Waldner: Paul Pierce could be key to Clippers’ postseason

first_imgThe nervous level goes up this time around because of uncertainty surrounding Griffin, who was sidelined for 45 games due to a partially torn left quad tendon, a fractured hand and a four-game suspension for reportedly punching Clippers assistant equipment manager Matias Testi.Nervous because Griffin needs time to return to top game condition.Nervous because Griffin and his teammates need time to become re-acquainted on the court.Nervous because it has become fashionable to wonder if the inability to advance out of the second round could lead to owner Steve Ballmer deciding to blow up the roster.Despite the spotlight on Griffin and Paul along with Jordan and Redick, there are other members of the team. Their play will impact the success, of lack thereof, of the Clippers. A lot depends on sixth man Jamal Crawford.Luc Mbah a Moute, especially on defense, along with Austin Rivers, Cole Aldrich, Jeff Green and Wesley Johnson, also are part of the mix.And then there’s Paul Pierce.Despite the understandable focus on Griffin, the play of Pierce, at the age of 38 in his 18th NBA season, could be the key to the Clippers making it or once again breaking.Pay attention to the old warrior out of Inglewood High by way of the University of Kansas, the Boston Celtics, where he carved out a Hall of Fame career, the Brooklyn Nets and Washington Wizards.Pierce’s numbers this season are forgettable.He has averaged as many as 26.8 points, 40.3 minutes and taken as many as 1,598 shots in a season.Last season, he averaged 11.9 points, 26.2 minutes and took 656 shots. As drastic as that drop was from his peak numbers, he has been even less of a factor this season, averaging a mere 6.1 points and 18 minutes while taking 382 shots with two games remaining.So why pay attention to a player who appears to be an afterthought? Because his name is Paul Pierce.Because Clippers coach/president of basketball operations Doc Rivers signed Pierce as a free agent for the toughness and smarts he brings to the playoffs.Because Friday night at Utah, with starters Paul, Griffin, Jordan and Redick remaining at home to rest, Pierce helped fill the gap, scoring 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting (4-of-5 on 3-point shoots) as the Clippers stunned the Jazz, who were seeking to hang on to a playoff slot, 102-99, in overtime.While the scoring grabs your attention, Pierce brings a lot more to the court. Think defense, rebounding, floor balance, smart passes, setting picks, tough plays in tough situations and positive influence in the locker room. He’ll do just about whatever else is required, including bringing championship mystique developed as a member of the 2008 NBA champion Boston Celtics.When others are nervous, he’ll be calm.During a session with reporters, Doc Rivers was asked an uncomplicated question.“What role would you like to see Paul Pierce play in the playoffs?”“Making big shots,” he said.Rivers saw it happen again and again during his run as coach of the Celtics, just as Inglewood coach Patrick Roy did when Pierce was playing for the Sentinels.“Playing heady, smart basketball,” Rivers said. “Putting his body at the right spot.”It’s fundamental, basic basketball.It’s the sort of solid basketball a veteran plays, as Ron Harper and Brian Shaw did for Phil Jackson and the Lakers late in their careers.It’s doing things that generally prompt applause only from teammates and coaches.“Just being a leader,” Rivers said. “That’s the role we hope for.”That’s why Paul Pierce can be a factor for the Clippers despite toiling in relative obscurity this season.Clearing out the mini-notebookQuoting — Kings right wing Dustin Brown said it after the 2-1 win over the Ducks: “We talked about reloading now.” Now is the start of the Stanley Cup tournament Thursday against San Jose. …Recognition dept. — Three good men, Bill Cunerty, Bill Kelly and Vince McCullough, were inducted into the California Community College Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame on March 12 in Visalia. Cunerty played and coached at North Torrance High, Kelly played and coached at El Camino College and McCullough coached at Redondo High and was defensive coordinator at El Camino. All three also coached at Saddleback College in Orange County. …Geography 101 — Someone needs to whisper into TV talker supreme Charles Barkley’s ear that as a resident of the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale he lives in the Southwest, not on the Pacific Coast. …Bottom line — Kobe Bryant, the NBA Lion in Winter at the age of 37 in his 20th season, will roar as much as his body will allow him to do so Wednesday at Staples Center against the Jazz in the final game of his career. That’s how he’s wired. Impossible however to ignore his 35-percent shooting percentage. Truth be told, Bryant retired because of injuries after the 2012-13 season. Unfortunately, he did not get the message. It’s nervous time for the Clippers as well as their long-suffering fans.After years of wandering in the NBA wilderness, the Clippers have qualified for the playoffs for the fifth year in a row.However, they have failed to win more than one playoff round during this otherwise successful run even with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, one of the most dynamic duos in the league, along with solid support from DeAndre Jordan, the best defensive big man in basketball, and sharpshooter J.J. Redick.This makes a lot of people nervous.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Friday Fortnite Bracket: Live results from Week 6 tournament

