Cousins signs 10-day contract with Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers have signed center DeMarcus Cousins to a 10-day contract, the team announced on Monday.

The 30-year-old Cousins was released by the Rockets in February after 25 games with the team. Cousins averaged 9.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.4 assists in 20.2 minutes. The four-time All-Star returned this season after missing all of last season with a torn ACL.

Cousins holds career averages of 20.8 points, 10.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.2 blocks in 590 appearances with the Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans, Golden State Warriors, and Houston Rockets.

The nine-year veteran is one of 11 players in NBA history to average at least 20.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists. Originally the fifth overall selection in the 2010 NBA Draft, Cousins is a four-time All-Star, a two-time All-NBA Second Team member, and an Olympic Gold Medalist with Team USA.

Cousins was solid for the Rockets and played well at times, including 28 points and 17 rebounds against the Mavericks in January. With Serge Ibaka(back) out, Cousins will have an opportunity to impress the Clippers or other teams in the NBA.

Hawks trade Rajon Rondo to Clippers for Lou Williams

The Atlanta Hawks have acquired guard Lou Williams, along with two second-round picks and cash considerations from the LA Clippers in exchange for guard Rajon Rondo, the team announced on Thursday.

The 34-year-old Williams is a native of Snellville, GA, and previously played for the Hawks from 2012-14.

“Being able to acquire a respected veteran in Lou Williams, one of the best scorers and playmakers off the bench in league history, and two second-round picks accomplished a couple of the goals we had,” said Hawks President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Travis Schlenk. “We are excited to see what Lou can add to our second unit as we try to finish this season strong.”

Rondo never could get things going with the Hawks this season. In 27 games, the 35-year-old Rondo averaged 3.9 ppg and 3.5 APG. 

The three-time winner of the NBA’s Sixth Man Award has appeared in 42 games (three starts) this season for the Clippers, averaging 12.1 points, 3.4 assists, and 2.1 rebounds in 21.9 minutes (.421 FG%, .378 3FG%, .866 FT%).

The Clippers get a proven winner in Rondo, who helped the Lakers capture an NBA title last season. The hope is “Playoff Rondo” shows up once again. The four-time All-Star, and two-time NBA All-Defensive First Team, could be a calming force for Los Angeles come playoff time. 

For the Hawks, they get a scorer and instant offense with Williams. They’re hoping he can help this team climb the standings in the Eastern Conference.

Mavericks’ Doncic takes blame for loss to Clippers on Monday night

After getting blown by 51 points by the Mavericks(20-18) earlier in the season, you knew the Los Angeles Clippers(26-15) were going to do everything in their power to defeat Dallas on Monday night, and they did.

The Clippers had seven players in double figures, led by Kawhi Leonard, who had 22 points as Los Angeles defeated Dallas 109-99 at American Airlines Center. 

Fortunately for Dallas, they have a chance to get revenge against the Clippers, who they’ll face in the second game of their two-game set on Wednesday night.

These two teams battled hard in this game, and according to Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, Monday’s contest felt like a playoff game.

“This is high-level, playoff-caliber basketball in the middle of March,” Carlisle said. “This is a great challenge for us. We’ll look at the film, we’ll study it, we’ll make some adjustments. Wednesday, we’re going have to do things better.”

Dallas’ Luka Doncic finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and a season-high-tying 16 assists for his 34th career triple-double (9th this season), but he struggled down the stretch.

After being down by as much as 12 points in the fourth quarter, Dallas cut the lead to four(103-99) with a little over three minutes left. However, with a chance to make it a one-possession game, Doncic committed a turnover. Doncic missed a floater on the next possession, and ultimately the Clippers would take control from there. Dallas would not score in the final three minutes of the game. 

Doncic committed four of his seven turnovers in the fourth quarter. The third-year guard was not happy with his play in the fourth and felt like this loss was on him, which he discussed after the game.

“You can’t make every shot, obviously,” Doncic said. “But this was on me. I took some terrible shots at mid-court, and that game is on me.

“I lost too many balls. That’s it.”

It did feel like playoff basketball in March, and if you remember, these two teams had a very competitive first-round series last season, in which the Clippers were able to win in six. It’s always fun when these two teams get together, so expect an entertaining game on Wednesday night.

Notes:

Kristaps Porzingis went 9-14 from the field en route to 22 points and 7 rebounds. Over his last 10 games, Porzingis is averaging 22.5 points (.546 FG%, .446 3FG%) and 8.6 rebounds per game. The Mavs are 8-2 in those 10 games.

Tim Hardaway Jr. came off the bench for Dallas and scored 21 points on 8-12 FGs, including 5-9 from deep. Hardaway Jr. has scored in double figures in 16 of his last 19 games, and he has 20+ points in two of his last three appearances.

 

 

 

Clippers begin second half of season on March 11 against GSW

The LA Clippers will tip off the second half of the 2020-21 season on Thursday, March 11 vs. the Golden State Warriors on TNT, and have released their second half schedule.

