Tag Archives: Los Angeles Clippers

Weekly Nickel 7-9-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Tony Stewart (pictured above) had his way at Daytona this past weekend. Will he stay hot in New Hampshire on Sunday.

By Josh Kramer

Andy Murray has officially established himself as the “GOAT (Greatest Of All Time)” to never win a Grand Slam.  His tears and pain were felt by an entire country.  The MLB enters the All-Star Break with both the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals sitting atop their respective divisions.  NBA free-agency has every team around the League on high alert.  And guess what?  This week is going to be jam-packed in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  The countdown is on.  The whole world will focus their attention on one place in a mere 18 days for arguably the greatest event in sports.  Get ready for the London 2012 Summer Olympics.  It should be one for the ages.

4.  Big Tony Stewart thoroughly enjoyed his stay in Daytona.  Now it is time to head to New Hampshire.  Not exactly Daytona, but still an important stop in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.  Last year, Ryan Newman came out victorious at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  Newman currently finds himself ranking 15th in the current standings with one win on the year.  A repeat of last year could go a long way in helping Newman solidify a spot in the Chase come September. Continue reading

Dream matchup before dream matchup

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. The point guard matchup in the Western Conference finals between Russell Westbrook (pictured above) and Tony Parker should be one for the ages.

By Josh Kramer

Let’s not beat around the bush. The Western Conference semifinals were a major bust.  The city of Los Angeles (Clippers and Lakers) was entirely overmatched and mustered up one total victory.  Now, the matchup everyone has been waiting for in the Wild Wild West is set.  Who isn’t excited for the Spurs/Thunder showdown set to start on Sunday?

Not only did the supposedly “over the hill” San Antonio Spurs tie for the best record in the NBA, they also have won 18 straight games.  The Oklahoma City Thunder are coming off an emphatic thrashing of the Los Angeles Lakers.  OKC has been the favorite all year long out West, and lived up to the part until the final couple of weeks of the season when San Antonio leapfrogged them for the number one seed.  So despite San Antonio possessing the number one seed and cruising through the first two rounds, all records get tossed out the window.  The score is 0 to 0 come Sunday.

Not only did the Spurs and Thunder finish 2nd and 3rd in the NBA in terms of scoring offense this season, they also finished 16th and 17th in terms of scoring defense.  These teams put up frighteningly similar statistics during the course of the 66 game shortened season.  Can you say seven game series?

Flip a coin on what “Big Three” is better.  On one hand, San Antonio has the old-school trifecta featuring Parker, Duncan, and Ginobli.  On the other hand, OKC has a terrific trio in Westbrook, Durant, and Harden.  This series will start and end at the point guard position though. Tony Parker versus Russell Westbrook. Continue reading

Kings will win the Stanley Cup (I think…)

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. This was the scene late last night as the Los Angeles Kings (pictured above) clinched a spot in the Stanley Cup. Can they win it all?

By Nick Craddock

Don’t fret about the aging Lakers, good people of Los Angeles, your Los Angeles Kings will win the Stanley Cup and bring joy and a championship banner to the Staples Center soon enough. Without being so bold as to bet my own money, I would assure any willing (and possibly chronic) gamblers to place their bets on the team in Black and White to hoist the Cup as NHL champions in June.

Despite Games 4 and 5 of the Western Conference Finals arguably being the sloppiest two games of the Kings’ playoff run to date, the boys from LA managed to edge the Coyotes 4-3 in overtime in Game 5 to take the series in five games and advance to the Stanley Cup to face the winner of the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils. Somehow, the Kings survived a lackadaisical start, particularly from stars Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, a 5-on-3 Coyotes powerplay in the third period, and a Phoenix powerplay in overtime to avoid giving the fellow upstart Coyotes yet another breath of life in the series.

Really, the Kings were just a “Mike Smith” away from sweeping the Coyotes in four games as the Phoenix goaltender briefly returned to his earlier round form in pushing the series back to Glendale, Arizona for what turned out to be the decisive Game 5.

Still, the fact remains that the Kings have only needed 14 games to dispose of the Western Conference’s top three seeds and own a perfect road record (8-0). The small sample size of games has been proof enough that the Kings are playing the best hockey of any team in the playoffs. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 5-21-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Due to rain, we are getting some bonus tennis today. Can Novak Djokovic (pictured above) handle Nadal on the clay in Rome?

