Archive for the ‘ Los Angeles Clippers Blog ’ Category

Clippers center Willie Reed arrested

Here’s the LA Times reporting on newly-signed backup Clippers center Willie Reed, who has been arrested:

Willie Reed arrested

Newly signed Clippers center Willie Reed was arrested early Sunday morning in Miami on suspicion of domestic violence.

Reed, 27, was jailed by police for misdemeanor battery in downtown Miami at a condominium complex, according to Miami-Dade jail records…

Reed’s attorney, David Oscar Markus, added that, “Willie will continue to cooperate with the authorities, the Clippers, and with the league so that they have all of the facts regarding this misdemeanor allegation.”

Lawrence Frank takes over Clippers basketball operations

The L.A. Clippers announced today that they are creating separate roles for coaching leadership and basketball operations leadership. The team says the change stems from discussions between team owner Steve Ballmer and Doc Rivers.

Doc Rivers will continue to serve as the team’s head coach, while Lawrence Frank takes over responsibility for basketball operations. Frank and Rivers will be peers in the Clippers’ structure, each reporting directly to owner Steve Ballmer. Doc and Lawrence will work closely together to lead the Clippers towards its goal of an NBA championship.

In announcing the shift, Ballmer noted: “Doc knows how to win championships. That is what we prioritize, and that is what Doc will focus on. He is key to integrating our new players with our returning players and taking us to new heights on the court.” He added: “Lawrence is someone I learn from every single time I hear him talk. He gets recruiting, talent development and identification, salary cap strategy – he gets it all. I know the team will be well positioned with him leading the front office. It is great to have two independent voices — and two of the League’s absolute professionals — working in partnership for our team. With these two guys at the helm, we will have great success.”

Rivers remarked: “I am committed to the Clippers success and am excited to focus on the coaching side as two thirds of our roster will be new this year. This is a change I discussed with Steve since my bet last year on Lawrence Frank has worked out so well.”

Frank commented that: “After a year in the organization’s front office, I am excited to continue to invest in our front office and I look forward to the opportunity. Steve has charged us with taking the Clippers to the next level, and together with Doc we will do just that.”

Clippers re-sign Blake Griffin

Clippers re-sign Blake Griffin

The L.A. Clippers announced have re-signed free agent forward Blake Griffin.

“I just want to say how excited I am to be back. Obviously, this has been my home since I have been drafted.” Griffin said. “In the end, I realized this was a no-brainer for me. This was the best place for me, and this is the place where I want to start and finish my career.”

Griffin, 28, averaged 21.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 61 games (all starts) last season for L.A. The five-time All-Star has played his entire career with the Clippers since being drafted first overall in the 2010 NBA Draft out of Oklahoma. In 471 career games (all starts), he holds averages of 21.5 points, 9.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists.

On April 1, 2017, Griffin reached 10,000 career points, becoming the first player in team history to tally 10,000+ points exclusively in a Clippers uniform.

Griffin was the 2010-11 NBA Rookie of the Year and has been an All-NBA performer four times throughout his career.

Three-team trade sends Danilo Gallinari to Clippers, Jamal Crawford to Hawks

The L.A. Clippers announced today the team has acquired forward Danilo Gallinari from the Denver Nuggets as part of a three-team trade that sends Jamal Crawford, Diamond Stone and L.A.’s 2018 protected first round draft pick (via Houston) to Atlanta and a 2019 second round draft pick from Atlanta (via Washington) to Denver.

Gallinari, 28, averaged 18.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 63 games (all starts) last season with the Nuggets. An eight year NBA veteran, Gallinari has appeared in 460 career games (390 starts) with Denver and the New York Knicks, and owns career averages of 15.3 points, 4.7 rebounds 2.0 assists. The Sant’Angelo Lodigiano native was originally selected by the Knicks with the 6th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft after spending four-plus years playing internationally in Italy.