The second half of the Clippers’ season includes seven back-to-backs and two series, with two games at the Dallas Mavericks in March and a back-to-back at the San Antonio Spurs March 24-25. The Clippers will host a nine-game homestand from March 27 – April 11 that includes nationally-televised matchups against the Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers, and Phoenix Suns. The team will conclude the regular season on the road with games at the Toronto Raptors, Charlotte Hornets, Houston Rockets, and Oklahoma City Thunder, and wrap regular season play on May 16.

Prime Ticket and FOX Sports San Diego (soon to be rebranded Bally Sports SoCal and Bally Sports San Diego) will televise all Clippers games not airing exclusively on TNT, ESPN, or ABC. Additionally, all games airing on the regional sports networks will be available for live streaming via the FOX Sports GO app and FOXSportsGO.com.

Here is the complete second half schedule:

Clippers second half Schedule

Luke Kennard signs extension with Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers have signed Luke Kennard to a contract extension, the team announced on Monday.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s a four-year, $64 million deal.

“We are excited to secure a commitment from a dynamic, emerging young player who continues to grow every day,” said Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank. “We have been impressed with Luke’s versatility and maturity, and it’s been a privilege to get to know him better during this training camp. We believe he is a fantastic fit for our organization and we are delighted he feels the same.”

“Today is a great day. I couldn’t be more excited to play for the LA Clippers, and am thankful for Steve Ballmer, my teammates, and the entire Clippers organization for giving me the opportunity to be part of this world-class franchise,” said Kennard. “I am inspired by Steve’s unwavering commitment to winning and look forward to contributing to the team’s success on the court.”

Kennard, 24, appeared in 28 games for the Detroit Pistons last season and averaged a career-high 15.8 points, 4.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds. Acquired as part of a three-team deal on Nov. 19, Kennard ranked second on the Pistons last season in free throw percentage (.893), third in points and 3P% (.399) and fourth in assists.

The four-year veteran was selected by the Pistons as the 12th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Paul George signs max contract extension with Clippers

The LA Clippers have signed six-time NBA All-Star Paul George to a max contract extension, the team announced today.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Clippers extended George’s contract for an additional four years, $190M on top of the $35.4M guaranteed him in the 2020-2021 season. George will have a new player option before the 2024-2025 season.

“Paul is one of the best and most versatile players in the league, and he has been for about a decade,” said Clippers head coach Ty Lue. “He can play on or off the ball. He can score in a variety of different ways. And he can guard almost every position on the court. His skill and leadership will be integral to everything we do for many years to come. I’m thrilled we can continue to build with PG.”

In his first season with the Clippers,  the 30-year-old George averaged 21.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists and shot a career-high 41.2 percent from beyond the arc. The 10-year veteran has a career defensive rating is 102.29, tied for seventh among all active players.

“As a kid growing up in Southern California, I always dreamed of playing in Los Angeles, where my friends and family could come watch me play,” said George. “I am so grateful to Steve Ballmer, Lawrence Frank, Coach Ty Lue, my teammates, and the entire Clippers organization for believing in me. I am proud to call this my home and look forward to doing my part in helping make the team a tremendous success – both on and off the court – in the years ahead.”

Originally selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, George has appeared in 652 career games, averaging 20.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists with the Indiana Pacers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Clippers.

Clippers announced first half of 2020-21 schedule

The LA Clippers will tip off the 2020-21 season on Tuesday, Dec. 22 at 7:00 p.m. PT at the Los Angeles Lakers on the NBA’s Opening Night, and have released their first half schedule.

The Clippers’ second game of the season will be at the Denver Nuggets on Christmas Day at 7:30 p.m. PT on ESPN and Prime Ticket/FOX Sports San Diego, and then the team will return to Los Angeles to take on the Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Portland Trail Blazers. The first half of the season includes six back-to-backs for the Clippers, and wraps up on Thursday, March 4 at the Washington Wizards.

During the 2020-21 season, the Clippers will play each Western Conference opponent three times, and each Eastern Conference opponent twice. The Clippers announced their three preseason games last week, with the first on Friday, December 11 at the Los Angeles Lakers. All three will air on Prime Ticket/FOX Sports San Diego.

Prime Ticket/FOX Sports San Diego will televise all Clippers games not airing exclusively on TNT, ESPN or ABC. Additionally, all games airing on the regional sports networks will be available for live streaming via the FOX Sports GO app and FOXSportsGO.com, with Clippers CourtVision powered by AWS available there for regular season games. All games will air on the radio on AM 570 L.A. Sports and in Spanish on 1330 AM – Tu Liga Radio.

The LA Clippers’ game and broadcast schedule is available here.

Clipprs’ Frank on Morris: ‘We obviously depend on his scoring, shooting ability, and defensive versatility’

The Los Angeles Clippers have re-signed free agent Marcus Morris Sr., the team announced on Wednesday.

