Tag Archives: los angeles clippers

Grizzlies "Grit-n-Grind" themselves to Round 2.

In a battle of two contrasting styles, the “Grit-n-Grind” fifth seeded Memphis Grizzlies advance to the second round after knocking out the team that knocked them out of the first round last season, the fourth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers as a second team playing at the Staples Center bows out of the first round this season.

Photos ©NBA
The Clippers finished a franchise season as they won the Pacific Division title for the first time in franchise history and had their best winning season in franchise history. Led by the Lob City duo of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, the Clippers were poised on following up their nice playoff run from last season. Joining the duo are Jamal Crawford, DeAndre Jordan, Caron Butler, Chauncey Billups, Matt Barnes, Ryan Hollins and Eric Bledsoe to name some. The Clippers looked good when they won the first two games at home including a Paul game winner in Game 2. However, the series went down for them afterwards as they lost the next four games (including one at home) to drop the series and ending a promising season for these men from Lob City.

The Grizzlies haven’t missed a beat, even after trading away their star forward in Rudy Gay to the Raptors during the season. In fact, they have played better without Gay as the main focus went to their big men in Zach Randolph who had an All-Star worthy season for the Grizzlies and Marc Gasol who won the Defensive Player of the Year this season and putting up All-star numbers. They also had a big spark from Mike Conley who has been vital in running the “Grit-n-Grind” offense. The players the got in the Gay trade like veteran Tayshaun Prince and Ed Davis made their impact on this Grizzlies team. As well as players like Tony Allen, Jerryd Bayless, Darrell Arthur and Quincy Pondexter. Now, these “Grit-n’-Grind” Grizzlies continue their chase for a shot at the championship this season.
The Grizzlies will face the top seeded team in the West, the Oklahoma City Thunder who survived against the eight seeded Houston Rockets after being up 3-0 in the series and allowing the Rockets to take two games afterwards before the Thunder finally wrapped them up in six games. Thus, it sets up a rematch of their 2nd round battle in 2011.
As for the Clippers, it was a bitter finish to a promising year. In one of those seasons where they came up better than their Staples co-tentants. The spotlight will be on their head coach Vinny del Negro, whether or not he’ll continue to coach the Clippers or someone else would come and coach these men from Lob City.
Here are the scores from all games of the series:
Game 1 @ Los Angeles: Grizzlies 91-112 Clippers

Grizzlies leaders:
Points: Bayless 19, Gasol 16, Randolph 13
Rebounds: Davis 6, Randolph 4, Prince 4
Assists: Gasol 7, Conley 5, Bayless 3, Prince 3
Clippers leaders:
Points: Paul 23, Billups 14, Crawford 13, Butler 13
Rebounds: Jordan 8, Butler 7, Odom 7, Griffin 5
Assists: Paul 7, Bledsoe 4, Griffin 3, Odom 3

Game 2 @ Los Angeles: Grizzlies 91-93 Clippers

Grizzlies leaders:
Points: Conley 28, Gasol 17, Allen 16
Rebounds: Allen 10, Randolph 8, Gasol 7
Assists: Conley 9, Gasol 2, Bayless 2
Clippers leaders:
Points: Paul 24, Griffin 21, Crawford 15
Rebounds: Griffin 8, Jordan 8, Odom 5
Assists: Paul 9, Griffin 4, Odom 2
Game 3 @ Memphis: Clippers 82-94 Grizzlies
Clippers leaders:
Points: Griffin 16, Barnes 12, Billups 11
Rebounds: Jordan 8, Paul 6, Hollins 4
Assists: Paul 4, Crawford 3, Bledsoe 3

Grizzlies leaders:
Points: Randolph 27, Gasol 16, Allen 13, Pondexter 13

Rebounds: Randolph 11, Allen 9, Gasol 8
Assists: Conley 10, Randolph 2, Gasol 2
Game 4 @ Memphis: Clippers 83-104 Grizzlies

Clippers leaders:

Points: Paul 19, Griffin 19, Crawford 12
Rebounds: Griffin 10, Odom 3
Assists: Paul 6, Bledsoe 5, Griffin 2