“Since we acquired Danilo in 2011, he has exemplified every positive aspect of the organization we are continuing to build,” said Nuggets President and Governor Josh Kroenke. “His hard work, professionalism, and efforts in the Denver community during his time with us will forever make him a fan favorite. On behalf of Nuggets fans everywhere and our entire organization, I would like to thank him for everything he did during his time with us and wish him nothing but the best in the future both in life and in basketball.”

“Danilo has been a special player for the Nuggets organization as well as a prominent figure in the Denver community for the last six years,” stated Connelly. “He was a consummate professional throughout his time with us and we want to wish him all the best as he begins this new chapter.”

Stone, 20, was a second-round pick of the New Orleans Pelicans (40th overall) in the 2016 NBA Draft, and was traded to the Clippers on draft night. Last season, he played in seven contests with the Clippers, spending much of the year in the NBA G League with Santa Cruz Warriors and Salt Lake City Stars. In 13 games (two starts) in the G League, the 6’11 center averaged 16.2 points and 7.0 rebounds in 21.7 minutes (.491 FG%, .826 FT%).

The Milwaukee, WI native played his freshman season at the University of Maryland, averaging 12.5 points and 5.4 rebounds in 22.6 minutes (.568 FG%, .761 FT%) before declaring for the 2016 Draft.

Crawford, who has won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award a record three times (including with Atlanta), played from 2009-11 with the Hawks, and has also seen action with the Chicago Bulls (2000-04), the New York Knicks (2004-08), Golden State Warriors (2008-09), Portland Trail Blazers (2011-12) and the Clippers (2012-17).

In 17 NBA seasons, the 6’5 guard holds career averages of 15.3 points, 3.5 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 30.6 minutes (1182 games, 433 starts). He was originally the eighth overall pick of the 2000 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers after playing one season collegiately at Michigan.

The L.A. Clippers have acquired the draft rights to Oklahoma State University guard Jawun Evans from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for cash considerations.

In his final season at Oklahoma State, Evans, 20, led the Big 12 in scoring (19.2 ppg), was an AP All-America Honorable Mention selection and was named to the All-Big 12 First Team. In 54 appearances over two seasons at OSU, Evans averaged 16.6 points, 5.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds, while shooting 40.7% from three-point range.

Evans, 6’0”, 185 pounds, was named the Big 12 Freshman of the Year in 2015-16. He was also a member of the gold medal-winning USA Basketball team at the FIBA U19 World Championships and a McDonald’s and Parade All-American out of Kimball High School in Dallas.

Danilo Gallinari to the Clippers

The Clippers backcourt is weaker now with Chris Paul gone, but their frontcourt will receive a boost thanks to the upcoming re-signing of Blake Griffin and newly reported addition of small forward Danilo Gallinari. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Danilo Gallinari to the Clippers

The LA Clippers have acquired Denver Nuggets free-agent forward Danilo Gallinari on a three-year, $65 million contract as part of a three-team sign-and-trade deal, league sources told ESPN.

Los Angeles, Denver and Atlanta reached agreement Tuesday night on a deal that will have the Clippers send Jamal Crawford, Diamond Stone, a 2018 first-round pick previously acquired from Houston and cash to the Hawks, league sources said.

Atlanta will send a 2019 second-round pick it previously acquired from Washington to Denver to complete the trade, league sources said.

Blake Griffin to re-sign with Clippers

Chris Paul is gone, but Blake Griffin is sticking around. The Clippers are without their floor general, but their versatile power forward will re-sign with the squad. Here’s the LA Times reporting:

Blake Griffin to re-sign with Clippers

Blake Griffin walked into Staples Center on Friday afternoon, his eyes quickly diverting to a video of the Clippers starting lineup that included him. A few seconds later, the video shifted to a museum in which it walked through different parts of his life during the seven years he wore No. 32 for the Clippers.

As soon as a smile crossed Griffin’s face upon entering the arena, one team executive who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter said the sense was that the power forward would return to the Clippers.

And Griffin will, agreeing to sign a maximum contract with the Clippers for five years and $175.74 million, according to an NBA official…

Griffin technically couldn’t agree to the deal until the NBA’s free-agency period opened at 9:01 PT Friday night, but the Clippers were allowed to talk with the power forward earlier in the day because he had spent the past seven years on the team.

