The NBA wraps up the season's first half in style with a great double header tonight on TNT. At 8pm Eastern, its the Thunder hosting the Miami Heat in Oklahoma City, followed by the battle of Los Angeles featuring the Clippers and Lakers. The "Grammy" break is over and both LA teams are road weary and ready for a return to the Staples Center. NBA fans won't be without the game as All-Star weekend in Houston tips off on Friday.
As we approach the NBA break, more details are emerging about All-Star weekend. We know Alicia Keys will be performing at halftime of the main event and we also can pass along particpants in the Sprint Slam Dunk, Taco Bell Skills Challenge and Foot Locker 3-point contest. All events, including the Sears Shooting Stars competition will take place Saturday night February 16th, with the main event on Sunday. Everything will be carried LIVE on TNT from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
While the Eastern Conference featured Philadelphia's shocking win over top seeded Chicago, the Western Conference held serve, for the most part. The Clippers seven game elimination of Memphis could be considered an upset, while expected by others.
As we play out the final days of the 2011-'12 NBA regular season, we take a look at each franchise. Who emerged, what went wrong, what lies ahead. A look at post season chances, long term potential and upgrades possible in this summer's NBA draft. We continue in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference with the Los Angeles Clippers.
The NBA tipped off the 2011/12 season with a tremendous slate of Christmas Day games. Although the season has been shortened from 82 to 66 games, there will never be a shortage of action. For the first time, we are seeing teams playing back, to back, to back games. The schedule is so compact that some teams are expecting less than a dozen practices during the entire season! Given the pace of the schedule, the older teams may be at a disadvantage and bench play is more important than ever. Fantasy leagues are taking note and many are holding their auctions/drafts after the opener to get a better feel for rotations and flow.
The NBA regular season is finally underway and with that we wrap up our conference previews. The Pacific Division is the last of our Western Conference previews. This season promises to be a battle of Los Angeles with the holdover Lakers trying to stave off the up and coming Clippers. Check Fantasy Alarm's Talking Hoops all season long as we track players on the move in Flea Flicker leagues and provide the latest information that impacts not only wagering but fantasy basketball as well.
Just one caveat, the deal is "pending league approval" The Los Angeles Clippers caved in to the demands of the NBA owned New Orleans Hornets. After breaking off the talks saying the demands were just too high, the Clippers went ahead and made the deal anyway. The hold up in the deal was which guard the Clippers were going to trade to the Hornets. Los Angeles wanted to move Eric Bledsoe, while New Orleans was insisting on Eric Gordon. Bledsoe's recent injury complcating matters even further, but the Clippers gave up in the end.
The Lakers got the jump on the Chris Paul sweepstakes only to get trumped by the NBA league office. But wait, is Chris Paul still heading to Los Angeles? Maybe so, but instead of joining Kobe and Showtime CP3 may be running with Blake Griffin and the Clippers. The Lakers thought they had completed a deal that would bring the mercurial guard as Kobe's back court mate and even briefly re-submitted a deal before giving up altogether. Now its the Clippers turn.....
Camps are now open across the country with the race to fill opening day rosters underway. With some teams opening practice with as few as seven players under contract, lots of player movement coming before Christmas. The major action of the day, the Lakers pulling out of the Chris Paul sweepstakes while the hunt for Dwiight Howard gets underway. 14 days until Christmas.... and opening day!