L.A. Clippers go for season sweep of Boston Celtics tonight at Staples Center

Chris Paul tumbles to the floor separating his right shoulder against the Dallas Mavericks. Thanx: USATODAYSI
Chris Paul tumbles to the floor separating his right shoulder against the Dallas Mavericks.
Thanx: USATODAYSI

The Los Angeles Clippers enter their third game without all-star point guard Chris Paul tonight when they host the Boston Celtics at Staples Center.

Paul went down with a separated right shoulder last week in Dallas against the Mavericks that’ll keep him out of the lineup for six weeks.

To read the rest of the story and view the video on Chris Paul’s injury, click here.

Game 7

Prior to these NBA Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics have battled for eleven championships, four of them going to a Game 7 with the Celtics taking them all.

In his 12 previous trips to the NBA Finals (10 wins) Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson’s never had to win the ring in a Game 7. He did win a ring as a player with the New York Knicks in a Game 7 win in 1970 over the Lakers.

Lakers guards Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher have been to the Finals six previous times never having to win it all in a Game 7.

All the current Boston Celtics have never gone to a Game 7 with the ring on the line.

There’s a first for everything and everyone.

It’s a must win for both teams with both team leaders looking at it as just that.  Kobe Bryant and Celtics forward Paul Pierce know what’s on the line and know it’s just about one win.

So, here we go. Sure I’m biased. But, honestly, this series should never have gone this far. The Defending Champion Lakers are, clearly, the superior team and should’ve taken this thing in five games.

In game five, the Celtics took the 3-2 series lead at the Garden playing desperately as they should have. They shot over 60 per cent holding the Lakers to about 33 per cent. The Celtics looked like the 1992 Dream Team. The Lakers looked like the 2009-10 New Jersey Nets. Yet, the Celtics were fortunate to come away with a 92-86 win. Kobe Bryant was the only Laker who showed up knocking down 38.

The unbeatable Lakers showed up in Game 6 holding the Celtics to 67 points while the Lakers tallied 89 points for the win. Pau Gasol, Ron Artest, Lamar Odom and the Lakers bench turned it up and showed the world why they’re the defending champions.

Unfortunately for the Celtics, center Kendrick Perkins is out damaging knee ligaments  in the first quarter of the last game. That leaves plenty of room for Gasol to have his way in the paint. “Big Baby” Glen Davis, Rasheed Wallace, KG and others will platoon to defend Gasol. He’ll have another double-double.

Perkins’ injury makes it a “push” with Lakers center Andrew Bynum nursing a knee that will be operated on after the series. Difference is Bynum’s playing.  Bynum’s been tough averaging about eight points, four boards and three blocks in limited minutes. That’s all they need.

It’ll be close for awhile. But look for a Lakers Repeat with another 20 point win. Time for L.A. to party……with championship number 16!

Lakers-Celtics, Chapter 12 Act 1.

What a fabulous time for basketball in the City of Angels……Los Angeles and Boston. Led by Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Phil Jackson the defending world champion Lakers are in the thick of their third straight NBA Finals and facing them, their arch rivals, KG, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics. INCREDIBLE!

63 champions in the history of “the Association” and these two teams have combined to win 32 of them. Boston has won 17 titles in 21 tries while the L.A./Minneapolis Lakers have earned 15 championships in a staggering 30 tries.

Think about it. The Lakers have represented the West in almost half of the finals while the Celtics have represented the East in a third of them. INCREDIBLE!

This is the 12th time these franchises have clashed head-to-head for the title with the Celtics winning a lop-sided nine of the first eleven including the one two seasons ago.

Lakers came out with purpose in game one of the 12th installment, their 31st finals appearance, at Staples Center in Los Angeles Thursday night beating the Celtics, 102-89.

The Lakers had everything going especially on the defensive end looking like the Celtics usually do……………STRAIGHT UP, PHYSICAL!

Meanwhile, the Celtics looked old, beat up and just plain tired.

The Lakers out-rebounded the Celtics, 42-31. The Lakers limited the Celtics to one for 10 from the three-point line and took the all-important “second chance points” category, 16-0. Quite uncharacteristic of the Celtics.

Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant led everyone with 30 points. Pau Gasol had 23 points to go along with 14 rebounds. Finals “rookie” Ron Artest had 15 points but gave Celtics forward Paul Pierce fits on the defensive end. Pierce did have 24 points but those were mostly in garbage time. Same goes for Kevin Garnett. He had 16 for Boston but looked like his knees were smarting and was completely out-played by Gasol.

OK. Remember, it’s just game one. In four other meetings between the two teams in the finals, the Lakers have taken the first game only to see the Celtics come back to win three of their 17 championships.

You can bet the Celtics will play more like themselves come game two Sunday back at Staples. They’re champions and Celtic Pride is quite a force when summoned.

Expect game two to be much closer and much more physical on both ends. Expect the Lakers to get a hard-fought win and a two-zero series lead going into Boston for the middle three games of the series next week. ENJOY!

“Bloop Singles”

  • God bless “The Wizard of Westwood“, 99-year old John R. Wooden.
  • The former UCLA Basktball Coach who led the Bruins to 10 NCAA Championships lies in grave condition. Talk about a man who lived by “carpe diem“.
  • Considering freshmen couldn’t play when Wooden coached and he practically had to change his roster every three years, Wooden is the greatest coach in team sports history.
  • Wooden’s “Pyramid of Success” is a blue print for, not only sports, but life in general.
  • As a sports fan who was raised in Los Angeles loving the Los Angeles Rams, Lakers, Kings and Dodgers, is it wrong that my favorite baseball player is New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter? As a fan mind you, I CAN’T STAND THE YANKEES!
  • LeBron may be known as “King James.” But Kobe Bryant’s “The Lord of the Rings.”
  • “King James” might be the reigning two-time NBA MVP, “Kid Kobe” is STILL the best basketball player on the planet.

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