Chris Paul was on his way out, so the Clippers managed to get some players for him. None on his level, though. With the CP3/LAC era over, here’s the LA Times with what needs to happen next for the squad:

Keeping Blake Griffin the priority for Clippers

Blake Griffin now becomes the priority for the Los Angeles Clippers to re-sign in the wake of Chris Paul’s great escape from Los Angeles.

The Clippers have the upper hand in the talks with Griffin because they can offer more money than any other team, a five-year deal worth about $175 million. But the Clippers are hesitant to give Griffin all five years because of his health issues, according to an NBA executive who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Griffin is recovering from surgery on the plantar plate of his right big toe that could sideline him up to November and possibly December.

Still, there are at least four other teams looking to talk with Griffin and he has a visit scheduled with the Phoenix Suns on Saturday, said an NBA executive.

The Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder also are teams that have expressed interest in Griffin.

Clippers trade Chris Paul to Rockets

Clippers trade Chris Paul to Rockets

The L.A. Clippers announced today the team has acquired guard Patrick Beverley, forward Sam Dekker, center Montrez Harrell, guard Darrun Hilliard, guard DeAndre Liggins, guard Lou Williams, forward Kyle Wiltjer and a 2018 First Round Pick from the Houston Rockets in exchange for guard Chris Paul.

“Since winning back-to-back championships, the pursuit of a third title has remained the ultimate goal for our franchise,” said Rockets owner Leslie Alexander. “We feel that combining two of the league’s greatest players in James Harden and Chris Paul, operating in Coach D’Antoni’s system, gives us a championship caliber team that will compete at the highest level for years to come.

“On behalf of the Rockets organization and our fans I’d also like to thank Sam, Montrezl, Kyle, and Lou for helping make this past season a special one. I’d also like to personally express my deepest gratitude to Pat Beverley, who, for the past five seasons, always left everything he had out on the court.”

Paul (6-0, 175) has racked up a multitude of honors across his 12 NBA seasons split between the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets and the Clippers. A nine-time All-Star, Paul has also been named All-NBA First Team four times, Second Team three times and Third Team once. In addition, Paul has been named NBA All-Defensive First Team seven times and Second Team twice and helped Team USA capture a gold medal in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

For his career, Paul has started all 834 of his games played, while averaging 18.7 points, 9.9 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 2.29 steals while shooting 47.3% from the floor, 37.0% from 3-point range, and 86.6% from the line with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.08. He is the only player in NBA history with career averages of at least 19.0 points, 9.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.00 steals. There are only three other players in NBA history with career averages of at least 19.0 points, 9.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds (Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, and John Wall).

Paul has averaged a point/assist double-double in six of his 12 seasons, including three of the past four. That is already the fourth-highest total in NBA history, trailing only John Stockton (12), Magic Johnson (9), and Steve Nash (7). Four of Nash’s seven seasons averaging a double-double came while playing for current Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni in Phoenix. Nash was also named NBA MVP twice during his four seasons with D’Antoni.

Among players who were active last season, Paul has the most career assists (8,251) and steals (1,912) and ranks 10th in NBA history in assists and 15th in steals. He joins Jason Kidd, Gary Payton and Stockton as the only players with at least 8,000 assists and 1,900 steals.

Paul has hit at least 120 3-pointers in each of the past three seasons after not having more than 92 in a season prior for his career. He also shot 39.3% from behind-the-arc over the past three seasons after shooting 35.7% his first nine seasons. Paul averaged a career-high 2.0 3FGM on a career-best 41.1% shooting in 2016-17.

Earlier today the Rockets completed five separate trades with Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Portland:

· Houston acquired forward Ryan Kelly from Atlanta in exchange for cash considerations.
· Houston acquired guard DeAndre Liggins from Dallas in exchange for cash considerations.
· Houston acquired guard Darrun Hilliard from Detroit in exchange for cash considerations.
· Houston acquired forward Shawn Long from Philadelphia in exchange for a future second round pick and cash considerations
· Houston acquired guard Tim Quarterman from Portland in exchange for cash considerations.

