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Sports Watching and Wondering

African American news from Pasadena - Sports - Doc Rivers, the Lakers, Phil Jackson and moreIT IS TIME FOR THE DOCTOR!

You may not know it, but Clippers coach Doc Rivers is a man with a mission. He intends to do everything that he can to win the NBA Championship this year. He recognizes that the odds are against him, as they were for the University of Connecticut. However, he has managed to instill a degree of toughness into this team, and they do have an outside chance of winning it all.

Rivers does know how to lead a team to a championship. He has already done it with the Boston Celtics. He has already provided the Clippers with the leadership and toughness that is required of championship contenders. He has essentially the same core group of last year's Clippers, but they have a better spirit and a different mentality. When they play now, they play hard and expect to win.

Following the Celtic tradition, he understands that you cannot have too many good players. So, when the opportunity came up, he added Danny Granger to his roster. Granger is nearly recovered from having a sore hamstring. When he is healthy and at his best, he is among the league's best players. In my opinion, he is the key as to how far the Clippers can go.

Their first opponents in the Playoffs are likely to be the Golden State Warriors. This is the team that should scare them before they lose. The Warriors have two great shooters, Seth Curry and Klay Thompson. They may be the two best shooting guards in the history of the NBA. Fans call them, "The Splash Brothers." They will score a lot of points, and they will scare the living daylights out of the Clippers, but that team does not have enough beef to win the series.

Assuming they get by the Warriors, they will have to face even tougher teams. San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Houston are roadblocks that they will have to overcome to become Champions of the Western Conference. Neither of them is a walk in the park, and things could go terribly wrong for Doc.

THE LAKERS - This is probably the most unforgettable season in the history of the Lakers. Everything that could go wrong did. There were injuries, large and small, to nearly every member of the team. It was just unbelievable!

Not only does the team not have enough healthy players, they have made some decidedly awkward choices for their head coaches. First, they brought in Mike Brown, a very smart coach, who knows his X's and O's. However, he did not have the leadership qualities and the toughness to take the control away from Kobe Bryant. So, he was doomed before he actually started coaching the team. Ultimately, he was replaced by Mike D'Antonio, another awkward selection; he should have been coaching in Phoenix. Their fans may not realize it, but it is likely to be more than five years before the Lakers have another winning team.

PHIL JACKSON - The Zen Master is now the President of the New York Knicks. This is a losing team with a lot of impatient fans. In the past, Jackson has always been clever enough to be associated with teams with at least two Superstars. His main job was not coaching, but to keep his players from killing each other. He has been very successful, but I have never been one of his fans, and I do not think that he will succeed in New York.

[To contact John Randolph Rogers, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .]



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