Battle of Los Angeles: Lakers vs. Clippers Part Two

Lakers vs. Clippers pt. 2

Chris Paul vs. Derek Fisher: Old school versus new school, except in this case the new school is going to win. 37 versus 26 just really isn’t fair and over the last couple of years it’s been clear that Derek Fisher has lost a step. We saw it especially in the Oklahoma City playoff matchups when Kobe Bryant would have to guard point guard Russell Westbrook instead of Fisher because Westbrook would just blow by him. Yes Fisher is the more experienced, wiser, and more glorified, with his five rings but Paul is on the up and up and is one of the top point guards in the game.

Winner: Chris Paul

Chauncey Billups vs. Kobe Bryant: Rather it will be Billups, Mo Williams, Randy Foye or whom ever at the shooting guard position for the Los Angeles Clippers this is year it won’t really matter as Kobe Bryant will win the match-up every time. He’s a five time champion, multiple time All Star as well as many other achievements and even though at age 33 Bryant still doesn’t seem like he’s even lost a step. Continuing with that, Bryant also underwent an experimental procedure on his chronic, albeit mostly minor knee injury this off-season and it appears that it has worked has people close to Bryant have said that he has his hops back.

Winner: Kobe Bryant

Caron Butler vs. Metta World Peace: Now while there have been talks that new head Coach Mike Brown has said that Artest will come off the bench as the sixth man in the replacement of the absence of Lamar Odom this season. The thought would be that Matt Barnes would get the start; which really does make a difference. However if Artest is the starter, than Artest wins the match up as his lockdown defense and crazy new name is just too much for Caron Butler. Now if it’s Barnes then it’s going to slide in the favor of Butler.

Winner: Caron Butler

Blake Griffin vs. Pau Gasol: People have said that Gasol is no longer the Laker that he once was, as he’s gotten worse, as last season was awful for him and that he should just be traded. Well what those people don’t know is that, statistically Gasol had his best season ever as a Laker, scoring 1,541 points and grabbing a career high 836 rebounds in a full 82 games. That’s why it just doesn’t make sense as he’s a very talented all-around player which despite Griffin’s unique athleticism, I like Gasol. Now unless it’s a contest of who can jump over a car, than it goes to Griffin but if it’s playing basketball then it goes to Gasol, because he can shoot the jump shot, grab rebounds, score, pass, and pretty much do whatever. Also too the Lakers size advantage is just too much as in most cases Andrew Bynum would be helping out in the paint on Griffin too.

Winner: Pau Gasol

DeAndre Jordan vs. Andrew Bynum: Now whether they get Dwight Howard or not, center Andrew Bynum healthy is just a force to be reckoned with as he’s the second best center in the NBA, when healthy. Now don’t get me wrong Jordan is a very nice young talent but he’s no Andrew Bynum, as Bynum not only has the size advantage but he also has the coaching advantage with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. So just as long as Bynum stays healthy like he did in 2006 when he didn’t miss a game, then this Los Lakers team will be at elite status.

Winner: Andrew Bynum

Clippers Bench vs. Lakers Bench: Now while there are some names that jump out to you on the Clippers bench as it could possibly be Mo Williams, Randy Foye, and Eric Bledsoe but the problem is, is that, that’s really it as you look at the rest of their bench, Brian Cook, Ryan Gomes, Travis Lesile, Adam Koch, Trey Thompkins, and Willie Warren there isn’t much. And to top it off too, there really isn’t much at their power forward and center positions as it’s just a four man rotation with Griffin, Jordan, Thompkins, and Cook.

You then look to the Lakers bench and you see Artest or Barnes, Steve Blake, Jason Kapono, Josh McRoberts, Troy Murphy, Derrick Caracter, and the young Devin Ebanks as well as some others. But it’s very balanced as they have a three pointer shooter in Kapono, a great sixth man in Artest, a couple talented big men in McRoberts, Murphy, and Caracter, and an up-coming player in Ebanks. While yes the Clippers may have a couple two stars on their bench who are hands down better than any other Laker bench player, but that doesn’t matter as they still lack a lot of depth at the power forward and center positions, which will hurt them.

