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Cramming code into the sports world - deep inside a defunct power plant...


Posted by mikefiske on Thu, 10/30/08, 12:28pm:

Category: General
Posted by: mikefiske

Hello, We have changed to a new system & you will need to update your RSS feed to the following URL:





The Lakers

Posted by Kevin Arnovitz on Wed, 10/29/08, 07:26am:

Category: General
Posted by: Kevin Arnovitz
The principle brilliance of the Triangle Offense lies in the number of potential options it produces for it practitioners. Every momentary stand by the defense triggers several different offensive counters, which is why it’s so difficult to defend.  It’s like Whack-a-Mole as basketball.  And it’s particularly tough now that the Lakers are fielding a guy at each position who can execute each of those options.  Every notable player on the Lakers’ roster can pass the ball, put it on the floor, shoot it from some reasonable distance – Bynum notwithstanding -- and every guy has the wherewithal to know where he’s most useful on the floor at any given moment.  Sure, Vladimir Radmanovic has the occasional outage – and his moments are always brilliantly spectacular in their visual absurdity – but he generally understands space.  Everyone else is fluent.  

So how do you beat them?  

The best option is physical brutality.  The Lakers generally appear least comfortable in their offense when their opponents are banging them around as they move from spot to spot. When that happens, they settle for contested jumpers.  Defensively, they’re long, but not great physical defenders – particularly in the post.   Both Baron Davis and Cuttino Mobley understand how to apply physicality as a defensive tactic against a team like the Lakers.  Kaman has really improved in this capacity.  His first couple of years out of Central Michigan, Chris would still occasionally get a little intimidated in the paint.  Now, he takes getting beat on the block much more personally, which you can see in his defense.  The others are variable.   In this regard, slotting Brian Skinner in for Marcus Camby could make a lot of sense.  It compromises the Clippers offensively and potentially creates trouble for Kaman, but it would allow the Clips to establish themselves physically against one of the better finesse teams in recent memory.

geek time

Posted by mikefiske on Tue, 10/28/08, 05:32pm:

Category: General
Posted by: mikefiske

Mike the usually silent half of clipperblog here. you may notice some odd things happening to the site in the next 24 hours or so. we have been working on a whole new look/software for CB and are attempting to breathe life into it right before we start the new season. so please be patient with us & we'll get it moving in a new exciting direction a.s.a.p.

Thanks. -m

Category: General
Posted by: Kevin Arnovitz
From Ramona Shelburne's "Inside the Clippers" blog:

It looks like Baron Davis and Tim Thomas will play in tommorrow's season opener. Officially they are probable, which means that they could technically sit out if they have any kind of setback, but after talking to coach Dunleavy and both guys after practice today, it sounded pretty solid that they'd be out there. Both went through the full practice today.

Marcus Camby (bruised heel) is officially listed as ``doubtful'' and I wouldn't be surprised, at this point if he missed the first two or three games.

This still begs the question: Will Thomas start at the 4, or will Dunleavy insert Ricky Davis into the lineup, and slide Al Thornton over to the PF?  

Which would you prefer?

Of General Interest

Posted by Kevin Arnovitz on Tue, 10/28/08, 08:21am:

Category: General
Posted by: Kevin Arnovitz
  • In the LAT, Lisa Dillman explains how the presence of Lela Nicholson might tip us off to the likelihood of Baron Davis suiting up tomorrow night. 

  • In the Press-Telegram, Ramona Shelburne takes a stab at the Clippers' Five Burning Questions heading into the season.

  • Clips Nation's season preview is up. What are the team's biggest strengths?  Steve rightly stipulates that we simply "don't know" since "they've never actually played together in a game."   Is there a team in the league with more elasticity in its expectations?  Unlikely. 

  • Wages of Win has some interesting rookie projections.  Using rookie data from the last couple of NBA seasons, Dave Berri discovered that you can tell a lot about a rookie from his preseason performance.  He also factors in college stats.  Guess who the top-ranking Clipper rookie is?  Hint: It's not Eric Gordon.

  • The best mellow pregame meal in downtown.  BYO.  

A General Note About Comments

Posted by Kevin Arnovitz on Mon, 10/27/08, 05:57pm:

Category: General
Posted by: Kevin Arnovitz

One of the great features of a blog is the ability for people with commonalities -- a political bent, a favorite team, a shared interest -- to communicate with one another.  Andrew Sullivan, in this month's issue of The Atlantic, describes the blogger as "the host of a dinner party" whose function is "to provoke discussion or take a position, even passionately, but he also must create an atmosphere in which others want to participate." [emphasis mine]. 

Over the past year or so, the atmosphere in the comments section at Clipperblog has been less than inviting.   I've tolerated it because I fundamentally believe that comment sections of blogs should be policed sparingly.  But I also know firsthand that the rancor has driven smart, pleasant posters from the fray.  This means that the discussion has suffered, and that Clipperblog is a less interesting place to spend time.  And that concerns me. 

Since we're only 48 hours away from the start of the new season, I feel the need to make a request -- not a demand, but a request.  It's a pretty simple one: 

Keep it civil.

By all means bag on Chris Kaman when he deserves it.  And feel free to debate other posters on the value of Corey Maggette or Marcus Camby.  But personal attacks on other posters and general baiting don't belong here.

Thanks for understanding. 

Carry on...

Plan B

Posted by Kevin Arnovitz on Mon, 10/27/08, 06:49am:

Category: General
Posted by: Kevin Arnovitz
The Clippers still have no idea who they'll put on the floor to open the season Wednesday night.  From Lisa Dillman at the LAT:
...for Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy, it's down to two options and all about one $65-million point guard.

