Clipper win streak up to 16, Hawks contending in the East, Avery Johnson relieved of coaching duties in Brooklyn.

On the 150th blog entry of this blog, for the last time for the year 2012, here are the highlights of Week 9 in the NBA.

Clippers win streak now at 16!
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The win streak for the Western Conference leaders the Los Angeles Clippers continuesas it currently stands at 16. In their last win, they had to battle from behind all game long, but they manage to pick up a huge road victory against the Utah Jazz at the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City. With this winning streak, we could see Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro coach the Western Conference in the 2013 NBA All Star Game in Houston, unless the Oklahoma City Thunder or the San Antonio Spurs have anything to say about it and keep contending for the top spot in the Western Conference. Then again, who knows when the streak will come to an end? But these guys from Tinseltown are playing their best basketball not only this year, but also in franchise history after all the heartbreak and struggles that the franchise had gone through in it’s existence.
Hawks contending in the East.
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In the Eastern Conference, the Atlanta Hawks have made a lot of headway this season and have shocked the NBA world as they currently sit in third place in the East and are right on the heels of both the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks. Their star Josh Smith have been putting up all-star numbers for the Hawks and is in serious contention to make his first All-Star Game appearance this season, after being snubbed in previous years. Smith has also been getting a lot of help this season from players like Al Horford, Lou Williams, Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver. Head coach Larry Drew has done a pretty good job in Atlanta, keeping them a competitive team every season, as well as playing well on their first season without last season’s leading scorer in Joe Johnson who moved to the Nets this season. These Hawks are making some noise in the East, and their chances of sneaking to the top of the Eastern Conference are very high.
Avery Johnson relieved of coaching duties in Brooklyn.
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After 2 1/2 seasons as head coach of the Nets, the curtain has closed for the Little General”, as Avery Johnson was relieved of coaching duties by the Brooklyn Nets organization. His firing came after the Nets have gone 3-10 in December,after they started the season at 11-4 and in the Top 3 of the Eastern Conference and giving him the Coach of the Month Award  for the month of October-November. Johnson finishes his tenure with the Nets with a overall record of 60-116 (.341) which spans 2 1/2 season. Assistant coach P.J. Carlesimo has taken over the coaching reins on a interim basis for the Nets, as the organization searches for a permanent replacement for Johnson. So another coach gets the boot this season, the question now is how will the Nets continue their promising inaugural season in Brooklyn? That we will have to see in the days to come.
Meanwhile in Week 8, LeBron James of the Miami Heat has won his third Eastern Conference Player of the Week award of the season. While Chris Paul becomes the second Los Angeles Clippers player after Blake Griffin and the seventh player to receive the Western Conference Player of the Week award.
Here are the standings across the association after Week 9:
Western Conference:
1. Clippers (24-6), 2. Thunder (23-6), 3. Spurs (24-8), 4. Grizzlies (19-8), 5. Warriors (21-10), 6. Rockets (16-14), 7. Nuggets (17-15), 8. Timberwolves (14-13), 9. Trail Blazers (15-14), 10. Lakers (15-15), 11. Jazz (15-16), 12. Mavericks (12-18), 13. Suns (11-20), 14. Kings (10-19), 15. Hornets (7-23)
Eastern Conference: 
1. Heat (20-8), 2. Knicks (21-9), 3. Hawks (19-9), 4. Bucks (16-12), 5. Bulls (16-12), 6. Pacers (17-13), 7. Nets (16-14), 8. Celtics (14-15), 9. 76ers (14-17), 10. Magic (12-18), 11. Raptors (11-20), 12. Pistons (10-22), 13. Bobcats (7-23), 14. Cavaliers (7-25), 15. Wizards (4-24)
Only four teams have less than 10 wins so far with 9 weeks of the season thru, it‘s a five-way race in the Western Conference while its a three-way race in the Eastern Conference on top of the standings.
Stay tuned as the first NBA weekly blog of 2013, comes to you next week!