Grizzlies leaders:
Points: Randolph 24, Gasol 24, Prince 15, Conley 15

Rebounds: Gasol 13, Randolph 9, Prince 6
Assists: Conley 13, Gasol 4, Prince 3

Game 5 @ Los Angeles: Grizzlies 103-93 Clippers

Grizzlies leaders:
Points: Randolph 25, Gasol 21, Conley 20

Rebounds: Randolph 11, Gasol 8, Allen 8
Assists: Conley 6, Allen 4, Gasol 4
Clippers leaders:
Points: Paul 35, Crawford 15, Bledsoe 7
Rebounds: Barnes 9, Jordan 8, Paul 5
Assists: Griffin 5, Paul 4, Crawford 3
Game 6 @ Memphis: Clippers 105-118 Grizzlies
Clippers leaders:
Points: Barnes 30, Paul 28, Butler 14
Rebounds: Barnes 10, Jordan 4, Paul 4, Hill 4
Assists: Paul 8, Bledsoe 3
Grizzlies leaders:
Points: Randolph 23, Conley 23, Allen 19
Rebounds: Gasol 7, Allen 7, Prince 6
Assists: Conley 7, Allen 6, Prince 5

Grizzlies win series 4-2


Streak-busters: Bobcats snap losing streak. Nuggets snap Clippers win streak at 17. Award winners for December.

The year 2013 has arrived, a brand new year, and streaks came to an end this week across the association. Here are the highlights from Week 10 in the NBA.

Bobcats snap losing streak in Chicago.
Photo ©NBA/Bobcats.com
For the team who had the roughest year in 2012, they ended the year on a high note. As the Charlotte Bobcats snap their 18-game losing streak with a 91-81 victory against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center. The Bobcats with the win, surpass their win total from last season where they finished 7-59making history as the worst winning percentage in NBA history.
Sophomore guard Kemba Walker led the Bobcats with a great all-around game, 18 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks on 6-13 shooting from the field, Gerald Henderson scored 16 points, while Ramon Sessions and Ben Gordon came off the bench and scored 15 points each. Bismack Biyombo grabbed 11 rebounds.

Luol Deng led the Bulls with a double-double 20 pointsand 12 rebounds with 4 assists and 3 steals. Carlos Boozer also finished with a double-double 19 points and 14 rebounds. Rip Hamilton scored 11 points.

Bobcats head coach Mike Dunlap has been preaching patience to all the people who are on watch with the team. Who knows in 2013, maybe the Bobcatswill make some noise in the East.

Nuggets snap Clippers 17 game win streak.
Photo ©NBA/Nuggets.com
A losing streak came to an end out East, while in the West, a winning streak came to an end, as the Denver Nuggets snap the 17 game winning streak the Los Angeles Clippers held, as well as getting a measure of revenge from their Christmas Day defeat in Los Angeles as they take a 92-78 victory at the Pepsi Center.
Danilo Gallinari led the Nuggets with 17 pointsand 6 rebounds. Kenneth Faried finished with a double-double 14 points and 11 rebounds. Andre Iguodala and Andre Miller each scored 12 points, Miller also dished out 12 assists, while Igouldala dished 8 assists. JaVale McGee off the benchadded 11 points and 7 rebounds including his first career 3 pointer. Corey Brewer scored 10 points.
Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe led the Clippers with 12 points each. Griffin added 9 rebounds. DeAndre Jordan finished with a double-double 11 points and 11 rebounds with 3 blocks. Chris Paul added 10 points and 6 assists. Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes each scored 9 points.
The Clippers are now in second place in the Western Conference behind the Oklahoma City Thunder. With a tight race in the West, who knows who will coach in the NBA All-Star Game in Houston for the West? 
Meanwhile in Week 9, Monta Ellis becomes the second Milwaukee Bucks player after Brandon Jennings and the sixth player to receive the Eastern Conference Player of the Week Award this season. While Greivis Vasquez of the New Orleans Hornets becomes the eighth receipient of the Western Conference Player of the Week Award.
LeBron James of the Miami Heat wins his second straight Eastern Conference Player of the Month Award for the month of December, while Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers won the Western Conference Player of the Month in December.
Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers wins his second straight Western Conference Rookie of the Month in December, while Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards won the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month in December.
Vinny Del Negro of the Los Angeles Clippers wins the Western Conference Coach of the Month after leading the Clippers to a perfect December (16-0). While Larry Drew of the Atlanta Hawks won in the Eastern Conference after leading the Hawks to a 10-5 record in December and see them competing in the Top 3of the Eastern Conference.
Now, here are the standings from around the association:
Western Conference:
1. Thunder (25-7), 2. Clippers (27-8), 3. Spurs (27-9), 4. Grizzlies (20-10), 5. Warriors (22-11), 6. Rockets (20-14), 7. Trail Blazers (18-15), 8. Nuggets (19-16), 9. Timberwolves (15-15), 10. Jazz (17-18), 11. Lakers (15-17), 12. Mavericks (13-21), 13. Kings (13-21), 14. Suns (12-22), 15. Hornets (8-25)
Eastern Conference:
1. Heat (22-9), 2. Knicks (23-10), 3. Hawks (20-12), 4. Pacers (20-14), 5. Bulls (18-13), 6. Nets (19-15), 7. Bucks (16-16), 8. Celtics (16-17), 9. 76ers (15-20), 10. Pistons (13-22), 11. Raptors (12-21), 12. Magic (12-21), 13. Bobcats (8-24), 14. Cavaliers (8-27), 15. Wizards (4-27)
Stay tuned as the next NBA weekly blog comes your way next week.

