The Warriors came to Los Angeles from Northern California. If you have not been up there recently, you cannot imagine how popular they are. That team just happens to have Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the best shooting guards in the history of the NBA. Their fans call them "the Splash Brothers", and every game that they play in is completely sold out.
They do play on a very good team, and their head coach is Mark Jackson. This is his second year with that job, and he has outstanding. Jerry West, who is one of the Lakers Legends, was hired by the new owners to be one of their Consultants. He is doing for his team, what he did for the Lakers, before Phil arrived.
The Warriors sent to shockwaves through Southern, California, when they won the first game of their Playoff with the Clippers. There was a sense of panic, as local fans, prepared themselves for the worst. They were dazed and confused, and they wondered if their hopes it been too high. In retrospect, they should not have worried, since the Clippers roared back to win by a score of 138-98. The margin of victory was a record for the happy Clippers.
This lopsided victory, along with the reemergence of Paul Granger is an indication that these Clippers or for real, and that they will likely go deep into the playoffs. Also, Big Baby may no longer need his training wheels. However, make no mistake about it; the man of the night was Blake Griffin. He not only scored 35 points, he also made 9 out of 10 free throws and he grabbed 6 rebounds. Unbelievably, he did not commit any personal fouls, which was a great shock, since he had committed six in just 20 minutes, on the previous night.
This Series now stands at 1-1. The Clippers have to go up to Oakland for Thursday night's game. The Warriors are wounded, but there is still a lot of fight left in them. They also have a large, loyal fan base, many of whom will be at the game to try to inspire them. It is exciting, but it isn't over yet.
My prediction is that Phil Jackson's venture in New York will be an utter and absolute failure. He is an intelligent and clever man and he had the good fortune to inherit a team that had Michael Jordan. When Michael Jordan left the Bulls for two years, during Jackson's tenure, the team did not win any championships during that time. He also won championships with the Lakers, who had Bryant and O'Neal on those teams. While these accomplishments are noteworthy, almost any other basketball coach would have won some championships with those players.
Jackson has worked very hard to convince those around him that he is exceptionally brilliant. He considers himself a Zen Master, whatever that is. He has been talking the talk, but in New York. He is going to have to walk the walk. The Owners of the Knicks do not know how to create a successful basketball team. The fact that they hired Jackson is an act of desperation. For $12 million a year, they probably could have lured Popovich away from the San Antonio Spurs. His teams are always good enough to get into the Playoffs. Doc Rivers is showing what happens when you give a great coach a team with some talented players.
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