Winner: Lakers Bench

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Battle of Los Angeles: Lakers vs. Clippers Part One

Lakers vs. Clippers

Since moving to Los Angeles in 1985, the Los Angeles Clippers have only had a better record than the Los Angeles Lakers just three times. In 1992-93, 41-41 compared to the Lakers 39-43, in 2004-05, 37-45 compared to the Lakers 34-48, and in 2005-06, 47-35 compared to the Lakers 45-37. Other than that the Lakers have just out played the Clippers proving that Los Angeles was and is their city. Since moving to Los Angeles the Lakers have won eight championships, 12 conference titles, and 13 division titles and on Thursday December 8thit looked like they were going to do all three of those once again.

News broke in the evening time over all different media outlets that the Lakers had acquired guard Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets in a three team trade. The deal was the Lakers were receiving Chris Paul, the Houston Rockets were receiving Lakers forward Pau Gasol, and the Hornets were receiving Rockets guard Kevin Martin, Rockets forward Luis Scola, Lakers forward Lamar Odom, and a Houston Rockets first round draft pick.

Predictions started saying that the Lakers were going to win the west, that the Lakers were going to repeat, and that the Lakers were once again the best. However these predictions, new faces in new places, and new look teams would come to an end as news would later break that commissioner David Stern would veto the trade.

Analysts, reporters, fans, and even players were livid about Stern’s decision to veto the trade so much that Chris Paul threatened to sue the NBA. Though after reality set in and hours passed of Chris Paul not going to the Lakers and this trade no longer going through, teams and owners started talking again. However this time it wasn’t the Lakers as they decided to pull out after forward Lamar Odom demanded a trade and because the league was asking too much for Paul.

So as a result to the veto Odom would get his demand and would be sent to the Dallas Mavericks for $8.9 million in trade exception, as well as a protected first-round pick. The reason for the trade was that Odom felt “disgusted” that Lakers were trading him to begin in the first place.

Then about a week later after trading for Chris Paul appeared to be dead due to Stern’s high asking cost, the Los Angeles Clippers and the New Orleans Hornets would agree to terms to send Paul to the Clippers. The deal would send Paul and two future second round picks to the Clippers in exchange to guard Eric Gordon forward Al-Farouq Aminu, center Chris Kaman, and Minnesota’s unprotected first round pick.

With the acquisition of Paul this seemed like the final step to the recipe of success to beating the Lakers and being the kings of Los Angeles. It all started right after the lockout ended when the Clippers signed forward Caron Butler to a three year deal, then matched the Golden State Warriors offer to re-sign forward DeAndre Jordan, and then of course traded Gordon, Aminu, Kaman and Minnesota’s unprotected first round pick to the Hornets for Paul.

Those transactions put the Clippers back on the map as far as one of the NBA’s top competitors but it especially put them in an unfamiliar place, a place that they have only been three times; a chance to be better than the Los Angeles Lakers.

Come back on Saturday to see the breakdown between the Clippers and the Lakers of the Battle of Los Angeles Part Two. 

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NBA Lockout Breakdown: Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Chris Paul, and Dirk Nowitzki will land.

Who will take their talents overseas?

Last off-season Lebron James took his talents to south beach to join forces with Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade in Miami. Many called it “disgraceful” “un-professional,” some even said that it was going to ruin his career. However what if more players took their talents to other teams, or now with the lockout maybe another league, or even another country? What would they say then? Would it be okay?

On Friday July 8th guard Deron Williams agreed on a one year deal of $5 million with the Besiktas a team in Turkey that Allen Iverson played for last year. Williams the first NBA player this off-season decided that it was the right move and the right fit for him. Williams deciding to go to Turkey now opens the door even more now for more NBA players to follow in his footsteps. So let’s break it down.

Where will Superman land?

Dwight Howard: While the Los Angles Lakers have been the destination that many have been saying that Superman will land, now due to the NBA Lockout it may not. Not only will it might not be Los Angles, but it may not even be an NBA team. As of right now it looks like Howard may be taking his talents to another country. “I’m not at liberty to talk about it,” Howard said to the associated press. “But there’s a huge possibility about me going to China or me going overseas to play basketball.” Well you heard it from the man himself it’s a huge possibility. “I don’t want to just sit over here and forget about basketball and waste, you know, opportunities for me to get better,” said Howard to the press.

