Sunday, May 6, 2012

Little Paul

Sippin' That Tough Juice

Saturday afternoon, the Clipps snuck away with another one point victory, narrowly edging the Grizzlies to take a 2-1 lead in the series. Prior to the game, every analyst agreed that this was a must-win for the Clippers. After losing home court advantage going into the playoffs, this 2-1 lead gives the Clippers the upper-hand, putting them on the path to close out the series at home in game 6, assuming they can irk out another win in the next two matchups. More importantly, it takes the pressure off the Clippers going into game 4; they can play their game, they can come out in front of their home crowd and take a commanding 3-1 lead before heading back to Memphis.

Clippers fans have waited a long 6 years to see their team play at home in the postseason, and the crowd yesterday was absolutely electric. Ralph Lawler said, prior to the game yesterday, that game 2 in Memphis was the loudest crowd he's heard to date... Staples Center saturday afternoon gave them a run for their money. As Mike Conley talked about in Memphis, the home crowd can make a serious difference in the playoffs. They inspire the team to play harder; dive for balls, lockdown on defense, etc. Clipper Nation will be an important factor in game 4, potentially lifting the Clippers to another home win, putting them well on track to advance.

Speaking of inspiration, Caron "Tough Juice" Butler proved he's been sippin' on that juice by playing through a fracture left hand Saturday, an injury that looked like it would sideline him for the majority of the post season. After missing last year's championship run with the Mavs, Caron looks like he's motivated to not miss out on what could be a special post season with the Clipps. It's a morale booster for sure, as Chris Paul put it, "Caron is the true meaning of the word 'vet,' in all aspects of it." Paul added, "The way he talks to you during the game; in the fourth quarter he came up to me and said, 'Take us home.' His energy and just being around the league; he knows what's going on, and it's something I love."

Clipper Nation. All In.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Oh Me, Oh My!

"If we come back to win this game, I'm calling the series over."

Adam Levine
Hip To Clipp Staff Writer

Maybe Adam got a little ahead of himself; the series is far from over. But there is no doubt that the Clippers made a huge statement last night in Memphis by mounting one of the biggest comebacks in NBA playoff history. Stealing a road game is big in any playoff series, but a victory of this magnitude is huge for the Clippers momentum. Additionally, giving up a 27 point lead at home has to be devastatingly demoralizing in the Grizzlies' locker room.

Some thoughts...
  • The Grizzlies aren't going to play that well for three quarters of basketball ever again. They made it rain, shooting 68% from behind the arc as a team. That obviously won't continue. Rest assured, Mike Conley Jr. won't be dancing around like that idiot at the gym that everyone hates any longer.
  • I hate to pull this excuse out, but the officiating seemed brutally one-sided. I know, it's the officiating always sucks, and someone always has something to bitch about, but it seemed absurd. Am I being a homer? Whatever.
  • Deandre Jordan looked awful. He finished with 5 points and 7 rebounds. Like we talked about in the round table, if he doesn't show up to play, we are going to have a tough time having any presence in the paint. He needs to wake up and show up.
  • Swaggy P!!!!! Nick Young is the man. (When he hit that third three pointer, the entire Hip to Clipp staff sounded like a group of 13 year old girls getting a strip tease from the cast of Twilight.)
  • Vinny, go small! With Caron going down, I really hope we don't see 30 minutes from Bobby Simmons. Change it up, get Mo and Bledsoe in there. Keep it interesting, when things are stagnant get those energy guys in there.
  • Speaking of Energy... Eric Bledsoe and Reggie Evans. YES! These guys are huge sparks off the bench and we can't say enough positive things about them. Their hustle and enthusiasm is unmatched. Although limited, their minutes are very valuable to keeping this team in close games.
What a fantastic game to watch. We did learn, though, that it won't be easy. The first three quarters of game 1 were a perfect storm in the Grizzlies favor, that won't happen again. However, there's no doubt that this series will be one of two good teams battling it out.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hip to Clipp Roundtable Part 1

Hip to Clipp staff writers Vince Robbins, Scott Lerner, and Adam Levine sit down with Clippersaddict Michael Freeman for the first Roundtable of the 2012 season.