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!
Photo ©NBA/Clippers.com
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.
Photo ©NBA/Hawks.com
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.
Photo ©CBSNews.com
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!

NBA Christmas 2012: Heat defeat Thunder in Finals rematch. Clippers win 14th straight game. Lakers clicking at home. Rockets and Celtics rout opponents on the road.

On this special edition of my NBA blog, we look back at the games held on Christmas Day in the NBA. There were five games on tap for that day, teams went it in with their special  Christmas jerseys and they put on a show for fans on hand. Let’s get to it.

Heat knock off Thunder in Finals rematch.
Photo ©NBA/Heat.com
187 days ago, the Miami Heatcap off their quest for a second championship as they defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 of the 2012 NBA Finals in front of their home crowd at the American Airlines Arena. It was also the time when LeBron James fulfilled a dream to become a NBA Champion, as well as a Finals MVP trophy to complement, at the same time proving his haters and criticswrong. On Christmas Day, these two teams meet for the first time this season, and the game proved to be a scoring parade. The Heat would prevail over the Thunder 103-97.
The Heatnowlead the Eastern Conference at 19-6, while the Thudnerdrops to second in the West at 21-6.
James led the Heat with a near triple-double 29 points, 9 assists and 8 rebounds with 2 steals on 12-20 shooting from the field. Dwayne Wade added 21 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Mario Chalmersscored 20 points. Chris Bosh added 16 points and 6 rebounds. Also, Mike Miller made a career milestone by reaching the 10,000 point mark all-time in his career.
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 33 points and 7 rebounds on 11-21 shooting from the field and 2-4 shooting from 3 point range. Russell Westbrook finished with a double-double 21 pointsand 11 rebounds. Kevin Martin off the benchand Serge Ibaka each scored 15 points.
Clippers win 14th straight game.
Photo ©NBA/Clippers.com
7 and half hours after the Lakers played a game inside Staples Center, their co-tenants and the hottest team in the NBA came out to begin their own Christmas Day game. The Los Angeles Clippers battled the Denver Nuggets, on the line was a 13 game winning streak, things went well for the Clippers as they defeat the Nuggets 112-100 for their 14th straight victory.
The Clippers now lead the Western Conference at 22-6, while the Nuggets drop to 8th place tie with the Utah Jazzat 15-14.
Jamal Crawford off the bench led the Clippers with 22 points on 9-21 shooting from the field and 3-6 shooting from 3 point range. Matt Barnes added 20 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Chris Paul added 14 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals. Blake Griffinadded 13 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Lamar Odom grabbed 10 rebounds.
Kosta Koufos led the Nuggets with a double-double 16 points and 10 rebounds on 8-8 shooting from the field. Jordan Hamilton off the bench also scored 16 points with 4 rebounds. Ty Lawson added 15 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds. Andre Miller added 12 points and 6 rebounds.
Lakers defeat the Knicks at Staples.
Photo ©NBA/Lakers.com
The drama around Laker Nationis starting to fade as the Los Angeles Lakers have now found their groove and are now starting to make some ground in the Western Conference as they picked up their 5th straight win and go at .500at the expense of the New York Knicks at the Staples Center 100-94.
The Lakers are now at 14-14, tied for 10th place with the Portland Trail Blazers. While the Knicks drop to second place in the Eastern Conference at 20-8.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 34 points and 5 rebounds on 14-24 shootingfrom the field. Metta World Peace off the bench added 20 points and 7 rebounds before fouling out in the 4th quarter. Steve Nashfinished with a double-double 16 points and 11 assists with 6 rebounds on 7-12 shooting from the field. Dwight Howard also finished with a double-double 14 points and 12 rebounds with 2 steals and 2 blocks. Pau Gasol added 13 points and 6 rebounds.
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 34 points and 7 rebounds on 13-23 shooting from the field. J.R. Smith off the bench added 25 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals on 10-23 shooting from the field. Raymond Felton added 10 points and 6 rebounds.
Rockets blow out Bulls in Chicago.
Photo ©NBA/Rockets.com
The team with the fastest pace in the NBA today have picked up another win by another scoring rampage on another defensive-oriented team, the Houston Rockets led by as many as 35 points, were able to keep their composure despite a late challenge in the fourth quarter as theyblew out the Chicago Bulls on their home floor at the United Center 120-97.
The Rockets are in 6th place in the Western Conference at 15-12, while the Bulls lose their lead in the Central Division to the Indiana Pacers at 15-12, in 5th place in the Eastern Conference.
Four Rockets players finished with more than 20 points with James Harden leading the way with 26 points, 6 assists, 5 reboundsand 2 steals on 7-13shooting from the field and 11-13 shooting from the free throw line. Chandler Parsons added 23 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals on 9-15 shooting from the field and 4-5 shooting from 3 point range. Omer Asik who made his return to Chicago finished with a double-double 20 points and 18 rebounds with 3 blocks on 9-13 shooting from the field. Jeremy Lin also finished with a double-double 20 points and 11 assists on 8-12 shooting from the field.
Nate Robinson off the bench led the Bulls with 27 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals on 9-16 shooting from the field. Marco Belinelli added 15 points and 3 assists on 5-10 shooting from the field. Luol Deng added 14 points and 5 rebounds.
Celtics take Atlantic showdown in Brooklyn.
Photo ©NBA/Celtics.com
Defense was the key to this game as the Boston Celticswith their stifling defensetake the Atlantic Division showdown against the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center 9376. The Celtics forced the Nets to 20 turnovers and 40% shooting from the field.
With the win, the Celtics tie the Nets for 7th place in the Eastern Conference at 14-13.
Rajon Rondo led the Celtics with 19 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals on 8-16 shooting from the field and 2-2 shooting from 3 point range. Rookie Jared Sullinger off the bench added 16 points and 7 rebounds on 6-7 shooting from the field. Jeff Green scored 15 points. Jason Terry added 11 points and 4 assists. Paul Pierce dished out 10 assists with 8 points while Kevin Garnett grabbed 10 rebounds with 8 points.
Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace led the Nets with 15 points each. Lopez added 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. Wallace added 6 rebounds and 3 steals. Joe Johnson added 12 rebounds and 4 assists. Deron Williams added 10 points and 6 assists.
Watch out for my NBA weekly blog, the last one for 2012coming out this Sunday.