By Josh Kramer

Saturday was not the best of days for the city of  Los Angeles to say the least.  As I have said before, people will soon stop calling Los Angeles “Lob City,” and start calling it “Heartbreak City,” if they haven’t already.   On Saturday, both of their basketball teams blew double-digit point leads. At least they have the Dodgers and the Kings. The NBA and NHL playoffs have been outstanding and the best part is there is still plenty to go.  In addition, I’ll Have Another would love “another” win at the Belmont to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978.  Last week was great, but this week should be even better.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Bonus tennis.  What could be better?  Due to massive amounts of rainfall, the Rome Masters final showdown between the world’s top two players (Djokovic/Nadal) was postponed today.  I by no means am complaining.  The clay-court season has been a bundle of fun as usual as we get ready to head down the home stretch. Roland Garros is just six days away.  Get excited. Continue reading

Food for Thought 5-15-2012

Photo courtesy of clippers.topbuzz.com. Chris Paul (left) and Blake Griffin (right) are two of the main reasons why the Clippers currently find themselves in the Western Conference Semifinals. Can they advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history?

By Josh Kramer

The opening round brought the city of Los Angeles to a fever pitch.  Round two will bring heartbreak.  In a little over a week, people will be referring to Los Angeles as “Heartbreak City,” rather than “Basketball Central.”  Even if you are not a fan of the Lakers or the Clippers, you have to admit that an all LA Western Conference Finals showdown would be special.  “Lob City” versus the Kobe Bryant Show.  What could be better than that?

Unfortunately, I am going to go out on a limb and say that it isn’t going to happen.  This is not the same Lakers team that made three consecutive finals appearances from 2008 to 2010.  They are full of flaws, lacking the effort and determination to lay it all on the line every night. The Clippers are not only tired and injury riddled, they are overmatched against a very experienced and well coached San Antonio team.  Gregg Popovich is arguably the best in the business for a reason.

Kobe Bryant will have to play out of this world for LA to stretch this series more than five games.  The Nuggets made the Lakers look like they were standing still at times during the opening round.  What do you think the Thunder are going to do?  Not to mention the Thunder are much bigger inside than the Nuggets with Ibaka and a now healthy Perkins.  I tip my hat to the Clippers on taking down a very good Grizzlies team.  But the Spurs are even better than Memphis.  Plus, both of the star players on the Clippers are currently struggling with various injuries.

It has been a great year for Los Angeles in terms of NBA basketball.  As a consolation prize though, the Kings appear unstoppable in terms of the NHL and the Dodgers currently boast the best record in the National League.  In terms of basketball though, Los Angeles should start thinking about the 2012/2013 season. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 5-13-2012

Photo courtesy of guestofaguest.com. Two former number ones left Madrid as Champions. Will Roger Federer (left) and Serena Williams (right) both make deep runs at the French Open?

By Josh Kramer

Playoffs, playoffs, and more playoffs.  It is a great time of year in sports.  And the best part is the playoffs are just starting to really heat up as we enter the later rounds for both the NBA and NHL.  Last week was a blast and the English Premier League’s heart stopping finale was the cherry on top, but this week should be a good one in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Despite a good few months until the NFL season officially kicks off, the trash talking and storylines are just as juicy as ever.  Chad Ochocino has warned Goodell at the possible storm that seems inevitable in the wake of Junior Seau’s death and the heavy emphasis on head trauma.  In addition, two familiar NFC East foes were jabbering during yesterday’s holiday.  Osi Umenyiora wished LeSean McCoy, a “Happy Mother’s Day.”  Lastly, the Vince Young train has landed in Buffalo.  Talk about a major bust.  It may only be May, but the excitement is mounting.  Who else is excited for some NFL football?

4.  Madrid was full of surprises over the course of the past week.  In the end though, two familiar faces came out victorious (Roger Federer and Serena Williams).  Many of the top players were none too pleased with the blue clay.  Maybe this displeasure correlates to the frustration that opponents feel when they travel to Idaho to take on Boise State in football ?  Either way, the French Open is nearly upon us.  Next stop Rome though for what is always a great event. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 5-7-2012

Photo courtesy of thenewsportsguru.com. Robert Griffin III (pictured above) and other rookies are getting their first reps with their new employers already.