Beverley, 28, was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team in 2017, the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2014 and recently received the 2017 NBA Hustle Award. Last season with Houston, Beverly averaged career-highs in rebounds (5.9), assists (4.2) and steals (1.48). Over five seasons with the Rockets, he appeared in 291 games, holding career averages of 9.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.26 steals in 28.5 minutes. Initially selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 42nd pick in the 2009 NBA Draft out of the University of Arkansas, Beverley spent three-plus seasons playing internationally in Greece and Russia, before joining Houston in December 2012. Beverley averaged 13.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists in his two collegiate seasons with the Razorbacks.

Dekker, 23, appeared in 80 games over his first two NBA seasons with the Rockets, averaging 6.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.0 assists, while shooting 47.3% from the field. The University of Wisconsin stand-out spent three collegiate seasons with the Badgers, holding averages of 12.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 27.9 minutes and led Wisconsin to back-to-back Final Four appearances in his sophomore and junior seasons. Dekker was a two-time Second-Team All-Big Ten selection (2014 & 2015), and his 1,363 points rank 17th all-time in Wisconsin school history.

Harrell, 23, holds career averages of 6.9 points and 2.9 rebounds, while shooting 65.1% from the field in 97 appearances over two seasons with the Rockets. The 32nd pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Harrell was a member of Louisville’s 2013 NCAA Championship team, earned First Team All-AAC honors in 2014 and received the Karl Malone Award as the nation’s top power forward as a senior in 2015.

The 2015 NBA Sixth Man of the Year, Williams, 30, averaged a career-high 17.5 points in only 24.6 minutes per game last season with Houston and Los Angeles. In 12 NBA seasons with Philadelphia, Toronto, Los Angeles and Houston, he holds career averages of 12.8 points, 2.9 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 782 career games with 90 starts.

Originally the 45th overall pick by Philadelphia in the 2005 NBA Draft out of South Gwinnett High School near Atlanta, Williams was a 2005 McDonald’s All-American and was named the 2005 Naismith Prep Player of the Year.

Hilliard, 24, holds career averages of 3.6 points and 1.0 rebounds in 77 appearances over two seasons with the Detroit Pistons. The Bethlehem, Pennsylvania native was selected with the 38th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft by Detroit.

Liggins, 29, holds career averages of 2.1 points and 1.5 rebounds in 119 appearances over four seasons with Orlando, Oklahoma City, Miami, Cleveland and Dallas.

Wiltjer, 24, averaged 0.9 points and 0.7 rebounds in 14 games last season as a rookie in Houston.

The Clippers are about to take a big step downward, while the Rockets are on the rise. Here’s ESPN.com on the news:

Rockets will reportedly trade for Chris Paul

The Houston Rockets have reached an agreement on a trade for LA Clippers All-Star point guard Chris Paul, sources told ESPN.

The Rockets will send Sam Dekker, Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams and a top-three protected 2018 first-round pick to the Clippers in exchange for Paul…

The Clippers were determined get something for Paul rather than lose him for nothing, sources told ESPN, so Paul instead agreed to opt in for the final year of his contract (worth $24.2 million) to facilitate the trade.

The Rockets, needing to make another move to make the financials work before they can officially acquire Paul, are telling teams that they’ve assembled the needed pieces and the trade is headed to the league office for approval, sources told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

Chris Paul named to NBA All-Defensive First Team

The NBA announced today that L.A. Clippers point guard Chris Paul has been named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team. This is Paul’s sixth consecutive year on the First Team and seventh overall time in his career, making him the 9th player in NBA history with at least seven career nods. He received 140 points, including 61 First Team votes.

Joining Paul on the NBA All-Defensive First team are forward Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors, center Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz, forward Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs and guard Patrick Beverley of the Houston Rockets.