Clippers win streak up to 12. Heat tie Knicks on top the East. Bobcats now have lost 15 straight.

Two teams are streaking, one in a good way, the other in a bad way. Here are some of the highlights of Week 8 of the 2012-13 NBA season.

Clippers win streak now stands at 12!
Photo ©NBA/Clippers.com 
Things are looking well in Tinseltown, this time thanks to the men from Lob City, the Los Angeles Clippers, as they continue with their win streak at 12 games and they are now the hottest team in the NBA today, after the league-leading Oklahoma City Thunder suffered a setback against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis, which ended a 12 game winning streak for them. The Clippers are now sitting in second place in the Western Conference behind the Thunder. This week, point guard Chris Paul also made history, he became the 3rd youngest player in NBA history to reach the 5,000 assists in his career in a game against the New Orleans Hornets at home. In fact, Paulhimselfdidn’t knew that he had set history and was left wondering why the Clipper Nation in attendance are giving a standing ovation. These guys are giving people in Tinseltown a reason to cheer about as their more popular co-tenants the Lakers are going through a dramatic season with a lot of ups and downs. With a streak snapped out West, who knows when their streak will come to an end.

Heat tie Knicks for top spot in the East.
Photo ©NBA/Heat.com
The reigning NBA champions Miami Heat have tied the New York Knickson top of the Eastern Conference, the Knickswho suffered a home setback against the Chicago Bulls on a game that saw the Knicks star forward Carmelo Anthony, center Tyson Chandler, head coach Mike Woodsonand Chicago’s Joakim Noah get ejected from the game. Meanwhile, the Heat have now won four straight games with their usual protagonists of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh leading the way. The Heat are at 18-6, while the Knicks stand at 19-7. It is going to be another wild finish on top of the Eastern Conference with both the Knicks and Heat jockeying for position on top and with the Atlanta Hawks not far behind. Who knows who will be the best team in the Eastat the end of the season.