"We've pretty much got Plan A and Plan B, right?" Dunleavy said. "Baron plays or doesn't play."

That remains the burning question hanging over the Clippers, and Baron Davis' status wasn't made much clearer after Sunday's practice. Davis, who continues to wear a splint on his sprained left ring finger, and Tim Thomas (strained groin) participated in some aspects of training but were kept out of anything involving contact.

There are other concerns. Marcus Camby (bruised right heel) is behind Davis and Thomas in terms of progress and didn't play a minute in the preseason. His appearance in any of the games this week would be a genuine surprise.

This was the grand fear, wasn't it?  That the Clippers' roster -- ripe with talent -- would fall victim to a combination of nagging injuries, grievances, and uncertainty.  For a team that, for all practical purposes, is still wearing name tags around the training facility, it might be helpful to complete a single full-contact practice in unison before the season starts.

Just saying. 

Category: General
Posted by: Kevin Arnovitz
Some primary and peripheral concerns coming off a wretched week of preseason losses to PHX, Portland, and Denver:

  • Per Lisa Dillman at the LAT, Marcus Camby is looking less probable as an opening night starter against the Lakers:

    It may be more of a surprise if Marcus Camby is actually available for the season opener Wednesday. Instead of going up against his former teammates from Denver, he received a pain-killing shot for his bruised right heel. Camby said in the hallway before the game that he thought he would get the shot at halftime. "He's the one I'm thinking is potentially not available," Dunleavy said of the three injured Clippers...The flu and the injury limited Camby to about three days of practice. Dunleavy was asked what he needed to see from Camby before he could take the next step, so to speak. "See him get down the floor without limping," he said. "It'd be a start."

    If Marcus Camby is a no-show Wednesday, don't expect things to improve for Chris Kaman, who's had -- to put it kindly -- a choppy preseason.  Opponents need to have a reason not to send help down to the block to defend Chris.  Marcus Camby at the elbow is one reason.  Tim Thomas along the perimeter is another.  But neither Brian Skinner nor Paul Davis provide that kind of insurance for Chris in the post. 

  • Jason Hart gives you a lot defensively, but I'm not certain that Mike Taylor doesn't give the Clips a better chance to win with the second unit.  Taylor is hitting 57% of his shots from the floor -- largely a product of his getting to the hole with ease.  His range has been a pleasant surprise, and last night he went 2-2 in 3PAs.  The one consideration you have to factor with Hart is whether those premium defensive skills against opposing backup PGs offset the fact that he can't throw it into the ocean.  I'm not certain they do. 

    Taylor, on the other hand, needs to learn to protect the ball -- something Hart does with care.

  • Both DeAndre Jordan and his husky puppy Maximus have a tendency to do things on the floor they shouldn't.  Jordan reports in his decidedly readable blog that Maximus "go use the bathroom outside, then he'll come back inside and use my floor, too! He's crazy."   That last rejoinder seems a fairly apt description of Jordan, as well, who racked up his second techincal of the preseason after kvetching to the officials and barking at Nene after Jordan threw down a dunk. 

    To his credit, Jordan kept the Clips in the rebounding battle.  He collected 10 in 25 minutes.

    A good morsel from Jordan's most recent entry: "A fan named Marc asked me why Eric Gordon always looks so upset. He's not upset. He's just real quiet. That's how he looks most of the time. Sometimes you crack a joke and you might... you might get him to do a half smile. No teeth though. That's it."

Clips Work Out Lindsey Hunter

Posted by Kevin Arnovitz on Wed, 10/22/08, 03:54pm:

Category: General
Posted by: Kevin Arnovitz
Ramona Shelburne at the LA Daily News reports that Lindsey Hunter worked out for the Clips yesterday:
Just how serious were the Clippers' contingency plans if the diagnosis on Baron Davis' sprained left ring finger came back negatively? Apparently, serious enough to have free agent guard Lindsey Hunter in for a workout this week.

``We worked him out and he looked great,'' Clippers coach and general manager Mike Dunleavy said. ``He's in great shape, and a good veteran guy.''

Now that the Clippers have official word that Davis should only be out another week and doesn't need surgery, it's unlikely they'd sign Hunter, who won NBA championships with the Lakers in 2001-02 and Detroit in 2003-04.

You get the impression that Dunleavy is determined to have no fewer than 3+ options at PG this season, and would happily work out Mo Cheeks if he weren't already coaching the Philadelphia 76ers.

Clips pick up Thornton's Third-Year Option

Posted by Kevin Arnovitz on Tue, 10/21/08, 04:23pm:

Category: General
Posted by: Kevin Arnovitz
From HoopsWorld:
LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- The Los Angeles Clippers have exercised the third-year contract option on forward Al Thornton, the team announced Tuesday.

According to the NBA's rookie pay scale, Thornton will make approximately $1.9 million during the 2009-10 season.

The 14th overall draft pick in 2007 out of Florida State, Thornton, 24, is entering his second season. He will be a restricted free agent after the 2009-10 campaign.

The 6-8 Thornton averaged 12.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists during a solid rookie campaign, which landed him a spot on the All-Rookie First Team.

No surprise here. 

Thornton becomes the seventh Clipper to be guaranteed for next season.  The others: Baron Davis ($12.2M), Chris Kaman ($10.4M), Cuttino Mobley ($9.8M), Marcus Camby ($7.7M), Tim Thomas ($6.5M), and Eric Gordon ($2.8M).