By Josh Kramer

The word “playoffs” is the best way to describe the wide world of sports over the past week.  And guess what.  “Playoffs” will continue to be the heart of the sporting world this week. Here are the main events to keep an eye on.

5.  Wednesday was one of the most wild days in recent memory regarding the NFL.  It even topped the Manning/Tebow bonanzaThere was some good, some bad, and some sad.  Well rookies like Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and others are getting their first real workouts in with their new employees.  Keep an eye out as rookie minicamp finishes. Continue reading

Food for Thought 5-1-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Rudy Gay (pictured above) is the main guy in Memphis these days. After suffering a heartbreaking loss on Sunday, the Grizzlies will rely heavily on Gay to help get Memphis back into the series.

By Josh Kramer

Today is a special day for “TheSportsKraze.”  Back when I started this blog in September of 2009, I never could have imagined all that I would learn from this experience.  Writing daily on this forum has truly been a blessing and helped me grow as both a writer and as a person.  When my roommate convinced me to start “TheSportsKraze,” I figured it would be a nice little hobby that may get some looks from ten to twenty of my closest family and friends a day.  These days, “TheSportsKraze” has become a major part of my daily routine and is read by hundreds of people from across the globe every day.  Well today, we have hit the 900th post.  Please take it in and enjoy.

Sleeping in Memphis?

All NBA fans had the Clippers/Grizzlies series circled as the one that would provide some fireworks in the opening round. Well the series opener did not disappoint by any means.  I turned the game off after the third quarter.  It was already kind of late, and the Grizzlies were absolutely making a mockery out of “Lob City.”  Shame on me for not watching the full 48 minutes.  The beauty of sports is no game is ever over until the final horn sounds or the final out is made.  I learned this as a young child when Reggie Miller ripped the hearts out of the New York Knicks by scoring eight points in nine seconds on May 7, 1995.

I have been high on the Grizzlies all season.  There is a reason why I picked them way back in December to play deep into the postseason.  The Grizzlies shocked the Spurs last year.  And this off-season, they only appeared to get better.  Through three quarters on Sunday, they looked the part as a major contender in the West.  Then the fourth quarter from hell struck. Continue reading

Food for Thought 4-10-2012

Photo courtesy of bleacherreport.com. The last time the Yankees began a season 0 and 3 was 1998. One of the key cogs to that team which ended up winning the World Series was Tino Martinez (pictured above).

By Josh Kramer

Panic has struck the entire East Coast.  God forbid the Red Sox and Yankees both got swept in their opening series.  For just the second time in MLB history (1966 was the other), the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have started the year 0 and 3 (now both are 1 and 3).  This happens almost every year where a high-profile team stumbles out of the gate.  Last year, Boston was beside itself when the “Fenway All-Stars” started out the year 0 and 6.  They ended up winning 90 games and missing the playoffs due to the modern-day version of the Boston Massacre and one of the wildest final nights in the history of the baseball.  Back in 2009, both New York and Boston were relegated to the cellar in the AL East after six games.  We all know who ended up hoisting the Commissioner’s Trophy that Fall (Boston made the playoffs as well). Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 4-9-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Cody Zeller (pictured above) is projected as a sure-fire lottery pick. Yet, he is on the fence about whether he should stay in Bloomington or take his talents to the NBA. He has 20 days to make up his mind.

By Josh Kramer

Sunday was truly a “fun” day in the sporting world. Masters insanity.  Carmelo put on a Broadway-esque performance in the Big Apple.  And John Isner led the US Davis Cup team into the semifinals.  It was a wild Sunday to say the least.  Last week was fun.  But this week is poised to be every bit as entertaining.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Should I stay or should I go?  Many college basketball players across the country are pondering this question as they heavily weigh their options on if they should spend more time at the collegiate ranks, or try to take their talents to the professional level.  Every year there are guys that declare, that really have no business departing. Also though, there are always guys that could have left, that decide to stay for another year and continue to refine their skills 20 days remain for the non-seniors to make up their minds.  Remember, only 60 players will get drafted come June 28th. Continue reading