Saturday, March 18, 2006 

CLIPS 86 THE 76ers

The Clips took advantage of Allen Iverson's absence from Staples Center last night, building a lead as large as 22 before settling for a 99-89 St. Patrick's Day defeat of the Philadelphia 76ers. The team's 38th victory of the season eclipses last year's total of 37 with 18 games remaining (about which more later). They now set off on a three-game road trip with a fourth opportunity to rise thirteen games over .500 after failing in three previous attempts.

The Clips jumped out to a six-point lead after one quarter thanks to nine Q1 points from Philly native Cuttino Mobley. Cat rediscovered his shooting touch last night, stroking 8-12 for 20 points. Elton Brand led all scorers with 24 on 11-18 shooting, adding ten rebounds for his 36th double-double. Chris Kaman corralled 12 rebounds but finished a bucket shy of a double-double, missing lay-ups, tip-ins and two-footers with Olowokandiesque frequency. Throw it down, big man!

How great is it to have legitimate NBA starters such as Corey Maggette and Vladimir Radmanovic on the bench? As Matt Pinto noted in the postgame, the Clips have enough scorers that they can afford to start Quinton Ross to prevent the opponent's best player from going off early. Then you bring in a Maggs (11 points in 25 mintues) and a Vladi (15 in 27) and you blow the other team's second unit out of the water (36-15). As Captain Obvious would say, "It's so obvious!"

Shaun Livingston was a game-time decision after rolling an ankle in Phoenix but played and played well, allowing Sam Cassell to rest after recording nine points and six assists in 24 minutes. Shaun also had six assists but was charged with five turnovers; several of those, however, came on beautiful passes that Brand and Kaman failed to anticipate. Coach Dunleavy screamed himself hoarse, but not at The Kid. Boniface N'Dong made the most of his surprise entry, accumulating three points, five rebounds, a block and a steal in eight quality Q2 minutes.

Chris Webber led the Sixers with 19 points, but had just two after halftime. Birthday boy and Ashton Kutcher look-alike Kyle Korver scored 17 (including 4-7 3FGs), matching the game's Clipper All-Star, Steven Hunter, whose 8-10 shooting included several poster dunks against the matador defense of Kaman. Andre Iguodala -- the other AI --scored 11 and John Salmons 10 as all five starters finished in double figures.

Now, a look at the Clips' remaining schedule:
-- Five games against higher WC playoff seeds (vs. SAN, vs. DEN, @ PHX, vs. DAL, @ DAL)
-- Five games against lower WC playoff seeds (@ MEM, @ SAC, vs. SAC, @ LAL, @ MEM)
-- Three games against WC playoff contenders (@ HOU, @ NOK, vs. UTA)
-- Four games against WC playoff also-rans (@ POR, vs. POR, @ SEA, vs. SEA)
-- One game against EC (vs. WAS) -- the Wizards currently hold the sixth seed in the East

The 18 games include five back-to-backs. The opponents have a weighted average record of .533 (34.72-30.44). The Clips have a weighted combined record of 18-19 against them. It's not an easy stretch of games to try to gain momentum for the postseason, but if this challenge daunts the Clips, the playoffs will make mincemeat out of them.

Click on Clipper Talk and join the discussion! -- Jordan

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 

DON'T WORRY, BE HAPPY

Top ten reasons to pull a Bobby McFerrin despite the Clips' 126-95 road loss to the Phoenix Suns tonight:

10.) It's only one game. We lost by 31 earlier this season, and we've also won by 33.
9.) Nobody else in the NBA plays like the Suns and few could if they wanted to; as Ralph Lawler said, "If you cloned Steve Nash, you could play like this." Let whoever draws Phoenix in the playoffs worry about them. Actually, winning a seven-game series might be easier than trying to adjust to their pace for one game every month or so.
8.) There's almost nothing to learn from tonight that would translate against the rest of the league. The coaching staff will likely not show the players the game film. I went through the boxscore once and will never look at it again.
7.) Any team in the league would have lost tonight to a Suns squad that shot 55.6% overall, 51.6% 3FGs (16-31!), and over 90% FTs. Admittedly, it would have been nice to see the Clips shoot better (34.3%, 26.3% and 66.7%, respectively), but that would only change the margin of defeat.
6.) In some ways, it's better (or at least easier) to lose by 31 than by one.
5.) Yeah, everybody saw us get laughed out of Phoenix, but hey, if opponents look at this game and think we're the same old Clippers, let 'em! Maybe we can still sneak up on a few unsuspecting teams.
4.) You couldn't ask for a better chance to bounce back strong than with a home game Friday night against the Allen Iverson-less Philadelphia 76ers. AI didn't make the Sixers' three-game trip West due to a sprained right foot. The Clips will then have two days off before a tough three-game roadie of their own through Houston, New Orleans and Memphis.
3.) The gravest cause for concern came in the third quarter, when Shaun Livingston rolled an ankle. What any of our Big Eight was doing on the court by that time is beyond me, but as noted we have only one game in the next 100 hours. God willing, Shaun's ankle won't swell up too badly and he'll heal without missing too much time. Meanwhile, Zeljko Rebraca told Ralph he feels good and should be back soon.
2.) Many of us have seen something this week we previously thought existed only in myth: a Clipper playoff ticket invoice.
1.) 37-26, BABY!!!!!!!!!!!

