The Lakers are finalizing plans to have fans in while they play Boston Celtics on April 15th. The Clippers plan to return fans for their home games starting April 18 against Minnesota Timberwolves.
Both teams announced fans’ plans to return to the Staples Center with the State of California announcing that Los Angeles County had switched to orange tier. The Lakers and Clippers said they would work with the LA County Department of Public Health and Staples Center to define guidelines for entertaining fans safely at home games this season. The Clippers said their plan was for “a number of fans” to attend the game against the Timberwolves.
The Lakers and Clippers recently obtained permission from the LA County Health Department to have 50 guests at games according to protocol for TV and award show production in LA County.
Starting with the game against Minnesota, the Clippers have six fan-friendly home games, including the home game against the Lakers on May 6. With the game against Boston, the Lakers will have nine home games left that fans may attend.
That LA Clippers would be without Paul George for at least two more games as he continues to have swelling in his right toe, coach Ty Lue said Tuesday.
George will not join the team in two road swing games through Minnesota and Chicago, which kick off Wednesday with a bout against the Timberwolves.
George has missed the last two games and is trying to relieve the swelling at the fingertips. He can be re-evaluated as early as Saturday.
“Stay home and be cared for,” Lue said of George. “And we’ll re-evaluate it when we get back.”
The Clippers could have hurt the starting point guard Patrick Beverley back as soon as Wednesday against the Timberwolves. Beverley, who has missed the last eight games with right knee pain, was raised to be questionable for the game.
LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo may be competitors in a rival conference, but they share the same sentiments regarding the league’s plans to hold its All-Star Game in March in Atlanta.
Fresh from 33 points, 12 rebounds in Milwaukee 123-105 wins in Cleveland on Friday night, Antetokounmpo supported James’s position on the game taking place amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think every player is looking forward to five days, seven days, whatever the day. We all have to follow that big dog,” said Antetokounmpo, referring to James. “The big dog said he didn’t have the excitement and energy for the All-Star Game, and neither did I. Right now I really don’t care about the All-Star Game. We can’t see our family.”
“Like, I can’t worry about the All-Star Game. I want to see my family. I want to go see my younger brother in Spain, I want my younger brother to come see me,” he added. “So neither do I. I have no energy, no joy. In the end, if they tell us we are coming, we have to do our job. I always do my job, I always show up, setting the right example. But in the end in my heart, deep down, I don’t want to do it. I want to rest. “
Antetokounmpo is second behind Brooklyn Kevin Durant on the Eastern Conference front court in the first fan return from the NBA All-Star vote.
The back-to-back MVP and Defender of the Year has played in the last four All-Star Games, citing his 2020 Chicago experience as “a lot of fun for the fans.”
“In the end, if we have an All-Star Game, I hope the fans can be there and we can give back to them,” said Antetokounmpo. “In the end, if we have an All-Star Game just to have an All-Star Game and have no fans, I don’t see the importance of having an All-Star Game.”
Antetokounmpo, like James, said he was under the impression the league would not hold an annual showcase until reports suggesting otherwise began to emerge. He said he would rather use his time to decompress from basketball than compete on that night.
“I think clearly about going into a season, where everything we know is not going to be an All-Star Game, it will be time to spend with our family,” said Antetokounmpo. “Obviously, when the protocol changes it’s a bit difficult because on the road, your family can’t come on the road. At home you can’t leave the house, you can only go to the practice facility or to the arena and you don’t have time to bring your family a nice dinner or your family comes on the street or wants to escape the game. “
“Boys have the right to their feelings, decisions and everything. I think the union’s job is to try to make sure our players are healthy and safe. It’s a league decision, and we are definitely, day by day, trying to find out. But we have. The 450 players we always try to get insight into, and that’s difficult, so we’re trying to find out now. “
Harden said Friday night he felt “the same way” about the All-Star Game as stars like Antetokounmpo and James.
“There’s so much going on as far as we’re trying to calm the virus – and we’re having events, you know?” Harden said. “I know the reason for this, but I feel like, especially with such a busy schedule, everything feels like it’s being forced on the players. It’s already exhausting to play so many games a week. I feel like it’s been a week for us to relax, be with our families, and take a step back from basketball. “
Leonard said the league’s decision was a matter of valuing “money over health.”
“I mean, we all know why we play it. You know, there is money at stake,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to make more money. … Just putting money above health right now, quite a lot. Yes, we’re playing a game right now, and it’s still a pandemic. We’re doing all these protocols and rules, so it’s not like that. surprise me. “
Phoenix Suns keep Chris Paul, who is the president of the players’ guild, responded to negative comments made by players on Friday about the All-Star Game. He said he had had discussions recently with players like James and Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry and acknowledging the difficulties of league schedules and being away from family.
“We got calls and we tried to sort it out with a different situation from people who have played a lot of games who didn’t really get much rest,” Paul said. “I’m sure I’m not the only man in the league living without their family, so the men saw the break as an opportunity to see their family.”
Paul added: “Unity always thinks about the whole player. But emotions happen, men have feelings and you have to be able to express them, and I respect that.”
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are back, and the Clippers are very happy.
The Clippers did a pretty good job with Kawhi and Paul crashing out, being 1-1 in two very close matches. “I think they really put it together,” said George. “They play for each other.” Upon their return, the duo did an even better job of picking up where they left off.