Chances of Howard going overseas if there’s a lockout: 100 Percent. While money isn’t really a concern for Howard, playing time is and being as young and as talented as Howard is going overseas for a year during a lockout would be a great decision.

Where will Bryant go?

Kobe Bryant: While his name has come up in the talks before, Kobe Bryant has been the “player to get” to go overseas this off-season. Due to his high popularity that Bryant has generated worldwide in countries like China, teams have been talking with Bryant’s agent trying to make a deal for Bryant to go. Now while China has been the place Bryant has been rumored to go, the Besiktas who recently just signed Deron Williams said that they were looking to sign Bryant as well. The two parties Bryant and the Besiktas will meet in the first week of August to discuss terms about Bryant playing for them next season.

Chances of Bryant going overseas if there’s a lockout: 100 Percent. Age isn’t a concern. Even at 33 (Which he’ll be at the time of playing) Bryant hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down and with the competitive edge that Bryant has the odds of him taking a season off are slim to none.

Another concern that also stops players from going overseas is the new culture, the new language, and the different people that they would have to adjust to. In Bryant’s case who spent a good chunk of his childhood overseas in Italy due to his father Joe Bryant who played professionally overseas for seven sesasons already knows what its like to move from the United States to another country. Also with the great experience that his father had overseas I wouldn’t see why Bryant wouldn’t go and play.

Where will James go?

Lebron James: After the treacherous off-season that was marked by “The Decision” and the 4-2 loss in the NBA Finals to Dallas Mavericks, Lebron James is looking to make people forget and forgive. While an NBA Lockout doesn’t help the loved and hated superstar it does show light at the end of the tunnel. While a season without the NBA would force players to take a season “off” it could one lower the tensions that the fans have given James and two it could also help him get back their respect, by making the right decision. Take a year off or take his talents to east to the other side of the world and play basketball for a season there.

Chances of Lebron James going overseas if there’s a lockout: 50 Percent. Reason being he’s made the wrong decision before and who knows if he’ll do it again. Now if Kobe Bryant and other superstars do take their talents overseas James should do so as well. The question is, will he? The answer probably, that would be the best choice. Though I don’t know he’s shocked some people before, just ask Cleveland.

Where will Paul go?

Chris Paul: While Paul and other NBA stars are playing overseas in exhibition games this summer, it doesn’t necessarily mean that their going to play overseas if there’s a lockout. All their doing as of right now is having fun, staying in shape, and playing basketball. While it could persuade some of them at the end of the day it’s just good fun.

Chances of Chris Paul going overseas if there’s a lockout: 20 Percent. Now you would think at age 26 and as popular as Paul is that it would be a no brainer that he would go and play overseas, well your wrong. Now he’s not going to take a season off by no means, he’s just not going across the sea.

Hornets President Hugh Weber said that the franchise intends to eventually have a single-affiliation D-League team in Louisiana. Now while the NBA will have a lockout the D-League will not. The D-League will stop operate and pay the players just like it’s been doing for several years. Now you may think that the D-League won’t have enough competition for Paul and your right. Though, that won’t be the case because more players that don’t want to go overseas, will take their talents to the D-League and play. This will keep them in shape and in the United States still building the reputation of the NBA.

Where will Dirk go?

Dirk Nowitzki: Coming off of his first NBA Championship the Finals M.V.P. at age 33 could use some rest. However Nowitzki intends to play for Germany in the European Championships in Lithuania. Nowitzki born and from Germany many would think that in the case of a lockout would go over and play in Germany. However Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban who Nowitzki has a great relationship with doesn’t really approve of players who are under contract to go and compete overseas.

Chances of Dirk Nowitzki going overseas if there’s a lockout: 10 Percent. Now while you can’t count it out just yet, the chances of Nowitzki going overseas to play are very unlikely. Now while he won’t take a season off by any means as he’ll continue his routine workouts and that entire but at age 33 he might not play. Even though age isn’t the biggest factor for Nowitzki what is, is Mark Cuban. Cuban who doesn’t like players competing overseas while under contract is going to be a concern, while Nowitzki does occasionally compete for his team in the Olympics that may just be enough. Nowitzki who will most likely will play in the European Championships this summer will use that and then the workouts and come the 2012-13 season he’ll be good to go for his quest at another ring.

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Come back on Saturday and see where Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin, and Kevin Durant will go if there’s a lockout.