Are The Clippers For Real?

We just got into December, and history tells us that we really don’t know the answer to these type of questions until around the All Star break, but tonight and over the course of the next week we’re going to get a good idea of how serious the Los Angeles Clippers are.  They started the season off very well, leading people to believe that this was a serious championship contending team.  They’ve been together for years.  They have three players who are top three at their position, or at least were in recent memory (Deandre Jordan, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul) and a knockdown shooter in J.J. Redick, not to mention an improved bench.  And they have a coach who has won a championship with pretty much this type of roster, one that was heavily talented at the top and a pretty good bench back in 2008.

But, still, we’re talking about the Clippers here.  A team that hasn’t made it out of the second round since… well, ever.  Chris Paul, the best player and leader of this squad, has never made it out of the second round in his career, despite being seen as the best point guard in the league for the better part of a decade and still argued as maybe the best in the league despite the incredible play of Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry, and the up-and-coming play of Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard.  So they have certainly not instilled any confidence in any would-be believers.

This season, though, they have the opportunity to turn all of those ideas around.  At the very least they should be favorites to make it to the Western Conference Finals, even if nobody really believes they can beat the new Kevin Durant Warriors in a series.  They should be able to handle the San Antonio Spurs, and certainly should be able to beat any of the other teams in the West (nobody else should be in the discussion, at least not on paper).  Tonight will be the first step in that quest, as they face LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are coming off of a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday.  The Clips are on a four game losing streak right now, all to teams they should have beaten handily, so this litmus test will be extremely important.  And next week they have to face those Warriors.  We’ll know a lot more about this team by the 10th of December.

2016-2017 Way Too Early MVP Award

MVP – LeBron James

Statistically, a couple of guys have gotten off to a hotter start (James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis), though LeBron has been no slouch numbers-wise himself.  But when you take into account team performance – and the fact that LeBron’s defending champion Cavaliers lost to the Indiana Pacers decisively when he did not play, despite having two All-Star level players in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love on the floor – lets you know all that you need to know.  James Harden is also extremely worthy of votes as well, seeing as he literally is controlling a dynamic Houston Rockets offense, and he may very well end up leading the league in both scoring and assists, a feat not accomplished since the Hall of Famer Nate “Tiny” Archibald did it decades ago.

What We Learned From Cavs-Bulls Opening Night

It’s really incredible to think that just two seasons ago Joakim Noah was first team All NBA, the Defensive Player of the Year, and was fourth in MVP ranking.  Now he’s coming off of the bench during a contract season.  Nothing wrong with it necessarily – and he definitely ended last season and the playoffs very weekly – but it’s just interesting … Richard Jefferson, as Jalen Rose would say, keep getting them checks … Doug McDermott showed a lot of confidence.  If he maintains it he can definitely put up buckets in this league … Derrick Rose looked very good but you still cringe a little bit any time he limps or lands funny … Kevin Love is going to have a big year, return to the All-Star game, and put himself back in the conversation of the better power forwards in the league; I really feel that.  I think Blatt is going to feel pressure to give Tristan Thompson big/equal minutes to justify that contract though, and Anderson Varejao looked very good as well.  I’ve always felt he does what Thompson does but at a higher level, if he only stay healthy for a full season … Jimmy Butler is looking at a monster year … Aaron Brooks still playing this well at this level at that size/age is remarkable … Mo Williams is going to prove to be a tremendous offseason pickup for the Cavs.

No Help

Nobody out here owes you shit.  If you have a dream YOU gotta chase it, nobody else is gonna do the legwork for you.  And if you have a dream, that’s cool, but at some point you’ve gotta wake up and turn it into a reality.  Complacency does NOTHING for you — NOTHING!  You’ve got to put more into what you do than anybody else if you TRULY want to succeed!!

If you’re not where you wanna be in life, don’t waste time bitching about it or trying to find others to blame.  Nope!  You played a role in getting here, so shut your mouth and grind until you’re in the position you want to be.  Boss up.  If you’re tryna get to Success Road you have to be ready to drive on Hardwork Highway.

No Zombie Life

Stop being controlled — you’re not a zombie.  Don’t allow yourself to be trapped in your brain; imagination and creativity can allow you to fly.  Unfortunately most of us are quick to clip our wings early on in life.  If you saw a young eagle cut off his wings and walk everywhere you’d think he was ridiculous and in fact the idea is unheard of, yet all of the time people willingly limit themselves purely out of fear.

The Wolf Is A Great Teacher

Learn from animals.  You’ll never see a pack of wolves and just one of them starves, yet this planet is full of people who starve while others feast.  With so many hungry people out there I sometimes find it hard to sleep.  Thinking of all of the impoverished children in my own country I often find it difficult to operate without that constantly invading my thoughts.  So much wrong makes one yearn for the right.

The Time Is Short

Finally, my time is too short to share.  Outside of your family and loved ones and those who would do the same for you, don’t spend all of your time trying to please others before you make yourself happy.  This is your life and nobody can live it for you and you most definitely can’t allow yourself to spend it living for someone else.

It’s Out There

Why wait for inspiration?  Motivation is out there, you just have to look for it.  Success is out there, you just have to look for it.  And the likelihood is you’ll find it because it’s not hiding.  The same can be said for happiness.  These are not either/or endeavors, they are both achievable ambitions for anyone who wants them and is willing to put in the work to get them.

It’s All Good

There is nothing in this lifetime that I can’t overcome.

Life is beautiful.  For us lucky ones, it is filled with more sunny days than cloudy ones but even when the sky is clouded the sun still is in existence.  Happiness never disappears, it only relocates, but it is always a very stationary ideal just waiting to be found.  The beauties of life are found in some of the seemingly simplest, most mundane experiences we endure – the smile of a friend after a thoughtful compliment, the serious wanderlust in the eyes of a small child curious of life’s journey, the almost tangible joy in the heart of a dog playing with a new chew toy.

When I was a young boy I found amazement in damn near everything.  All things unknown to me were just potentially joyous endeavors as opposed to the possibly insurmountable obstacles that the adult mind sometimes translates them as.  I was a searcher before the Google era.  Many adults should do themselves  favor and just go back to their childlike mind and see life through those eyes… everything is an OPPORTUNITY of potential JOY to BEHOLD… there’s nothing to be afraid of.