Clippers and Raptors clinch best records in franchise history, Spurs next?

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With their 117-105 win over the Nuggets last night, the Clippers won their 57th game of the season – clinching a franchise record for winning percentage. It’s a standard the Clippers have broken each of the last three years:

  • 2013-14: 57-24 (.704
  • 2012-13: 56-26 (.683)
  • 2011-12: 40-26 (.606)
  • 1974-75: 49-33 (.598)

The Raptors (48-33) already clinched their franchise-best mark, besting a couple 47-35 seasons (2000-01 and 2006-07).

Somewhat surprisingly, the Bobcats (42-39) can’t break their franchise record – 44-38 in 2009-10.

But the Spurs (62-19) can if they beat the Lakers tonight. A 63-19 record would match their high-water mark in 2005-06.

That had me wonder: How many years feature three of the best records in a franchise’s history?

So far, counting ties, three:

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Last season, the Nuggets, Grizzlies and Heat had their best records ever. In 1995-96, the Bulls, Magic and Thunder (as the Seattle SuperSonics) saw their franchise highs.

Of course, more teams play now than ever. Before 1995-96, the Raptors never even had a chance to set their franchise high. That’s why the results are geared toward 2004-05 and beyond, since the Bobcats have given the NBA 30 teams.

But I enjoy watching a team – and its fanbase – as it pursues new heights. Toronto has rallied around these Raptors, and the Clippers bandwagon is sure filling up. It doesn’t matter to me whether the number of times it happens league-wide is influenced heavily by expansion.

It’s just cool to see.

Gordon Hayward breaks leg against Cleveland in first game with Celtics

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The Boston Celtics season has taken a turn for the worse.

During Tuesday’s opening game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, new Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward broke his leg after landing following a leaping back cut to the basket.

It became immediately apparent to those in the arena, and the broadcast angle of the left leg injury was not pretty.

Just be warned here, the resulting photo and media is pretty disgusting. I let out a big yell when I saw it live, so it’s not for the faint of heart.

Via TNT:

This is just the most awful way to start the NBA season, for all of us. Get well soon, Gordon.

Kings’ rookie De’Aaron Fox commits California mortal sin, slams In-N-Out

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We Californians take a few things seriously. Surf reports, for one. Winemaking/tasting. Tech toys. Coming up with potential blockbuster movie franchise ideas, getting a star to buy in, then maybe or maybe not worrying about getting a decent script.

Also, In-N-Out Burger. If there is one thing all Californians can agree on, it’s that In-N-Out is the best burger chain in the world. It’s not up for debate.

Apparently Kings’ rookie De'Aaron Fox did not get that memo. He did a Q&A with Rolling Stone’s Seerat Sohi and crossed a sacred line.

“All I gotta say, you can tell everybody that lives in the state of California this: In-N-Out is not good.”

What’s your beef with In-N-Out Burger?
“Their burgers are overrated. They’re OK.”

Even Animal Style?
“Yes. People always say, you haven’t tried this. You haven’t tried that. I’m like, “Yeah, I looked up the secret menu. I’ve tried it all. It’s just not good.”

That’s controversial. What’s the best fast food spot then?
“Honestly, for me, I don’t count Chick-fil-A, because it’s way too good to be considered fast food. So I’m gonna say Wendy’s. Fat Burger in L.A. is better than In-N-Out.”

It’s this simple: Fox is flat-out wrong.

First off, Chick-fil-A is wildly overrated, so we know the taste of the 19-year-old point guard is off. Fat Burger is legit. But Wendy’s? Come on now, that’s just average.

If Fox had tried to argue Five Guys, I would have let it slide — I don’t think they’re as good, but I will admit a California bias. But Wendy’s? You lose the entire argument right there. It’s like saying Pixels was the best movie ever.

In-N-Out is the best. Fox needs to get on board with this.

Bulls’ Nikola Mirotic hospitalized after practice fight with Bobby Portis

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It was going to be a difficult season in Chicago if everything went right — and two days before the first game of the season things have gone horribly wrong.

Bulls’ starting forward Nikola Mirotic got into a shoving match with Bobby Portis, and Portis turned and sucker-punched him, according to multiple reports.

The Bulls have confirmed the fight and have announced Mirotic suffered a concussion and maxillary fractures in his face — the upper jaw and nasal cavity area — which likely will require surgery. He is going to miss weeks of time.

Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports had more details.

Mirotic was taken to the hospital Tuesday after their shoving altercation during practice ended with an alleged cheap shot from Portis to Mirotic’s face, league sources told The Vertical. Mirotic is undergoing tests, but is expected to be out for the foreseeable future, league sources said.

Mirotic will miss weeks, according to a source, and you can be sure severe discipline from the team is coming down for Portis.

In the short term, this likely means more run for rookie Lauri Markkanen as well as just re-signed Cristiano Felicio.

LeBron James will play in opener against Celtics

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Did we really expect anything else?

LeBron James was a game-time decision for the season opener in Cleveland against Boston and Kyrie Irving due to a sprained ankle. We expected he would go, but ankles can be tricky and are easy to re-injure once sprained, so the Cavs wanted to be careful.

He’s going to play. Coach Tyronn Lue made it official.

LeBron is the best player on the planet, but he can coast through the regular season at times. What teams try to avoid is giving him extra motivation… say bringing in a guy who left the team last summer on opening night. Expect full force LeBron tonight.