Paul was third in the NBA in steals per game (1.95) this season. He has led the NBA in steals in six of the past 10 seasons. Paul was previously named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team in 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2009 and was also named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2011 and 2008.

Clippers hire Jerry West

Clippers hire Jerry West

The L.A. Clippers yesterday (Monday, June 19) announced the hiring of Jerry West, who will serve as a consultant for the team. West brings many accolades to the Clippers, including being named a two-time NBA Executive of the Year (1995, 2004), and is an eight-time NBA Champion (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 2000, 2015, 2017).

“For them to want me to come here and maybe think I can help, I am really flattered,” West said. “I am sold on the ownership here. I think they want to establish their own identity in this town, and that is what to me is most important. Establish their own identity and ability to win at the very highest level.”

“When I took the job as president of this organization, one of the things I said we’re going to do is be world class in everything,” President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Doc Rivers said. “Our organization has to be world class. We want our team to be the best in service as well. Today is a great step for us.”

“This just another great example of the commitment that Steve Ballmer has allowed the organization, Doc Rivers and me to add someone like Jerry West,” Clippers Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank said. “What Jerry has done is unmatched in NBA history, and he will bring great value. It is just another example of Steve’s investment in our entire infrastructure.”

West, 79, is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, a 14-time NBA All-Star and a Gold Medal Olympian. He is one of three players in NBA history to play at least 14 seasons in the league and be selected as a member of the All-Star team every year. Additionally, he ranks 24th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list (25,192 points) and guided the Lakers to nine trips to the NBA Finals and one NBA Championship (1972) as a player. Overall, he averaged 27.0 points, 6.7 assists and 5.8 rebounds during his 14-year NBA career.

Following his playing career, West spent a successful three-year period as the head coach of the Lakers (1976-79, .589 winning percentage) and a brief three-year tenure as a consultant (1979-82, two NBA titles) with the team before transitioning full-time into the front office, where he spent a total of 18 years with the Lakers as General Manager/Executive VP of Basketball Operations. During his tenure at the helm of Basketball Operations in Los Angeles, the Lakers captured four NBA Championships (1985, 1987, 1988, 2000) and appeared in the playoffs in 17 of 18 seasons. West then transitioned to Memphis from 2002-2007, when he led the Grizzlies, who had previously never made the playoffs, to three consecutive post-season appearances (2004, 2005, 2006) as the team’s President of Basketball Operations. Most recently, West served as an Executive Board member for the Golden State Warriors, where he assisted the team’s ownership group and represented the organization in a wide variety of team-related functions in his role with the club. During his time with the Warriors, West saw the team win two NBA Championships (2015, 2017) and three Western Conference Championships (2015, 2016, 2017).

clippers

The L.A. Clippers and the City of Inglewood announced today that they have entered into a three-year Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) that will allow the Clippers to explore building a new state-of-the-art basketball arena, training facilities and team offices in Inglewood, Calif. Under the ENA, which was unanimously approved Thursday morning by the Inglewood City Council, the Clippers will consider a 20-acre site located south of Century Boulevard at Prairie Avenue and directly across the street from the future football stadium and entertainment district being developed by The Kroenke Group.

The ENA establishes a three-year timeframe during which the L.A. Clippers will develop the details of its proposed basketball facility. The City of Inglewood will conduct an environmental review including an evaluation of the proposed facility’s construction and operational impacts.

The Clippers have called STAPLES Center, located in downtown Los Angeles, home since 1999. The team’s current lease with Anschutz Entertainment Group, the owners of STAPLES Center, will expire at the end of the 2023-2024 NBA season.

“Today’s announcement is consistent with what Steve Ballmer and the Clippers leadership have said for years – we want to be regarded as the best. That requires setting the highest bar for our performance in every aspect of our business,” stated Gillian Zucker, L.A. Clippers President of Business Operations. “To accomplish this goal, we must have options for the future.”

“This agreement serves as an example of the team’s commitment to providing Clipper Nation with the best game experience in the NBA,” Zucker said. “It is another step in the journey toward building a championship culture that will deliver positive results for Clippers players, fans and the greater Los Angeles community.”

