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This Week in Sports: Down the Home Stretch

by Brian Bernstein

Los Angeles Clippers (37-25):

The Clippers have lost four of their previous six games and loosing their grip on the fifth seed for the playoffs.

Despite three of those losses coming at the hands of the top three teams in the West, should the Clippers continue to win and fight for the fourth seed guaranteeing them a home playoff series in the first round, or lose for a road that doesn’t involve the Golden State Warriors so early?

Here’s the deal. If the Clips finish fourth or fifth and win their first round series then they will most likely face the Warriors in round two. If they finish sixth or seventh their road goes through Houston and/or San Antonio. So the question is whom do they match up better against? Head Coach Doc Rivers doesn’t seem to have a remedy for his team against the Warriors, who have beaten them 10 straight times, however a healthy Clips team matches up well against both the Spurs and Rockets.

They may seriously consider dropping a spot or two to better their playoff road.

Los Angeles Lakers (19-44):

The Lakers are ending the season on a vision quest. With the playoffs nowhere insight, they’ve turn to their magic-eight ball to see if their young core of players have the talent to eventually lead the Lakers back to glory.

Since trading Lou Williams, D’Angelo Russell has stepped up his scoring efforts, averaging 20.6 points per game, to help fill the hole left by the potential Sixth-Man-of-the-Year winner. However the Lakers have dropped seven straight and securing the second worse record in the NBA. Brooklyn is No. 1 with only 10 wins.

The rest of the year for the purple and gold is not about wins and losses, but about how these kids, and yes they are kids, develop. Let’s be honest, losing to keep their top-three protected draft pick this summer is way too important of a factor to help the rebuilding process, so while you don’t want to continue a losing culture, balancing the right mentality within the organization while keeping that draft pick is a fine line.

It’s time to stop hand holding these kids and throw them in the deep end to learn how to swim in this league.  Lets just hope they can make their final games competitive and enjoyable to watch.

NBA:

  • Kevin Durant received good news from his MRI showing just a grade 2 strain of his right MCL and a bone bruise. Instead of a season ending injury, he will be re-evaluated in four weeks.
  • More troubling news in la la land as brothers and partial owners Jim Buss, who was relieved of his duties last week as president of Lakers’ basketball operations, and Johnny Buss have legally tried to strip sister Jeanie Buss of her seat as President of the Lakers.

Looks like a big baby throwing a tantrum because he didn’t get his way. Grow up Jim. You sucked at your job anyway.

NHL:

  • The LA Kings squandered a perfect opportunity to gain more distance in the Wild Card race from the St. Louis Blues Saturday with a 4-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. Instead they find themselves outside looking in by one point after the Blues victory Sunday for the final playoff spot.

MLB:

  • NY Mets pitcher Matt Harvey was very pleased with his first start during spring training following surgery last summer to address thoracic outlet syndrome as a “good first step.”
  • Boston Red Sox ace pitcher David Price got good news from doctors stating that the soreness in his elbow and forearm will subside with rest and not surgery.
  • The Dodgers Rookie of the Year Corey Seager is expected to be back in practice this week after having stiffness in his upper back

Hyun-Jin Ryu is taking positive strides in his rehab from shoulder surgery two seasons ago and hopes to get into a game this week.

  • LA Angels potential closer Houston Street is out 3-4 weeks after sustaining a grade-1 lat muscle strain.

 

 

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