The Clippers are very fortunate that Kawhi and George did not test positive for COVID-19, and they only missed two games. It could be much worse, and much more terrifying.
“Very relieved,” said George. “We are both healthy, first and foremost. We played very well, it’s a shame we had to take the break, but safety is first.”
While the Clippers lost just one game during Kawhi and George’s absence, their seven-match winning streak was halted. They responded by immediately winning two games in a row, winning nine of their last ten.
“I mean, it’s sad because we are in a good position,” said Kawhi Leonard. “That’s my mindset. Just want to play basketball, and want to keep building our chemistry and getting better. But you know what, we understand what the protocol is and it’s an opportunity for people to step up and play a bigger role. “
It was an unfortunate circumstance, but one of the luckiest results for the LA Clippers.
His debut game in the summer league in July 2019 drew a large crowd of fans around the building, although Williamson only played eight minutes. The league tried to highlight Williamson last season on opening night and Christmas Day, but he is out of action until January with an injury he sustained in pre-season. Pelicans were also selected to start the bubble on national TV, but again, Williamson could only play 15 minutes.
Finally, Williamson got the chance to become a major presence on NBA marquee day alongside the newly signed maximum contract star. Brandon Ingram.
And, of course, everyone can take a dose Jimmy Butler at Christmas.
– Andrew Lopez
Jingle bells. Jingle bells. Giannis runs his path. Oh, how nice watching Steph Curry make it rain.
This Bucks-Warriors fight has the potential to become a holiday classic. Both teams have something to prove after the disappointing results of the 2019-20 season. Golden State missed the postseason for the first time since 2011-12, and the Bucks suffered a disappointing second-round defeat. The two groups will be looking to quickly find chemistry with the new lineup.
“I’m not sure anyone is more underrated in the NBA,” the Bucks guard Pat Connaughton said Holiday. “I think if you pair up with him Khris [Middleton] and Giannis, that’s a big deal, and I’m not sure many people actually explain how big the problem is, but that’s what we like. “
Just two years ago, Irving stood inside TD Garden Boston and announced that he hoped to stick with the franchise for many years. He left after that season. Now, he’s made his long-awaited return to the building in a Christmas Day duel, and after missing both games in Boston last season through injury, he once again has nothing to do with booing fans.
The game also provides a national stage for Irving-Kevin Durant team up against a talented Celtics who believe they can take the East. The Celtics starlet Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will be looking to show how much their respective games have progressed since Irving left for Brooklyn. As well as the emotions surrounding Irving’s return, this will be an early opportunity to see if Durant looks like he used to be against a young and hungry team. He hasn’t played since he broke his Achilles in Game 5 Final 2019.
If the dynamic All-Star duo pass the test earlier this Christmas, it could warn the entire league of how talented the Nets are when their stars go down and create chances for teammates.
– Nick Friedell
In November 2018, Luka Doncic timidly lingering outside the Lakers locker room at the Staples Center so security guards could give him the autographed uniform of his childhood hero, LeBron James. Now, Doncic will try to hand James the loss on Christmas Day.
The NBA pitting the Mavericks against the defending champion Lakers on a big day in the league calendar shows Doncic’s rapid improvement. As exciting as it may be to see the Lakers engage in a Final rematch with the Heat or take on former Warriors champions or add another chapter to the growing Lakers-Clippers intrigue, the NBA has always been about its star system, and nothing. today’s match that could rival LeBron vs. Wound.
At Doncic, Dallas had a star who was predicted by many in the league to win MVPs and rings. At James, the Lakers had someone helping bring the franchise back to its former glory as he sought to add more MVPs and rings to his resume (he has four each).
This NBA selection for the Christmas Day pair also shows the important place where the league is located. James is his face, but he is almost 36 years old and into his 18th season, and his contemporaries have either retired or turned into role players. The stars half a generation behind are injured (Curry, Durant and Irving), have yet to win a championship to validate their positions (Antetokounmpo, James Harden, Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook, Joel Embiid and Butler) or lacked the charisma or interest in emulating James star status (Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis).
Add in the injury problems that Zion Williamson has had in his rookie season, and the path has been cleared for 21-year-old Doncic to carry the torch for years as James did from an early age.
– Dave McMenamin
The last time we saw the Clippers, Paul George shoot 3 angles from the backboard side.
It cemented a timeless symbol of the Clippers’ embarrassing 3-1 collapse in the second half of the playoffs. Just over three months later, the Clippers face the Nuggets again, and Nikola Jokic will again try to play spoilers.
A lot has changed since the two teams faced each other. In LA, head coach Doc Rivers and Sixth Player of the Year Montrezl Harrell lost. The Clippers are counting on new coach Ty Lue and a revamped staff to unlock chemistry. In addition, they need a free agent signing Serge Ibaka to play a better defense against Jokic than Harrell.
Former Clipper JaMychal Green will be on the Nuggets side after signing with Denver in free agency and delivering a blow to the Clippers rotation. The Nuggets will need Green to help compensate for the loss Straw Grant, who signed with Detroit Pistons after her postseason breakout.
Even so, this upstart competition has to get down to the main character, as happened in the playoffs. Jamal Murray and Jokic will play in the Christmas showcase for the NBA, looking to take the next step as they advance to the Western Conference finals in a bubble. They hope to show the national audience that they are the Lakers’ premier competition in the Western Conference. Leonard and George will seek to rebuild the Clippers as title contenders and try to erase the memory of their downfall.