Found Objects – 9.11.2011
• A must-read (and watch the video) by ESPN’s Justin Verrier about how basketball helped a New York firefighter overcome the pain and tragedy from 9/11.
• HOOPSWORLD’s Eric Pincus believes the Clippers have one glaring need (yes, even more so than small forward): a closer. Here’s an excerpt, in which he cites the 2006 Clipper team as an example:
The 2006 playoff run to Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals was built on the back of Elton Brand. The forward had one of his best years and was a true force throughout the postseason. Then again, Brand was one of the league’s best power forwards for years and yet he made the playoffs just once with the Clippers.
The difference was Sam Cassell, who the team had acquired before the season via trade from the Timberwolves for Marko Jaric. The deal won’t actually be complete all these years later until LA uses Minnesota’s 2012 pick in what proved to be an incredibly one-sided trade.
Cassell was well past his prime as a Clipper and he only stayed healthy for the one season but in that brief period he was the best closer the team ever had.
For decades, Clipper fans have seen their team compete for 43-46 minutes nightly, only to lose in the final few minutes.
Sam pushed LA over the hump time and time again. It’s holding onto those 50/50 games that can make the difference between 32 wins and the 47 LA won throughout the 2005/6 regular season.
• What’s Blake Griffin’s (and other young stars’) ceiling? How should we view the topic of “ceilings” and “potential”? Noam Schiller of Hardwood Paroxysm takes a look:
Blake Griffin has no ceiling. Mostly because no ceiling would dare try and obstruct him while he’s jumping upwards. Already one of the league’s best scorers without actually knowing how to score, and one of its best rebounders without actually knowing how to rebound, and on the heels of one of the most impressive passing seasons for a rookie big man ever, the notion of Blake playing basketball after actually learning to do so is utterly frightening.
• Shaq has a few controversial opinions on the league, including his belief that that only 9 or 10 teams have a star (and the list doesn’t include Blake Griffin and the Clippers).
• Clips Nation: Report from Lithuania – Chris Kaman.