LA Clippers

The holidays are here and that means food, drugstore family and football.  No wait, this is Christmas and that means food, family and BASKETBALL.  It’s easy to get confused because Christmas is to the NBA what Thanksgiving is the NFL.  An annual tradition that dates back to 1947 of all day basketball folly.  In 2011, the slate of games grew to 5, tipping off at 11am, and has stayed as large and as long ever since.

This year we’re looking at anything and everything from coast to coast match ups, a Finals rematch (or preview), East vs. West face-offs, and a Staples Center showdown, all complete with the requisite NBA Christmas uniforms, which I am not mad about this year.

If you’re looking to pick and choose when to watch vs. when to eat, sleep or spend time with the fam, here’s the game by game rundown.

11am CT New Orleans at Miami

A match up of the somewhat surprisingly intriguing Heat vs. the under performing Pelicans.  The Brow is always a fun watch and seeing him take on Hassan Whiteside in the paint shouldn’t disappoint.  But New Orleans is ravaged by injuries and an inability to adjust to the new coaching staff.  While I’m much more partial to New Orleans for eating, drinking and dancing, I’d pick Miami in this one.

1:30pm CT Chicago at OKC

The NBA so wanted Derrick Rose vs. Russell Westbrook to mean what it used to.  Unfortunately three knee surgeries has taken its toll on one much more than the other.  Despite this, the Bulls beat the Thunder earlier in the season behind a great game from Rose, who has since lost his facemask, the height of his hair, and his shot.  Both teams are playing under new head coaches who made the jump from college ball, but OKC is surging, while the Bulls count their lucky playoffs stars that they’re in the East.  I want to take the Bulls to turn it around and bring this one home because they always seem to surprise me on Christmas but without Joakim Noah, I have little faith this holiday season.

4pm CT Cleveland at Golden State

Get out the eggnog early because this is going to be good.  You can call it a Finals rematch or a Finals preview, but the top teams in each conference are at full strength with Cleveland seeing the return of Kyrie Irving this week, and they’re about to go at it.  Golden State boasts one of the best crowds in the NBA, who have been getting to games an hour early just see Steph Curry warm up.  And Lebron, well he’s mad.  Golden State makes history with every win so I’m picking the Warriors, if only to hope for a Riley Curry sighting at the post game press conference.

7:00pm CT San Antonio at Houston

Eat dinner quickly so you can be on the couch for an in-state battle of two completely opposite teams.  The Spurs quietly have the second best record in the NBA with only two less wins than the Warriors.  Pop is still sitting during games since it’s not April, and Kawhi Leonard shows us nightly how much bigger, stronger and faster he is than other top shooting guards in the league.  He’ll face another one in James Harden on Friday, but Harden’s Rockets have not done anything quietly this season.  Already working with an interim head coach and Dwight Howard trade rumors, the Rockets have been incredibly mediorcre so far, and outright bad at times.  They are however coming off of a 3 game win streak and have the talent to put on a show at home.  But if NBA fans know one thing, it’s to never bet against the Spurs.

9:00pm CT Los Angeles at Los Angeles

Many family Christmas gatherings may be able to relate to this match up – two passive aggressive siblings, living under the same roof, cut from the same cloth, with so little in common on any level.  On one end of the floor, the Lakers are a mess.  In the midst of the Kobe retirement tour, they boast two young stars in the making in Randle and Russell, who go in and out of the lineup for no apparent reason.  Kobe may score 34 points, or he may have 3 or 4 air balls.  Meanwhile, the Clippers are as good as they’ve ever been, but it doesn’t look to be good enough.  Their team is filled with controversial players who have never made it quite as far as they should have, and it doesn’t look like they ever will after the first few months of the season.  Kobe will be looking to go out with a bang in his 16th Christmas game, but I’d still take the Clippers to use the holiday to get their season back on track, as they continue to chase the shadow of the Warriors.

And that’s a wrap on Santa’s gift to all NBA fans this year.  Wishing you a very merry NBA Christmas, from our SDI family to yours!

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HOOP SCOOP FINAL

Want to be “that girl” who can hold her own in a room full of basketball fans? You’ve come to the right place. My weekly scoop on the hottest happenings in the NBA will provide you with the top line details on what you really need to know around the NBA.

Hottest Game: San Antonio Spurs vs. The Los Angeles Lakers, sildenafil Sunday 4/14 @ 8:30pm on NBA TV.

Why? The Los Angeles Lakers have five games left in the season, no rx and need to win every one of those five games in order to knock out the Utah Jazz for that eighth and final spot in the playoffs. The last time the Lakers missed the playoffs was in 2005. The Lakers dominated the West from 2008-2010 and won back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010. To say this season of struggling has been an anomaly for the Lakers is an understatement.

Kobe Bryant

Meanwhile, the San Antonio Spurs have a one game lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder for the best record in the Western conference.

The Lakers are fighting for their playoffs lives, while the Spurs are fighting to hold off OKC for the best record, and home court advantage throughout the playoffs. This game is sure to be intense, because the Lakers are desperate for wins and Kobe Bryant plays his best when his back is against the wall.

