too. Now, if you weren’t a fan until Blake Griffin and Chris Paul got there, then you aren’t a real fan anyway, and I’m not worried about you. If you were a fan back in the good ‘ol days when the Clippers sucked, then you should have voiced your disdain for the owner in 2003 or 2009 when he settled out of court in racial discrimination lawsuits. If you are one of those fans, then I do worry about you, because you’re an imbecile.

The only thing I can’t decide on is whether he should be suspended or not. Part of me thinks he should be forced to sit courtside at every home game. He should have to sit there and watch as enormous athletes hover over him, and glare at him as they go up and down the court. He should have to sit there and ponder if any of these fine tuned athletes will be outraged enough to come over and break his face. The more I think about it I think the torture of having to sit there and watch every game would actually be fun to see.

I am not sure what the NBA will do, but this decision will make waves around the sporting world no matter which direction they go. Previously the NBA has only fined its players for morality issues, but what happens when the issue is with the boss? Human nature says to change the boss, and I agree, but I say that he should have to sweat it out, and wait until his reward for being a racist is as minimal as possible.

Follow Robbie on Twitter @rmarbury

Why The Mavericks Need Danny Granger

By Darreck Kirby
PSDC Dallas Mavericks Beat Writer

It wasn’t so long ago that Danny Granger was Indiana’s best player. A sharp shooting small forward, the eight-year veteran was a frequent participant in ESPN’s highlight reel. But over the past two seasons that perspective has changed for Granger.

Danny.Granger.and.A.Lot.of.Dallas.Mavericks (1)
[Read more…]

Not Again! Mavs Blow Big Lead Late, Lose to Clippers

By Darreck Kirby
PSDC Dallas Mavericks Beat Writer

With Chris Paul once again out of the way, the Dallas Mavericks marched into Los Angeles with a little bit of momentum and a chip on their shoulder. And for the first three quarters and eight minutes, they looked like they were ready to make a statement; one that proved their letdown earlier this month in Dallas, when Paul first went down with injury, was a fluke. Unfortunately for Dallas, their defensive woes once again came back to bite them, as well as poor clock management and shot selection as the Clippers unbelievably rallied from 17 down in the final 4:35 to win 129-127.

The turning point:
Late in the fourth with Dallas firmly in control, Blake Griffin got tangled up with Samuel Dalembert, and in typical Griffin fashion, flopped to the ground with a fish before springing back to his feet and playing the victim card.

Photo Credit: savingtheskyhook.com

Photo Credit: savingtheskyhook.com

There was no doubt things were getting a little too physical down low, but Griffin exasperated the situation to make it appear far worse than it really was. What’s worse is that he attempted to go after Dalembert and had to be restrained by an official and a handful of teammates before the officials crew stepped over to the monitors to determine the damage. [Read more…]

Mavs Collapse in Final Minutes, Fall to Clippers 119-112

By Darreck Kirby
PSDC Dallas Mavericks Beat Writer

The Mavericks (19-14) opened the game on fire, beating the Los Angeles Clippers (23-12) at the point of attack and out hustling them to every loose ball. The Mavericks roared out to a double-digit lead, but could never seem to shake Chris Paul and company despite a balanced scoring attack.

Rick Carlisle pregame interview.
Rick Carlisle postgame interview.
Dirk Nowitzki postgame interview.
Shawn Marion postgame interview.
Brandan Wright postgame interview.

Paul was a machine for LA early on, scoring 19 points in the first half and recording six assists before suffering a separated shoulder that will now sideline him for at least 3-5 weeks. The game should have turned in the Mavericks favor then, but that wasn’t the case. Instead it was the former Maverick, Darren Collison leading the Clippers back to take the lead midway through the third period. Collison would total 20 points in his first trip back to Dallas since starting for the Mavericks most of last season. The guard felt he had something to prove and honestly did just that.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Also proving a thorn in the Mavs side were the athletic big men of LA, Blake Griffin (25 pts, 15 rebounds) and DeAndre Jordan (25 pts, 18 rebounds). To put it simply the duo played above the rim all game, wowing the opposing crowd time and time again while bullying the Dallas front court and Shawn Marion. [Read more…]

Old Foes Team Up In Tinseltown

By Ryan Haidinger
PSDC Writer

The Los Angeles Clippers have agreed to a three-team trade that, in part, brings sharp shooter J.J. Redick to Lob City. It will be interesting to see the relationship between Redick and All-Star point guard Chris Paul develop over the season. On one hand they should play off each other very nicely on the court, on the other hand they haven’t always played nicely off it. In an ESPN the Magazine interview with Dan Patrick (June 05, 2006), Paul had this exchange:

DP: What kind of pro do you think J.J. Redick will be?
CP: J.J. will be a really good pro though he wouldn’t have said that about me. In a newspaper this year, he mentioned that he didn’t like somebody on last year’s Wake team. I pretty much knew it was me.
DP: So what will happen if J.J. ends up on your team?
CP: Oh man, that would be the toughest thing.

This interview occurred over seven years ago but it was interesting to see one player speak so openly about another, and it will be interesting this fall to see them team up.

Follow Ryan on Twitter: @RyanHaidinger

The Clippers Need A Coach. Who’s In?

By Matthew Carpenter
PSDC Contributor 

The NBA’s most intriguing job opening is in Los Angeles:  Metta World Peace is hiring a new personal chef . The Clippers are replacing Vinny Del Negro.

The story is that Chris Paul got Del Negro fired (or not renewed) and Paul came under fire from some fans and writers as if he’s the first “star” to dictate an NBA team’s staffing decision. The story should be that Vinny Del Negro needed to be let go and Paul shouldn’t have had to do the dirty work. In fact, it should’ve happened after 2011-12. Some things are self-evident. Del Negro showed little growth during his second stint as a head coach. No secondary offensive action. Terrible game preparation. Terrible roster management. At practice, teaching team defense is apparently on the “don’t” list. Arbitrarily juggling lineups and hiding two of your best perimeter defenders (Barnes and Bledsoe) for huge chunks of time is on the “do” list. Who knows? While Vinny can’t connect with his players, he’s great at smooth-talking the Suits. Maybe he’ll be able to con his way to a third NBA head coaching gig, but I doubt it.

I might be in the minority, but I view the Clippers as the Thunder’s biggest Western Conference threat entering the 2013-14 season. I hate to discount a Gregg Popovich-coached team, but the bubble has to burst someday. Doesn’t it? Maybe not. The undeniable talent on the Clippers is just enough to entice a lot of good coaching candidates to come work for Donald Sterling – owner, slumlord and general asshole. [Read more…]

Twitter Recap: The Night With All The Game Sixes (Part II)

By Robbie Marbury
PSDC Big Man 

Alright, now it is time for the second half of our duel doubleheader of game sixes. This round features Clippers vs. Grizzlies and Thunder vs. Rockets.