first_imgLooking back at the rest of this year, MrSavage and benjyfishy won Week 1, FaZe Tilt & FaZe Jarvis won Week 2, Mongraal and Mitr0 won Week 3, Aydan and innocents won Week 4 and Nate Hill and Funkbomb won Week 5. We’ll have to wait and see who takes home the prize money in Week 6.In the past, $20,000 has been made available in the prize pool with $10K going to the winners and another $10K going to a random viewer.MORE: Date, prize pool and how to watch Fortnite World CupWhat time does Friday Fortnite start?Date: Friday, July 19Time: 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PTFriday Fortnite Bracket: Week 6 live resultsHere’s how the above bracket works.Pairs of competitors will join a squad match, but will not be playing as a true squad. The two pairs of teams will instead be battling for a higher amount of eliminations. The duo with the higher amount of elims after two matches advances. The higher seeded team hosts the first match, and then the lower-seeded team hosts the second match on their server. Duos are not allowed to sabotage the other Duos. UMG and Keemstar are continuing their Friday Fortnite tournament for another week.After missing last week’s action, Ninja is back in this week’s Friday Fortnite event as he returns from a break. He’ll join teammate FaZe Sway, who also missed last week so he could train for the Fortnite Trios Tournament.  Examples of sabotage:Breaking or weakening opponent’s built or non built structures or cover by any means.Causing opponents to miss shots or miss opportunities for advancing their scores in any way shape or form.Building in front of your opponent.Boogie Bombing your opponent.The use of a boogie bomb on your opponent at any point in the game are subject to disqualificationWatch the Friday Fortnite Week 6 live streamUMG is hosting the tournament above, but if you want to watch individual streamers they are allowed to stream on their respective channels.Friday Fortnite Week 6 teamsNickmercs & SypherPKMSF Clix & SEN BughaLosPollos & MopiFaZe Mongraal & Mitr0Matthew Espinosa & JeromeASFFaZe Dubs & FaZe MeggaLG Kiwiz & LG FormulaFaZe Jarvis & Vikkstar123CoryFF & RiottFN (QW)Joshy & PinkyFaZe Natehill & High DistortionTypical Gamer & FaZe ThiefsMAD Ruski & 100T CeiceMarioHTXX & BigEXClassify & THumpNick28T & AA9skillzGhost Kamo & Aqauv2Lachlan & MrFreshasianGotaga & MickalowFaZe Rain & FaZe TeeqoDolanDark & NopeifyAkademiks & LG DestroyDakotaz & YeloNinja & FaZe SwayFaZe H1ghsky & DrLupoTSM MYTH & Nick Eh 30last_img read more

Landry delivers win for Sylmar in debut

first_img“He’s still getting acclimated to his new surroundings and making adjustments to the game here, but everyone saw flashes of what he’s capable of today,” Sylmar coach Bort Escoto said. “His upside is tremendous.” San Fernando (12-8, 4-5) led by as many as seven points in the second quarter behind Tony Trujillo, Giovanni Torres and Louie Arrendondo, who combined for eight 3-pointers in the first half. French-born Guy Landry waited six long months to make his debut on American soil, and he didn’t disappoint when finally given the opportunity Wednesday. The 6-foot-6 junior, who was ruled ineligible for three quarters of the season due to a problem interpreting his school transcripts from France, scored 25 points and added 10rebounds to guide Sylmar to a 88-78 victory over host San Fernando in a Valley Mission League game. Trujillo and Torres each finished with 24 points for the Tigers. [email protected] (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img Landry provided a spark in the first half, scoring seven points, and Dwight Jones added eight of his 18 points in the second quarter as Sylmar (15-9, 9-0) battled back to tie the score 36-36 at halftime. Landry took over in the second half, accounting for seven consecutive points during a 30-second stretch of the thirdquarter, as the Spartans went on an 11-0 run to take a 58-48 lead into the fourth quarter. “I was a little nervous for this game, but basketball is basketball,” said Landry, who speaks limited English. “It was good to play. I was patient and let the game come to me.” Victor Rudd had 25 points – highlighted by four 3-pointers – for Sylmar, which opened up an insurmountable 17 point lead with 5:46 left. last_img read more