Hottest Story: The New York Knicks

Carmelo Anthony

Why? Break out the good china divas, the New York Knicks are on a winning streak! The Knicks have won 12 straight games, and Carmelo Anthony is ballin’. Granted, they’ve beat the Boston Celtics without KG, and the Miami Heat without Wade and LeBron, but Sunday they proved the streak is real by beating the Oklahoma City Thunder with all of OKC’s stars on deck. The Knicks have won 50 games for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. During this streak Melo is shooting 53.9% from the field and averaging 28.4 points a game.

The Knicks look to have hit their stride just in time for the playoffs; some even believe they can challenge the Miami Heat and make it to the finals. Now remember the Knicks haven’t made it out of the first round of the playoffs in years so this could very well be fools gold! But we’ll see!

Hottest Gossip: Los Angeles Clippers

Chris Paul and Blake Griffin

Why? The Los Angeles Clippers are known as “Lob City” but right now they look more like Sob City. The Clippers have had a magical season on the court winning their first division title in franchise history, but off the court is where the problems lie. DeAndre Jordan is mad at Blake Griffin for not getting him the ball, and at head coach Vinny Del Negro for burying him on the bench at the end of games.

Meanwhile, Chris Paul’s attitude has rubbed teammates the wrong way and has become borderline annoying at times. When asked about  being annoying Paul smiled and said, “I need to work on being a better leader.”

Basically the Clippers have two weeks to grow up before the playoffs start. Stop pouting, and start playing because if they don’t, this magical season will all be for nothing!

Hottest Couple: John Wall and Karrueche Tran

Karrueche Tran

Why? John Wall (when healthy) is the face of the Washington Wizards and Karrueche Tran is a L.A. based model but she’s best known for being Chris Brown’s ex-girlfriend. Wall and Karrueche have been seen flirting on Twitter and MediaTakeOut has reported that the two are now dating. They’re both young, talented, and seem to enjoy one other. So we’ll be watching to see how this relationships blossoms!

And there you have it… the hottest happenings in the NBA…until next week sports divas!

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HOOP SCOOP FINAL

Want to be “that girl” who can hold her own in a room full of basketball fans? Well you’ve come to the right place. My weekly scoop on the hottest happenings in the NBA will provide you with top of the line details on what you really need to know around the NBA. I promise to keep it Simple. Easy. Insightful. and always Girly. So let’s get started…

Hottest Game: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. The Los Angeles Lakers Friday night, ed 1/11 on ESPN. 

Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant

Why? The OKC Thunder are exactly what the L.A. Lakers want to be; young, physician athletic, look and most importantly one of the top teams in the west. While the Thunder have a record of 26-8 the Lakers are merely 15-18 having lost their last three games. On top of their losing streak they’ve also lost Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol indefinitely due to injuries.

The Lakers will look to prove they can still compete in the west despite their aging legs and depleted roster; while the Thunder will look to prove that even as a young team they are the team to beat. It’s like when older men and women try to prove to younger people that although they’re old they “still got it”. That’s the Lakers and the Thunder; the Lakers are the oldies trying to show OKC they haven’t lost a step.

Hottest Story: Los Angeles Clippers/Lakers 

Why? There are two teams that play in L.A. (the Lakers and the Clippers) both are hot stories this week, but for very different reasons. The Los Angeles Clippers are hot because before their loss to the Denver Nuggets on New Years day the Clippers had won 17-straight games. Yes, you read correctly…they won 17 games in a row without a loss. With all their dunks, and highlight plays they have quickly become the hottest ticket in the NBA.

On the flip side the L.A. Lakers are losing games and losing players. Not only are they on a three game losing streak as I mentioned before but they have lost Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, and Jordan Hill to injuries. If losing and injuries weren’t enough there are also reports that Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard got into a verbal altercation after their loss on New Year’s Eve. After living in the Lakers’ shadow for so long, the Clippers are now having their moment in the sun and it’s well-deserved.

Hottest Gossip: Melo vs. KG

Why? After Monday night’s game in Madison Square Garden Carmelo Anthony who plays for the New York Knicks tried to “confront” Kevin Garnett (who plays for the Boston Celtics) storming to the Celtics’ locker room, and then later to the Celtics’ team bus having to be restrained by security. 

Why so angry? Melo and KG were talking trash to each other during the game which Boston won 102-96 and Melo apparently had enough and after the game wanted to “talk” to Garnett. “Trash talking” is designed to get in that person’s head. Ladies its like when people try to instigate and bait you into losing your cool. That’s trash talking and that’s exactly what happened between Melo and KG. Trash talking is a regular thing in sports among opposing teams, but Melo lost his cool and now could be looking at a fine, suspension, or maybe even both.

Hottest Couple: Amare Stoudamire and wife Alexis

Why? The newlyweds announced earlier this week they are expecting their fourth child. “We are very excited to be adding to our family,” Stoudamire said. So congratulations to the happy parents-to-be!

Amare Stoudemire and Alexis Welch

Term of the Week: Technical Foul

Why? A technical foul is a foul given to a player or coach for unsportsmanlike conduct. Unsportsmanlike conduct could be anything from yelling at a referee to throwing the basketball out of frustration. Any time you’re watching the game and you see a player lose his composure you can be sure a technical foul is soon to follow.

Class is officially over. Until next week sports divas.

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