1. We know CP3 and BG will be integral to the success (or failure) of the team in the playoffs. Assuming they perform as well as they have all season, who’s the third most important player? Who’s the game-changer that will define how the team performs this postseason?

Vince: On the negative side—the player that could do the most damage if they don’t play well—is DeAndre. We’ve seen him come out of the first half with no rebounds, no points, and it’s really almost impossible for our offense and defense, on the starting unit, to function without him playing well—or at least okay. On the positive side—who could add the most—is Mo Williams. I think he could definitely be our Jason Terry off the bench, and take over a game, having 25 off the bench, getting the crowd involved.

Michael: I’ll have to agree. Mo Williams, or any guard in addition to Chris Paul, that can handle the ball, be dynamic, that can score, is essential. Mo, Nick Young, Randy Foye…we really need a two guard scoring off the dribble, making his own shot, to take some of the burden off Chris Paul to have any real success in the playoffs.

Adam: I’m going to go with Kenyon Martin. K-Mart was acquired to give the Clippers a scoring option up front. He has the skills in the post that Blake and Deandre struggle with, and has the experience to be a pillar alongside one of our young bigs.

Scott: DeAndre Jordan. If we have an absent center, as DeAndre often is with his foul trouble, etc., we don’t stand a chance in a seven-game series against any team with a solid bigman—the Lakers, Thunder, and Grizzlies come to mind. Without DeAndre, I can just see Marc Gasol having a lot of fun around the rim.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Breaking News: Hip to Clipp Not Dead

This photo is irrelevant and only to attract readers to the page.
We've received numerous letters, e-mails, tweets, smoke signals, and frantic late night phone calls from fans around the league terrified that something had gone terrible wrong.

No hilariously self-depricating tweets? No long-winded posts exposing life-long Clipper icons as frauds? Not even the lazy YouTube video posts?

(Okay, okay... we were responding to @ClipsGirl's Direct Messages on Twitter…What?)

But we're here to clear the air. We're not dead, and neither are the Clippers. We just had a rough March; twenty Clippers' games, the death of Whitney, the premier of The Hunger Games, two girlfriend break-ups, Passover / Easter, a pregnancy scare, Attention Deficit Disorder, and a lot of whiskey…How were we supposed to find time to write?

But the playoffs are close at hand, and your trusty Clipper friends / mentors / icons are here, right by your side, to hold your hand during this unfamiliar time. Although the 2006 playoffs feel like yesterday, it was a long time ago, and our team and fan base have changed. Clipper Nation must stand together, stronger than ever, and ride this magic carpet ride as far as we can.

Hip to Clipp is back.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Are They Back?

Clippers looked renewed and reenergized Saturday against the Grizzlies, confidently ending their first three game losing streak of the season. Are they finally back? Or was this just do-or-die for the team and more importantly for Vinny Del Negro?

With four more home games this week, it's a good time for the Clipps to come out and prove that they are as good as they played at the beginning of the season. With less than 20 games left, now is the time to start doing some damage to ensure a decent playoff seed... Or to ensure the a playoff seed at all.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

We've Come a Long Way

A year ago today we were in a very different position. We were in a better position than we'd been in for a long time, that's for sure, but we had no idea that our group of young could-be's was going to transform into a team of young studs, seasoned veterans, and perennial all stars.

Where has it gotten us?

5th place in the West? Hanging on the bring of making the playoffs? 13th overall points per game. 13th overall rebounds per game. 17th overall assists per game. 14th overal points allowed.

Mediocrity. Don't get me wrong, we're happy. As Clipper fans for years, we clearly aren't going anywhere. But really? After all the hype? ...That's it?

No, we've seen it. We saw the way they beat the hell out of the Thunder. We were there for the Perkins dunk. We felt the energy in Staples during the overtime Heat victory, and the follow up win over the Lakers. We watched them beat the Spurs on the road. We've watched CP3 take over at the ends of games. We've counted the lobs. We've chanted "REGGIE, REGGIE!!" We've heard "Bingoooooo" and "Oh me, Oh my" emphatically all year.

We know they have it. We've seen it! It's there, we just have to find it again. The chemistry. The excitement. The competitive fire. It's all there. With just under 20 games to go, now is the time to get it all back. Tonight, Chris Paul returns to the city that gave him his start of his legendary career, but let's hope LA is the city that gives him the proper finish.