According to reports, it’s a four-year, $64 million deal. 

“We are delighted that Marcus has chosen to continue his career with the Clippers,” President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank said. “We obviously depend on his scoring, shooting ability, and defensive versatility. With his experience, toughness, and team-first approach, we will look to him as a leader as well.”

The Clippers acquired Morris, 31, during the 2019-20 season from the New York Knicks. He appeared in 19 games as a Clipper, averaging 10.1 points and 4.1 rebounds in 28.9 minutes. In the 2020 NBA Playoffs, Morris shot a playoff career-high 47.5 percent from behind the arc and averaged 11.8 points and 4.8 rebounds in 29.8 minutes.

Before joining the Clippers, the nine-year veteran appeared in 43 games for the Knicks and averaged career-highs in points (19.6), three-pointers made (2.7), and three-point field goal percentage (43.9). 

Morris was a valuable contributor for the Clippers last season. You could argue that the Clippers may have overpaid for Morris, but when you consider how much this team gave up in terms of draft picks(Paul George trade), Los Angeles has to go for it all, and bringing Morris backs helps the Clippers do just that, and while losing Montrezl Harrell to the Lakers was a blow for the Clippers, replacing him with Serge Ibaka might have been an upgrade, especially on the defensive end. Just like last season, it appears the Clippers and Lakers will be battling it out for supremacy in the Western Conference, which should be a lot of fun.

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Clippers’ Lue: ‘I want to be one of the greatest coaches’

When Ty Lue became the Cleveland Cavaliers head coach in 2016, there was a lot of pressure to win right away. At the time, Lue took over for David Blatt, who led the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals the year before.

Ultimately, with the help of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, Lue was able to lead Cleveland to their first championship in team history.

Now, Lue, who was officially named head coach of the Clippers on Tuesday, is in a similar position with Los Angeles. After the Clippers lost to Denver in the Western Conference semifinals, Los Angeles fired their head coach Doc Rivers, and now they are counting on Lue to get the job done.

With Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the pressure is on the Clippers to win now. Lue is no stranger to pressure, and it’s something he enjoys.

“I’m big on pressure because if you don’t have pressure that means you don’t have a chance to win a championship, so when you talk about pressure, that means you’re in a situation to win,” Lue said on Wednesday at his virtual introductory press conference. “That’s what I want to do.

“I want to be one of the greatest coaches. I want to be great, so in order to be great, you have to win. To me, when you start talking about pressure, all that it means. To me, that means you’re in a position to win a championship, and you want to take on those pressures. You want to be better; you want to be great, so in order to be great, you have to get over those hurdles.

“I’m excited about it. I don’t look at it as pressure. I look at it moreso as a chance to win another championship and take this team to a higher level.”

The Clippers were built to win last season, and what happened in Orlando was inexcusable. To lose to the Nuggets after being up 3-1 is unacceptable. However, sometimes, it takes a team time to gel, especially when you consider some of the time missed by Leonard and George. Lue wants to be regarded as a great coach, and with this roster, he will have the opportunity to do just that. 

Ballmer on Rivers: ‘He won a heck of a lot of games and laid a foundation for this franchise’

In a shocking move, Doc Rivers has stepped down as coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, the team announced on Monday.

According to the team, owner Steve Ballmer and Doc Rivers reached a mutual decision that Rivers will step down as head coach of the L.A. Clippers. 

“Doc has been a terrific coach for the Clippers, an incredible ambassador, and a pillar of strength during tumultuous times,” Ballmer said via a team statement. “He won a heck of a lot of games and laid a foundation for this franchise.” 

The Clippers, who acquired Kawhi Leonard and Paul George last offseason, lost to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference semifinals after being up 3-1 in that season.

Rivers, 58, was the most successful head coach in Clippers history, compiling a record of 356-208 over seven seasons. Under his direction, the Clippers made the playoffs six times and reached the Western Conference semifinals in 2020, 2015, and 2014. Before arriving in Los Angeles in 2013, Rivers spent nine seasons with the Boston Celtics, winning a championship in 2008. 

According to Ballmer, the Clippers will begin the search to replace Rivers immediately.

“I am also extremely confident in our front office and our players,” Ballmer said. “We will find the right coach to lead us forward and help us reach our ultimate goals. We will begin the search and interview process immediately.” 

If he decides to coach next season, Rivers will be in demand. Currently, there are some excellent jobs that are open right now in the NBA, including Philadelphia, Houston, Indiana, and New Orleans, so Rivers could possibly find a good situation. Regarding the Clippers, you wonder what direction they will go in; Ty Lue, who led the Cavaliers to an NBA title in 2016, was Rivers’ lead assistant and could be one of the favorites for the job. Obviously, the Clippers have an attractive situation, and whoever gets the job will have an opportunity to win right away.