Can the Clippers compete with Lakers’ legacy?

Los Angeles News Group columnist Mark Heisler wrote about the Clippers and what it takes to compete in L.A. in his Sunday column:

This is the NBA’s greatest fireworks show that’s slipped off the radar. Aside from their Lob City thrills, the Clippers are No. 2 in 3-pointers, making more than No. 4 Golden State with its Splash Brothers, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.

No, the Clippers aren’t a wild and crazy bunch like some I could name locally. They’re No. 2 in 3-point accuracy to the Warriors’ No. 3.

As far as the “local rivalry,” goes, as the Lakers say, “What local rivalry?”

What do you think? Is the landscape changing? Has it already changed and the Lakers don’t know it? Read Heisler’s full column here.

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Blake Griffin suggests Lakers, called ‘soft’ by coach Byron Scott, need to be honest with themselves

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

Doc Rivers referred to his team as being soft after they were routed 121-104 Nov. 5 at Golden State. It was perhaps the most angry Rivers has been since he arrived to coach the Clippers in 2013-14.

Lakers coach Byron Scott said his team was soft several times after the Clippers walloped the Lakers 114-89 on Wednesday night at Staples Center.

Clippers forward Blake Griffin on Friday morning at practice was asked to talk about what Scott said as it related to what Rivers said about him and his teammates two months ago.

“I think it’s one of those things, you have to be honest with yourself,” Griffin said. “When Doc said that about us, it was 100 percent true. You can’t hear those words and then go think to yourself, ‘Oh, I don’t know.’ You have to be honest with yourself. I think we all kind of looked at ourselves and looked at how we played and  we were like, ‘Yeah, we were, and we need to change that.’ It’s on the players, on the leaders of the team.”

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Five things to take from the Clippers’ 114-89 rout of the Lakers

Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes had 19 points in rout of Lakers and also kept Kobe Bryant in check/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com

 

- The Clippers this season have let poor teams back into games many times, so just because the Lakers are another one of those teams doesn’t mean the Clippers shouldn’t get credit for keeping their foot on the gas in this one, eventually leading by 43 points before settling for the 25-point victory.

- The Lakers were missing two of their regulars – Wesley Johnson (hip injury) and Ronnie Price (broken  nose), so the blowout still has to be taken in that context. The Clippers beat a bad team missing two key players. That’s what good teams should do.

- Matt Barnes did a nice job holding Kobe Bryant in check. Bryant shot 0 of 4 in the first half and 2 of 12 overall to score just four points while often behind hounded by Barnes, who also happened to score 19 points on 6 of 12 shooting – 5 of 10 from 3-point range.

- The five starters – Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Blake Griffin, Barnes and DeAndre Jordan – shot a combined 56.3 percent (31 of 55) from the field. It was only because the reserves shot a collective 30 percent (9 of 30) that the Clippers shot under 50 percent (47.1) overall.

- With all the good stuff that happened in this game – at least for the Clippers – will that translate into a victory Saturday over the Dallas Mavericks? Dallas (26-11) is a terrific team and the Clippers (24-12) have a losing record against such teams. Dallas is in a virtual tie with Memphis for third in the Western Conference standings, the Clippers are in sixth, a half-game behind fifth-place Houston.

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Kobe notices Byron Scott didn’t squeeze the Charmin after rout by Clippers

Chris Paul, right, had 24 points and 11 assists in rout of Lakers on Wednesday. Afterward, Lakers coach Byron Scott called his team ‘soft’ and Kobe Bryant responded to him/Staff photo by John McCoy

 

Remember when Lakers guard Kobe Bryant called his teammates “soft as Charmin” during a Dec. 11 practice? Well, his coach – Byron Scott – called his team “soft” several times Wednesday night after they were annihilated by the Clippers 114-89 – the Clippers had as much as a 43-point lead.

Bryant was asked to respond to his coach’s rant, and he came with this:

“He said the same thing I said,” Bryant said. “He just didn’t use a toilet paper analogy.”

 

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Doc Rivers impressed with loyal Lakers fan base after attending Pelicans game

Clippers sign Doc Rivers to contract extension

Doc Rivers, left, is impressed with Lakers fan base/Staff photo by David Crane

 

Doc Rivers on Monday night paid the Lakers and their fans quite a compliment. Rivers on Sunday went to Staples Center as a fan to watch his son Austin toil for the New Orleans Pelicans against the Lakers. Austin Rivers is a reserve guard for New Orleans.

As Doc Rivers played host to reporters in his pre-game news conference Monday ahead of the Clippers’ game against the Phoenix Suns, he was asked how he was treated by Lakers fans.

“They were very nice last night, they were very good,” he said, smiling. Rivers then discussed what he though about the turnout of 18,997.

“I’ll say this, one of the things I was impressed with was how crowded it was,” Rivers said. “Really, when you have the record that they have, it says a lot about their fan base and their loyalty. And I thought that was impressive. I went through that in Boston and I was always amazed how crowded it was every night. Celtics fans showed up every night, whether we were winning or losing.

“And the Lakers fans are doing that, too, and there are not a lot of fan bases in our league – or in any league, for that matter – that would do that. And I think that’s something that we’d love to be able to achieve some day. I don’t want to do that part of losing to find out, but I thought that was really impressive.”

 

 

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Clippers are drawing solid interest from road fans

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Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin is certainly one reason why road crowds come to see the Clippers/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Secondary ticket marketplace Vivid Seats has released its annual home and road NBA ticket price report, and it shows the Clippers drawing plenty of road interest.

The Clippers have the eighth-highest median ticket price in the league at $115. On the road, the Clippers are the fifth-most coveted team, increasing median ticket prices by 31.6 percent as the visiting team.

The Lakers come in second in both categories with a median ticket price of $165 and road value of plus-60.1 percent.

The Cleveland Cavaliers – with LeBron James again in the fold, as well as newly acquired Kevin Love – are first. They have a median ticket price of $216 and a road value of plus-138.6 percent.

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Report: Jordan Farmar and Clippers come to terms on 2-year deal

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Jordan Farmar

Jordan Farmar/photo courtesy of Los Angeles Lakers

Free agent point guard Jordan Farmar and the Clippers have reportedly come to terms on a two-year deal.

The two-year accord is for $4.2 million, with the second year being a player option.
Farmar, out of UCLA, played the first four years of his career for the Lakers, played two years for the New Jersey Nets, did not play in 2012-13 and then played this past season for the Lakers.

In 41 regular-season games in an injury-plagued 2013-14, Farmar averaged 10.1 points and 4.9 assists. He is averaging 7.9 points and 3.0 assists over his seven-year career.
Farmar, 27, went to Taft High in Woodland Hills.

This could off-set the recent loss of point guard Darren Collison, who signed with Sacramento.

The Los Angeles Times first reported this deal, citing NBA executives not at liberty to speak publicly on the matter.

Thursday is the first day free agents can actually sign their contracts.

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