WOOOO WE'RE BACK BABY 80-2 HERE WE COME
Here's what's going on in Clipperville this weekend.
Success comes at a price. The Los Angeles Clippers had the steepest price increase in tickets — the average price is now at $78.43, close to a 25 percent increase from last year. A functional owner really does make a difference, I guess.
Zucker's ready. Dan Woike interviews the new head of the Clippers' business operations.
J.J.'s a crybaby. And his cry baby's inspiring him.
But then, after watching Redick's eyes go glassy while talking about his infant son, this day wasn't about a team finding its way. It was about a dad sharing a game with his boy, a dad who will never forget something the little guy could not possibly ever remember. Knox Redick isn't quite 11 weeks old, although, Redick joked, "He acts more like a 4- of 5-month-old."
This was Knox's first game, and, with about 10 minutes left in warmups, his mother, Chelsea, brought him down courtside. I didn't see it, but Redick said his eyes filled. I know they started to fill again later when he shared the story. "To have my son at my NBA game was just incredible," Redick said. "I know a ton of guys in the league have kids and all that. But when it's you and it's your kid, man, it's the best feeling in the world."
Slob City is no more. The Portland game is hopefully a turning point in this young season.
Ugh... why are the Warriors doing so good. The roster, the assistants, and maybe a little bit of Steve Kerr too.
If the players don't accept what the coach is saying, then a team won't go anywhere. From the outset, Kerr said he wanted more passing and more movement without the ball: a mix of Mike D'Antoni's Phoenix Suns pace and passing, Gregg Popovich's San Antonio Spurs flow, Jerry Sloan's Utah Jazz high post passing and baseline cross-cutting, with a touch of Phil Jackson's Chicago Bulls triangle offense.
There are moments when the Warriors' offense looks like it was shot with the time-lapse video feature on the new iPhone. Nothing lasts long, especially not individual possession of the ball. They've gone from 246 passes per game last season to 324 passes per game so far this season, according to the player tracking data on NBA.com. The Warriors lead the league in secondary assists (or "hockey assists") at nine per game, and are second in regular assists and points created by assists. And they don't even have the hang of this thing yet.
You'd like to hope that they're over-performing a little in the early going and they'll come back to earth eventually, but that's no guarantee. Their chemistry and camaraderie is also pretty crazy.
Kerr also delegated to his assistants. Ron Adams, whom he calls his "defensive coordinator," reminded the players to avoid a quick foul to see if they could force a turnover -- which is exactly what happened. And when the Warriors got the ball, Alvin Gentry suggested the play with Thompson coming across the middle to hit the go-ahead shot.
Yeah, they ran the play for Thompson instead of All-Star Stephen Curry. And the Warriors just signed Thompson to a four-year, $69 million contract extension that will make Thompson the team's highest-paid player next year, not Curry. These are the kinds of things that can tear teams apart. But that brings up another investment the Warriors have made: in each other. "You feel like you have a part in it," Curry said of Thompson's contract. "I'm ecstatic for him."
Darren Collison isn't too shabby. WHY DID YOU GIVE HIM UP CLIPPERS?!
The Pacers and Raptors have traded places. Paul Flannery's Sunday Shootaround never misses.
Time to panic, Oklahoma. Chris Mannix doesn't either.
The Bulls can't rebound. Why they've been underwhelming so far.
The Greek Freak isn't Freaky enough. Giannis isn't ready to play the point.
I love out-of-bounds plays. Doc's not the only maestro, it turns out, as Hardwood Paroxysm looks at some of the best in recent memory.