Bobcats losing streak stands at 15.
Photo ©NBA/Bobcats.com
A promising start to the season has turned into a nightmare for the Charlotte Bobcats, as they have now dropped their 15th straight gamebringing back memories of their disastrous campaign last season when they capped the season with a 23 game losing streak. Despite a strong season from their young backcourt of sophomore Kemba Walker and rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and the Bobcats being competitive all-season long, they have failed to capitalized their good play into victories. Most of the games in this losing streak were decided in the final moments, while some games, they played bad and suffered massive routs from their opponents. From standing as high as 6th place in the Eastern Conference, they have now fallen into 13th placeonly ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Washington Wizards. These guys from the Queen City still have a lot of work to do, they are a young team, and these growing pains will make them even better in the future.
Meanwhile in Week 7, Paul George of the Indiana Pacers becomes the 6th player towin the Eastern Conference Player of the Week award for the season. While David Lee of the Golden State Warriors also becomes the 6th player to receive the Western Conference Player of the Week award for the season.
Here are the standings from across the association:
Western Conference:
1. Thunder (21-5), 2. Clippers (20-6), 3. Grizzlies (18-7), 4. Spurs (20-8), 5. Warriors (18-10), 6. Timberwolves (13-11), 7. Rockets (14-12), 8. Nuggets (15-13), 9. Trail Blazers (13-12), 10. Jazz (14-14), 11. Lakers (13-14), 12. Mavericks (12-15), 13. Suns (11-16), 14. Kings (8-18), 15. Hornets (5-22)
Eastern Conference:
1. Heat (18-6), 2. Knicks (19-7), 3. Hawks (16-9), 4. Bulls (15-11), 5. Pacers (16-12), 6. Bucks (14-12), 7. Nets (13-12), 8. Celtics (13-13), 9. 76ers (13-14), 10. Magic (12-14), 11. Raptors (9-19), 12. Pistons (9-21), 13. Bobcats (7-20), 14. Cavaliers (6-23), 15. Wizards (3-22)
Once again, both sides are having tight races for the top and middle spots in the standings. 23 out of the 30 teams have now won at least 10 games with the West having 13 of the 15 teams with 10 wins or more, while the East have 10of the 15 teams with 10 wins or more.
Stay tuned for the final edition of my NBA weekly blog for 2012 will come to you next week.

Ricky Rubio returns. Thunder and Clippers streaking. Bobcats in a funk.

The return of the Spanish wonder, win streaks and losing skids. Here are the highlights of Week 7 of the 2012-13 NBA season.