“The Clippers applaud the energy and vision that Mayor Butts has for his city,” added Zucker. “His tenacity was instrumental in getting this Exclusive Negotiating Agreement across the finish line.”

The new arena would be 100 percent privately funded and privately capitalized. No public dollars will be used for this project.

Under the exclusive negotiating agreement, the L.A. Clippers are responsible for the costs to plan, entitle and develop the proposed facility. Within 24 hours of signing the ENA, the L.A. Clippers will pay the City of Inglewood $1.5 million, which will fund the City’s administrative costs. If additional funding is required, the Clippers will provide the necessary resources.

Clippers may build their own arena in Inglewood

The Staples Center is home to both the Lakers and Clippers, but the latter squad would reportedly enjoy a home of their own.

According to the LA Times, “Inglewood’s City Council will vote Thursday on an exclusive negotiating agreement with a Clippers-controlled company to use city-owned land to build an arena for the team, according to a copy of the agreement.”

More from the Times: The 22 acres where the 18,000- to 20,000-seat arena would be built are across the street from the 298-acre site where Rams owner Stan Kroenke is building a stadium that will house his team and the Chargers.

Vander Blue wins D-League MVP award

Vander Blue wins D-League MVP award

Los Angeles D-Fenders guard Vander Blue has been named the 2016-17 NBA Development League Most Valuable Player in a vote by the league’s 22 head coaches, it was announced today.

Blue (6-4, 200) played in 47 games (46 starts) for the D-Fenders this season, averaging 24.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.6 steals per game while finishing as the league’s third-leading scorer. The former Marquette standout led Los Angeles to a Western Conference-best 34-16 record on the season before becoming the first player in team history to win the league’s top individual honor.

An NBA D-League All-Star in each of his three seasons with the D-Fenders, Blue scored in double figures in all but one of his contests this season, hitting the 20-point mark 39 times throughout the 2016-17 campaign. He was named the NBA D-League Player of the Week on December 26 and January 30.

Blue’s latest season adds to what has been a record-breaking career ­as he leads the D-Fenders in all-time points and rebounds. Blue’s 4,058 career point total ranks third in D-League history, and his 22.5 scoring average is good for the second-best career average in the league. He set league records in single-game free throws made (23) and attempted (27) this season, also finishing the year with a new league record in makes from the charity stripe (363).

Blake Griffin injury update

Blake Griffin injury update

The L.A. Clippers announced that forward Blake Griffin will miss the remainder of the 2017 NBA Playoffs with an injury to the plantar plate of his right big toe suffered during the Clippers’ 111-106 win over the Utah Jazz in Game 3 of their Western Conference First Round Playoff series.

Griffin will be re-evaluated upon the team’s return to Los Angeles and will see foot and ankle specialist Dr. Richard Ferkel.

Griffin averaged 21.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 61 regular season games in 2016-17, and averaged 25.0 points per game in the first two games of the Clippers’ Playoff series vs. the Jazz.

Yet another Blake Griffin injury, at the worst possible time. The Clippers will be without their star power forward for the remainder of the playoffs. Here’s the LA Times reporting:

Blake Griffin out for remainder of NBA playoffs

This season will finish similar to the last, with a sidelined Blake Griffin on the bench in street clothes.

Only this isn’t the same old story for the Clippers.

The most critical offseason in the franchise’s history has come early, courtesy of news that Griffin will miss the remainder of the playoffs because of damage to the plantar plate on his big right toe.

Chris Paul and Doc Rivers promised the Clippers will be ready to take on Utah Jazz in Game 4 of their opening-round playoff series Sunday, but this is something more far-reaching than that.

The Clippers are staring ahead into the unknown.

Indiana Pacers forward Paul George and LA Clippers guard Chris Paul today were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in April.