Click on Clipper Talk and join the discussion. -- Jordan

 

News of the Day

I would like to start this one up with a little something something on the forgotten Clippers. You know who they are? Well actually probably not. They are generally the male cheerleaders at the end of the bench. They are Vin Baker, N'Dong, and Korolev. Going down the stretch and with a need to rest players, time to bring these guys back out according to the Register and Dunleavy.

http://ocregister.com/ocregister/sports/pros/clippers/article_1048439.php

If you are one of those who are chanting for EB for MVP, here is marty Burns take on the MVP Race. Just oto let you know you gotta go the second page to reach EB.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/marty_burns/03/08/mvp.candidates/index.html

And that is the news in a nutshell. I now kinda thin, but there isn't much out there.-Tollis

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 

500th WIN A DUN DEAL FOR COMEBACK CLIPS

The Clippers' come-from-behind 95-87 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves last night at Staples Center held special meaning for several reasons:
-- It marked Mike Dunleavy's 500th NBA win, making him the 25th coach in league history to reach that milestone. With twenty regular-season games remaining, the team has already won as many games (37) as all of last year.
-- It elevated the Clips for the third time this season to their high-water mark of twelve games over .500 at 37-25. The 29-17 Clips lost at Detroit and the 30-18 Clips stumbled at home to Chicago.
-- It gave the Clips a rousing sendoff for their nationally televised clash with the division-leading Suns tomorrow night. They take a four-game win streak, a healthy roster, new confidence and new expectations into the Valley of the Sun.
-- It announced the arrival of Chris Kaman as an emerging star at center. In a game billed as EB v. KG, Kaman asked, "What about me?" Despite shooting just 7-15, the Kaveman scored 24 points and corralled a career-high 23 rebounds to go with four steals and three blocks.

Having said all that, Chris can still play a lot better. He allowed Mark Blount to establish interior position early, as Blount scored most of his 18 in an All-Star-like first half. Kaman ratcheted up his defense in the second half but still overrelies on finesse offensively. A few more monster dunks would cow the opposition and allow Chris to score almost at will.

A few other thoughts: ...The Wolves actually outshot the Clips on the evening as Kaman's difficulty finishing plays carried over to the rest of the team. I have rarely seen so many missed layups, as only Elton Brand (7-14) and Corey Maggette (5-9) managed to make half their shots...Both Brand (14 and 11, 0 FTAs) and Kevin Garnett (13 and 16) posted double-doubles, but each team did a good job of containing the other's superstar...Sam Cassell (17 points, 5 assists) and Marko Jaric (11 points, 3 steals) dueled to a draw...Maggs slashed his way to 15 points in 24 minutes, including 5-5 FTs, and looked his best since coming back...Cuttino Mobley scored 12 and Shaun Livingston dished out four dimes, but both earned their pay on defense. In concert with Quinton Ross, they held Ricky Davis, who scored 18 in the first half, to two in the second...Vladimir Radmanovic only hit one shot, but did he ever make it count. The Wolves' lead seesawed from five to three, to five, to three, to five, to three, before Kaman tied it at 77. On the next possession, Livy drove into the lane and threw it out to Vladi right corner for three: "BIIINGO!!!"...Ross' steal of Jaric's inbounds pass and breakaway dunk iced the win at 93-86 and recalled a similar play he made with the Clips down three in Toronto. In that game, Chris Bosh fouled Q, who converted the and-one to pull the Clips even...One bit of advice for Darrell ("Mr. Clipper") Bailey: When our guys are shooting FTs, make sure you stop chanting before they have to release. Cat missed a pair late and may have been thrown off his rhythm...