Ricky Rubio returns to action.
Photo ©NBA/Timberwolves.com
After a horrific ACL and LCL injury on his left knee last March that cut his rookie season in the NBA short. The Spanish sensation returns to action for the first time in his sophomore campaign. Ricky Rubio made a rousing return with the Minnesota Timberwolves in today’s game against the Dallas Mavericks at the Target Center. Rubio dished out the rock like he never got hurt dishing out 9 assists with 8 points and 3 steals in 18 minutes of action as the Timberwolves defeated the Mavericks in overtime 114-106. Rubio’s return gives a much needed boost to a Timberwolves squad who have been riddled with injuries all season long to players like Brandon Roy, Chase Budinger, Josh Howard and even Kevin Love who is suffering from the flu. The Timberwolves though have remained competitive all-season long as they are in 6th place in the Western Conference at 12-9, and that is a testament to head coach Rick Adelman who has made teams riddled with injuries competitive each season as seen when he was the coach for the Houston Rockets a few seasons back. With “La Pistola”back in the mix, and Love’s impending return to the lineup, the Wolves are ready to make a lot of noise out West.
Thunder and Clippers, stroking hot with win streaks.
Photos ©NBA/Thunder.com, Clippers.com
In the Western Conference, two teamsare having their own this season with win streaks of their own. The reigning Western Conference Champions Oklahoma City Thunder have now put up a 10 game winning streak as they have now taken the top reigns of the Western Conference at 19-4 as well as holding the best record in the NBA so far this season. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers have also put up a winning streak of their own, they have now won 9 games in a row and are sitting in third place in the Western Conference behind the Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at 17-6. Both teams have dynamic duos with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook leading the charge for the Thunder while Chris Paul and Blake Griffin leading the Lob City crew. These two teams are ready to contend for a shot at the championship. Who knows when their winning streaks will end?
Bobcats in a losing skid once again.
Photo ©NBA.com
Last season was a disastrous year for the Charlotte Bobcats, they finished with the worst record in NBA history 7-59 (10.6%). However, fortunes changed at the start of the new season with the Bobcats garnering 7 wins in the first 12 games of the season and the Bobcats are in the mix for a spot at the playoffs. Unfortunately, after their good start, the Bobcats have gone back to their losing ways. The Bobcats have now lost 11 straight games and are now in 11th place in the Eastern Conference at 7-16.  The Bobcats despite having promising players like Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are a very young team. There is always room for improvement. For now, the Bobcats have to find a way to get out of the funk and start winning games again if they want to make some noise in the East.
Meanwhile, Josh Smith becomes the second Atlanta Hawks player after Al Horford to be awarded the Eastern Conference Player of the Week in Week 6 of the season. While Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers becomes the 5th recepient of the Western Conference Player of the Week award this season on Week 6 of the season.
Here’s how the teams are faringacross the association:
Western Conference:
1. Thunder (19-4), 2. Spurs (19-6), 3. Clippers (17-6), 4. Grizzlies (15-6), 5. Warriors (16-8), 6. Timberwolves (12-9), 7. Jazz (13-12), 8. Nuggets (12-12), 9. Rockets (11-11), 10. Mavericks (11-13), 11. Trail Blazers (10-12), 12. Lakers (10-14), 13. Suns (9-15), 14. Kings (7-15), 15. Hornets (5-17)
Eastern Conference:
1. Knicks (18-5), 2. Heat (15-6), 3. Hawks (14-7), 4. Bulls (13-9), 5. Nets (13-10), 6. Bucks (12-10), 7. Pacers (13-11), 8. 76ers (12-11), 9. Celtics (12-11), 10. Magic (10-13), 11. Bobcats (7-16), 12. Pistons (7-19), 13. Raptors (5-19), 14. Cavaliers (5-20), 15. Wizards (3-18)
There has been plenty of changes on top and in the middle of the standings with teams rising at the same time teams falling in the standings. 22 of the 30 teams have picked up at least 10 wins this season.
Stay tuned as a new edition of my NBA weekly blog comes out next week.
El Niño from El Masnou is back!

NBA Daily Blog Playoff Edition: SPURS PULL OFF ANOTHER SWEEP, MOVES ON TO THE WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS WITH GAME 4 WIN VS THE CLIPPERS 102-99. Heat tie their series against the Pacers with win in Game 4 101-93

The San Antonio Spurs celebrate their Game 4 victory against the Clippers
Photo ©NBA.com

The San Antonio Spurs are going back to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2008 as they pull off another playoff sweep as they defeat the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 4 of their series at the Staples Center 102-99. The Spurs will face the winner between the other second round series in the West between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers with Game 5 of that series to be played tomorrow in Oklahoma City.

Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 21 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks. Tony Parker added 17 points and 5 assists. Danny Green added 14 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Gary Neal off the bench also scored 14 points with 3 assists. Manu Ginobili added 11 points and 4 assists. Tiago Splitter also scored 11 points with 7 rebounds.

Chris Paul led the Clippers with a double-double 23 points and 11 assists with 6 rebounds and 2 steals. Blake Griffin added 21 points and 5 rebounds. Eric Bledsoe off the bench added 17 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals. DeAndre Jordan added 10 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals. Randy Foye added 8 points and 3 steals.

In Indianapolis, the Miami Heat even up their second round series against the Indiana Pacers with the win in Game 4 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse 101-93. Game 5 will be played in Miami on May 23. LeBron James led the Heat with a near triple-double 40 points, 18 rebounds and 9 assists with 2 steals and 2 blocks. Dwayne Wade added 30 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 blocks. Udonis Haslem off the bench added 14 points and 4 rebounds. Mario Chalmers added 8 points, 3 assists and 2 steals. Danny Granger led the Pacers with 20 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Darren Collison off the bench scored 16 points. Paul George added 13 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Roy Hibbert added 10 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks.

2012 NBA Playoffs Bracket (as of 13:52 PHT)

#1 Spurs vs #5 Clippers
#2 Thunder vs #3 Lakers (Thunder lead series 3-1)
Game 5: May 22, 9:30 am PHT on Studio 23 and NBA Premium TV

#4 Celtics vs #8 76ers (Series tied 2-2)
Game 5: May 22, 7:00 am PHT on Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV
#2 Heat vs #3 Pacers (Series tied 2-2)
Game 5: May 23, 8:00 am PHT Channel TBD