George averaged an NBA-high 32.8 points and added 8.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists as the Pacers went 5-1 in April to clinch a playoff spot for the sixth time in seven seasons. He scored at least 30 points in four of six games, including a season-high 43 points in a 135-130 double-overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on April 2. The 26-year-old forward shot 54.8 percent from the field and 42.4 percent from three-point range for the month. He also finished third in the NBA in steals with 2.17 per game. George and the Pacers will visit the Cavaliers on Saturday, April 15 for Game 1 of a first-round postseason series (3 p.m. ET, ABC).

Paul led the Clippers to a 5-0 month behind averages of 21.2 points, 9.8 assists (fourth in the NBA) and 5.0 rebounds, helping LA clinch the fourth seed in the Western Conference and secure home-court advantage against the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs. The 31-year-old guard shot 54.4 percent from the field and 52.6 percent from three-point range and went 22-for-22 from the free throw line in April. He finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in a 98-87 road win against the San Antonio Spurs on April 8. The Clippers, who have made the playoffs a franchise-record six consecutive seasons since acquiring Paul, will host the Jazz in Game 1 on April 15 (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Here is a recap of April for George and Paul:

Paul George, Indiana Pacers
April 4 vs. Toronto: Notched 35 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in a 108-90 victory against the Raptors.
April 6 vs. Milwaukee: Finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds and five steals in a 104-89 win over the Bucks.
April 12 vs. Atlanta: Made five three-pointers on his way to 32 points and added 11 rebounds in a 104-86 victory over the Hawks.

Chris Paul, LA Clippers
April 1 vs. L.A. Lakers: Recorded 29 points, 12 assists and four rebounds in a 115-104 win against the Lakers.
April 5 vs. Dallas: Registered 22 points, 11 assists and three rebounds in a 112-101 win over the Mavericks.
April 10 vs. Houston: Contributed 19 points, nine assists, five rebounds and four steals in a 125-96 victory against the Rockets.

Other nominees for the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Cleveland’s LeBron James, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Houston’s James Harden, the Clippers’ Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan and Utah’s Gordon Hayward.

The Indiana Pacers’ Nate McMillan and the LA Clippers’ Doc Rivers today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in April.

McMillan guided the Pacers to a 5-1 record during April, tied for the best mark in the Eastern Conference. Indiana closed the month and the regular season with five consecutive victories to secure the seventh playoff seed in the East. For the month, the Pacers ranked third in the NBA in scoring (115.5 ppg) and fourth in field goal percentage (50.1) and point differential (plus-11.7). Indiana’s only defeat was a 135-130 double-overtime loss to its first-round postseason opponent, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Game 1 of the series is Saturday, April 15 at 3 p.m. ET on ABC.

Behind Rivers, the Clippers went 5-0 in April to finish as the NBA’s only undefeated team for the month and extend their regular-season-ending winning streak to seven games. LA outscored its opponents by a league-best 16.4 points per game and led the NBA in field goal percentage (51.5). On the final day of the regular season, the Clippers defeated the Sacramento Kings 115-95 to clinch the fourth playoff seed in the Western Conference. The Clippers will host the Utah Jazz in Game 1 of their first-round series on April 15 at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month were Boston’s Brad Stevens, Chicago’s Fred Hoiberg, Denver’s Michael Malone, Golden State’s Steve Kerr, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Luke Walton, Miami’s Erik Spoelstra, Portland’s Terry Stotts, Toronto’s Dwane Casey and Utah’s Quin Snyder.

The Clippers are hot lately, winning eight of their last ten games. And power forward Blake Griffin has put up some monster games this past week. Here’s the OC Register reporting:

Blake Griffin putting up monster games lately

Before DeAndre Jordan disappeared into the night Wednesday following another Clippers victory, he passed Blake Griffin in the hall to the team’s postgame interview room.

“Yo, Beast!” Jordan exclaimed.

“That’s what we call him,” Chris Paul had said moments earlier.

It’s a moniker Griffin has lived up to over his past three games, averaging 33 points on 73 percent shooting while scoring more than 30 points in three consecutive appearances for the first time since February of 2014.

“He’s just been crazy aggressive,” Paul said. “Crazy efficient. … So we are going to keep feeding him.”

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