Tag Archives: Clips

The Early MVP race: Stephen Curry VS Russell Westbrook

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By: Opinionated MJ

The Early MVP race:

Stephen Curry VS Russell Westbrook

We’ve gone about a week into the season and we’ve already seen quite a few mid-season performance from all around the league. Last night, Andre Drummond posted 25 points and 29 rebounds, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant Posted 48 and 43 points respectively combining for 91, and Stephen Curry has been a fire that continues to burn more and more furiously as each game comes and goes. They all said he wasn’t real. They all said that the championship the Warriors fought for was a fluke. They’ve said a lot of things but we’ve received a taste of what would’ve been, it just decided to be in place at the beginning of this season.

I’ll start with health since that was the biggest outcry from people who denounce the championship won by the Warriors. Stephen Curry has already faced the Rockets, Grizzlies, and the Pelicans (TWICE). He’s currently facing the Clippers which is the team everyone thought they would’ve faced, but the fact that didn’t happen definitely isn’t the Warriors or Curry’s fault. That’s all 3 opponents they seen en route to the NBA Finals. This time, the opposition (of the Warriors) had all of their point guards healthy. Mike Conley, Jrue Holiday, a combo of Ty Lawson and Patrick Beverly, and none of them could stop Steph Curry. If anything, they did worse than they did last season and post season trying to stop him. He’s been a wrecking ball since tip-off. They’ve been playing without Steve Kerr and it’s as if it doesn’t matter who their coach is. They continue to keep dealing the total package to opponents. If they stay healthy throughout this season the same way they did last season, I honestly expect to see them only challenged by the Thunder and Spurs but still fully able to come through with a Finals berth.

This takes me to Russell Westbrook. The Thunder just lost to the Raptors but my case with Russell is more individual than team oriented. Russell being able to play last season with all of his new teammates gives him a leg up on Durant when it comes to chemistry with the team and also knowing where he can pick his spots without being a detriment. If anything, the Thunder are Russell Westbrook’s team this season (and last). Durant is like a scoring Scottie Pippen to Westbrook’s driven, assassin-like Michael Jordan. He’s been facilitating, he’s been the reason they won a double overtime game against Orlando. In that game, something weird happened. Russell was the reason why they put themselves in position to win that game with Durant surprisingly sitting on the bench. Russell has been his usual self but he’s also been who we’ve always wanted him to be since the Thunder made that trip to the Finals.

I believe Russell Westbrook may be the reason why the Thunder have a chance at winning the title also. I’m very interested in seeing how he and Steph Curry matchup. That is looking to be a very exciting game and if that would be a playoff series in the west, it could look to be the best series of the playoffs no matter which round it’s in. The growth of Russell Westbrook is the probably the third biggest story this season behind the question of whether Steph Curry can get another MVP award (it’s looking that way) and whether the Warriors can repeat and shut up all of their naysayers. Russell Westbrook’s story could prove to be the most intriguing if he can land an MVP award, facilitate the Thunder in a way that he’s always been expected to, and also lead them to a much overdue championship. Yes, LeBron always looms in the lowly east conference with teams still figuring out their way. Anthony Davis is still a dark horse MVP candidate depending on if the Pelicans can spread their wings or not. Russell Westbrook has the ice-cold veins and newly found pacing to actually impress and run away with the award if he can get momentum and get his team some major wins along the way. James Harden is the self-proclaimed and the MVP of the players association but he’s got major flaws that proved Steph Curry to be the one truly deserving. It’s already showing. Who do you have for MVP? My ballot goes to Steph Curry. Russell in 2nd.

Chip for Clips?

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By: Opinionated MJ

Championship for Clippers?

Retaining DeAndre Jordan, acquiring Lance Stevenson, signing Paul Pierce… Have the Clippers now finally put themselves into championship contention instead of playoff contention? They’ve honestly had no excuse to lose in the last two seasons but somehow, someway, we found a way to give them another big room full of excuses. This time they “didn’t have the depth to survive against teams with more depth.” Okay, fine. Still, Blake Griffin improved his shot, Chris Paul improved his balance and also played in all 82 games, and JJ Redick finally made sense to be in someone’s starting rotation. Until the playoffs hit, then came calamity. We overlook the achievement for Chris Paul though, playing in all the games and doing his best to not miss any in the playoffs. In a new NBA world where the players don’t want to play 82 games, they want midseason vacations, a longer break during All-Star weekend, less minutes while they’re in their primes and requests for better teammates, Chris Paul actually found a way to improve. Just hope his critics were paying attention.

The real question now is, “Do the Clippers have the players in place to succeed?” I’m really high on having players who have “championship” experience on your team in order to get to the promise land. Golden State had a coach who has won in different settings. Be apart of the Jordan Bulls and the Spurs organization when they’ve won titles over the last 20 years. He’s been side by side with the likes of Jordan, Pippen, Duncan, Parker, Phil Jackson and Greg Popovich. It can’t get any better than that can it? He has a pedigree and understanding of the game. He also set the team up for success when he asked some of the players to play certain roles that would eventually land them a ring in return. The Clippers now have Doc Rivers along with Paul Pierce this time around step up into those big moments. If Pierce was there against the Rockets, it would’ve been Clippers 4-2. These additions are great for offense but what will they do for defense? Paul Pierce won’t be stopping anyway, and that’s the truth. Lance had a lost season with the Hornets but I’m sure that with CP3 and DeAndre on the floor with him, they’ll be a defensive nightmare and they will be able to hide him and Griffin on nights against the OKC Thunder and the Golden State Warriors. The real question now is, “What about those Spurs?”

Could they beat the Spurs now that they’ve added Aldridge and West to their team? Pierce isn’t guarding Duncan with any success. Did you see what Duncan was doing to DeAndre?!?! He was doing it at 39 years old and almost no athletic effort! So Imagine what pick & rolls will look like with Parker having Duncan and Aldridge at his disposal AT THE SAME TIME! They’ve retained their defense in Kawhi & Danny Green and they also have a system in place that apparently is the direct way to fight against father time. One year they’re old, the next year they are in the Finals. So we would be best to not drop that special “they’re old” line like we do when they have slow stretches. I don’t think that they’ll have any slow stretches this offseason.

Can the Clippers find a way to utilize Lance the way he was used during his last season in Indiana? If they can have him anchor the bench then I truly think they may have something figured out. Jamal Crawford actually wants to leave now and wants to go to the easy breezy Eastern Conference to the team that will damn near have a cakewalk to the Finals for the next 2-4 years, the Cavaliers. I sound like a hater. I am a proud hater of how garbage the Eastern Conference is. Go Cavs, I expect them to win a chip soon anyway, especially if this trade happens, but who is sent back in return? If I’m the Clippers, I’m pushing for Dellavedova and Thompson, yes BOTH! This won’t happen but I’m not helping a Finals team get better. I’m not accepting a JR Smith sign & trade. I would entertain acquiring Timofey Mozgov, sure, but I’ll need a few picks along with it. Hard bargain.

The path to the Finals goes through OKC, Golden State, and San Antonio. No one else is a legitimate threat, including the Rockets. Four headed monster in the West with a few dark horses. The Pelicans, Rockets, Grizzlies, and I’d just throw a #8 seeded Kings team out there just because I truly don’t know who’ll fit into that spot. The Clippers should be able to beat the lower seeds and have shown what they can do against the Spurs which legitimizes whether they could win in the west or not. At least to me. If you can beat the Spurs than you can survive and succeed out west. The Spurs have a way of breaking a team down and shredding away at your strengths. The Clippers proved to me that they’re ready to take the next step, it’s all left up to the chemistry they’ll have with their new additions.