This is only the summer, but I am really excited about the prospects of the L.A. Clippers doing well. They have signed Grant Hill, Lamar Odom, Ronny Turiaf, Ryan Hollins, and Willie Green in the off-season. As Chris Paul leads this team to redemption, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan should be able to get more passes from CP3 as time progresses. I also like Chauncey Billups’ addition to the starting lineup as he returns from his injury. Hill and Odom will give the Clips veteran leadership. Green will add athleticism to a studded lineup involving Paul and Griffin. Turiaf and Hollins bring much-needed muscle and bulk to a frontcourt that has Griffin and Jordan in it already.
With the addition of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, they have also signed Chris Duhon as well as Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks. No longer will the Lakers have to deal with Andrew Bynum and his immature and childish behavior on and off the court, as cited by Chris Ross, my fellow basketball writer and colleague (and also co-conspirator). Bynum is sent off to Philadelphia now in Kobe Bryant’s hometown. As the Lakers prepare for next NBA season, get ready for a lineup consisting of Steve Nash at point guard, Kobe Bryant at shooting guard, Ron Artest as small forward, Pau Gasol at the power forward, and Dwight Howard at center. With a bench that has backup point guard Chris Duhon, backup forward Antawn Jamison and backup shooting guard Jodie Meeks as well as recurring bench roles such as Matt Barnes, Steve Blake, Jordan Hill, Devin Ebanks, and Troy Murphy, this is a Lakers team that is now a dominant force and should be reckoned with. There are a lot of question marks such as, how will they compete with the 2004 Lakers that had Gary Payton and Karl Malone alongside Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. Will the 2012-2013 version of the Lakers be better or worse than the 2003-2004 L.A. Lakers? That’s what we want to know. That’s what we want to find out.
This was a close game from start until finish. The Americans held on and beat the Spaniards in a tough basketball game. Lebron James was the best player of the tournament. Kevin Durant was the Americans’ leading scorer. The U.S. definitely deserved the victory and the gold medal. Spain really gave the Americans a run for their money. If anything, the U.S. must still prove that they are on top of the basketball world again and again in future basketball events like this. I really thought Spain was going to take this gold medal game. The Americans hung on and kept resisting the Spaniards’ attempt to make it a low-post affair and kept Spain attacking the Americans in the middle where the U.S. lacks size there. For three quarters, the Spanish looked confident playing against the superior Americans at basketball, until Lebron James took over. Pau Gasol and Marc Gasol had their way physically and mentally against the Americans. Juan Carlos Navarro was playing splendidly. Serge Ibaka was tremendously effective. Size helped Spain and it hurt the Americans. The U.S. played well to overcome its own limitations and that’s what did the trick. That’s why they won this game and the gold medal. They played fast and up-tempo and had players like Chris Paul and Lebron James rush the fast break so they can score fast points. That’s game. That’s life.
The Americans knew that this was going to be a competitive game from the start and get go. In the first half, the game was close until the second half in the third quarter. The Americans turned on the switch and score a flurry of baskets in a row. Kobe Bryant had 20 second half points to lead Team U.S.A. and the rest is history. Now the Americans meet Argentina in the semifinals. They mustn’t take this game very lightly at all, considering our attitude against the world in basketball competitions.
The Argentines gave the Americans all they could handle. In the second half, the Americans rushed away with a flurry of three pointers. They led Argentina the rest of the way after it was a competitive first half. The Americans were probably happy about this victory. I really think that this win over Argentina should help the Americans, because it gave them some adversity and some afterthought about winning this crucial game. What was hilarious in this game was the afterthought when Argentine guard Facundo Campazzo hit Carmelo Anthony in the groin and it probably hurt too. Why did Anthony go after Campazzo for that? Probably because it was an accident. Ask Campazzo. Did he really think it was an accident? He told Kobe Bryant about what he did to Anthony, “Yeah. It was my fault. I understand.” And what Chris Paul did to Campazzo? He punched him. No, Campazzo wasn’t told by Chirs Paul that it was an accident. Campazzo said, Paul didn’t apologize to him for the punch. That’s just Chris Paul. That’s how Facundo Campazzo reacted to the situation. Anyone can react like that.
What the Americans need now if they are really interested in competing in world basketball tournaments and the Olympics is a big post player who can score and defend. They might have it in Kevin Love, if U.S. personnel are willing to help Love develop against the world’s best and talented basketball players outside of the United States. If U.S. personnel are willing to develop more low-post players, they must try and get Demarcus Cousins to mature physically and mentally as well as Greg Monroe. Cousins and Monroe will make great pivot players around the basket, given the mental and physical effort in personal development. They aren’t high in character development, but they will make up more in their mental and physical efforts. Tyler Hansbrough will make a great hustle player for the Americans. If Hansbrough is willing to give up more summers and play for the Americans, I guarantee Tyler’s hustle play will inspire U.S. basketball and help the basketball program improve immensely. Getting superstar players like Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant does help inspire team play, but you will need role players like Hansbrough who will give an all-out effort and leave-it-out-there mental and physical attitude on the basketball court. I also think having Louis Amundson will help U.S. basketball a lot. Players like Kevin Durant, Lebron James, and Carmelo Anthony will be talented and strong enough to defend and score in the post, however their strengths on the basketball court lie on the perimeter and mid-range, where they do the most damage by shooting and making the basketball from beyond the three-point line.