Click on Clipper Talk and join the discussion! -- Jordan

Monday, March 13, 2006 

Your Clippers Fix

I like to introduce myself. My name is Tollis and I am the News editor for the blogger. Not really an editor of any type, but more like a media rat that finds Clippers related news. I will periodically find post for all my fellow Clippers. Today is a game day so it is time to get hyped up for the game. The best way to start your pregame ritual is by reading Pinto's Preview by matt pinto. It will give you a lot of insight on the match ups and what to expect.

http://www.nba.com/clippers/news/pp0506_MIN_060313.html

After watching the game, come back to the blogger and get Jordan's report after the game. On none game days you will see more of me and there is are great info in the LA Confidential http://www.nba.com/clippers/news/pp0506_MIN_060313.html and Around the cooler http://www.nba.com/clippers/news/atc0506_060311.html Don't forget to catch up on more Clippers news on hoopsword where Eric Pincus is on point.
http://www.hoopsworld.com/CLIPPERS.shtml

So we got all your Clippers news so that you can get your fix.-Tollis

Sunday, March 12, 2006 

Sundry Sunday

On a day when the Suns, Grizzlies, Lakers and Hornets all lost -- and Sacramento defeated Dallas to overtake NOK for the 8 spot in the West -- here are a few miscellaneous Clipper stats through three quarters of the regular season. -- Jordan

Monday: 4-2 (home: 3-0; road: 1-2)
Tuesday: 5-5 (home: 3-2; road: 2-3)
Wednesday: 7-7 (home: 4-1; road: 3-6)
Thursday: 1-0 (@ ATL Nov. 10)
Friday: 8-4 (home: 3-1; road: 5-3)
Saturday: 7-2 (home: 6-2; road: 1-0)
Sunday: 4-5 (home: 2-4; road: 2-1)

Day: 5-1 (home: 4-1; road: 1-0)
Night: 31-24 (home: 17-9; road: 14-15)
The day games include a Saturday home win, 2-1 at home and 1-0 on the road Sunday, and a Monday home win.

vs. Pacific: 6-5 (5 remaining)
vs. Midwest: 4-7 (7 remaining)
vs. Northwest: 8-3 (7 remaining)
vs. Atlantic: 6-3 (1 remaining)
vs. Central: 4-6 (0 remaining)
vs. Southeast: 8-1 (1 remaining)

Games decided by 1: 1-0
By 2 or fewer: 2-2
By 3 or fewer: 5-3
By 4 or fewer: 6-6
By 5 or fewer: 8-8

Combined record of NOK, POR, SAN and UTA (the four WC teams the Clips play only three times this season): 130-117
Combined record of the Clips' other six WC opponents (non-Pacific): 198-200

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR ELTON...

The Clippers celebrated Elton Brand's 27th birthday with their second road win in two nights, blowing an 18-point lead before pulling away down the stretch to sweep the season series with the Milwaukee Bucks, 106-98. Brand and Chris Kaman paced the Clips with 22 points apiece, including the first threeball of EB's career on an inbounds pass from Sam Cassell at the halftime buzzer.

EB recorded 10 rebounds and six blocks -- he turned the fourth quarter into his own personal block party -- and has now officially served more double-doubles than In & Out. Kaman ordered it animal style, hitting 10 of 13 field goals and posting 10 boards before fouling out late. Together, the two form a frontcourt tandem that -- at their best -- can compete with any in the NBA.

Cassell added 20 points along with five rebounds and four assists, and how often do three teammates go for 20+? Throw in 16 points and five rebounds from Vladimir Radmanovic -- whose pair of treys in the fourth quarter silenced the Bucks' full house -- and 11 in 16 minutes from Corey Maggette, and Coach Dunleavy had an embarrassment of riches even on a night when Cuttino Mobley struggled to score seven on 2-9 FGs.

Michael Redd got to the line at will and converted 14-15 FTs to spearhead Milwaukee's comeback from 42-24 down to 86-85 up midway through the fourth. Redd led all scorers with 32 as the Bucks matched the Clips with five men in double figures. One of them, last year's MIP and former Clipper Bobby Simmons, scored 12 on 26.7% shooting and has not been the same player since his big payday.

With the victory, the Clips even their road record at 15-15 and rise to seventh in the league in RW-HL at +5. (Sixth-place Memphis (+6) has played six fewer games at home than on the road.) The Clips now need one win to equal last season's total of 37, one road win to match the Clipper record of 16, and four road wins to tie the franchise record of 19. Pundits project a team will need 43 wins to make the playoffs in the West. If the Clips can't win one-third of their last 21 -- 36-25 + 7-14 = 43-39 -- they don't deserve to dance.

Click on Clipper Talk and join the discussion. -- Jordan


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