The Clippers find themselves sitting at the top of the Pacific Division with a 39-17 record at All-Star Weekend, pacing for their first ever division title. With the Clips ranking third in the Western Conference and with Chris Paul coming off a 20-point, 15-assist, MVP performance in the All-Star Game, L.A.’s lesser-known team is finding itself all over the Internet. Here’s some of what you may have missed:
In the L.A. Times, Ben Bolch describes Chris Paul’s magical All-Star performance.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports writes about how Paul has changed the Clippers’ reputation around the league.
Who would’ve thought, but it’s true: For the older guys wanting to take less money to win, the Clippers are the choice over the Lakers now. That’s on Paul and that was in full bloom in the All-Star Game.
“The No. 1 point guard we have in this league,” LeBron James, the No. 1 player, marveled on Sunday night.
For Howard, the trade deadline comes on Thursday and rivals are still poking at the Lakers, understanding fully that Howard is miserable. When teams call to talk trade, they say, the Lakers’ private message has been consistent with the public one: Howard isn’t available, general manager Mitch Kupchak tells them.
Can you handle more Eric Bledsoe trade talk? ESPN Insider’s Bradford Doolittle says Bledsoe to Utah isn’t so crazy.
Kevin Pelton gives a data-driven analysis of how trade-deadline swaps usually go down.
We’ve got Sterling news. ESPN’s Arash Markazi explains how Donald Sterling has been absorbing his franchise’s best season ever.
The Sterlings have seen their fair share of bad teams and bad locker rooms, so it must be somewhat of a surreal experience to see what Paul has done to their team. He has made it a destination franchise for players like Chauncey Billups and Grant Hill, who chose to finish their careers here, and for sought-after free agent Jamal Crawford, who chose to sign with the Clippers and come off the bench. It has a lot to do with Paul’s ability to blend different talents and egos.
But on Sunday the spotlight was on Paul, as he became the first Clippers player to ever win the game’s MVP and the first player since Gary Payton in 1995 to have 15 or more assists in the All-Star Game. After his 15-assist and four-steal performance on Sunday, Paul also raised his career All-Star Game averages to 12.4 assists and 3.4 steals, which are the best all-time.
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