Yes, the Clippers lost again. Yes, they shot for less than 40% again. Yes, they let their opponents go on a huge run to waste a decent first half or even three quarters.
But I see positives. Maybe it's my rosy Clipper fan glasses but I disagree with Clipper Steve - just slightly in verbage - but I do disagree.
Eerie and depressed is how he might have felt after last night's Laker loss but I think one should reserve those words for last seasons Clippers. To me, depressing is knowing your All Star power forward is possibly out for the entire season. Depressing is knowing your exciting young 6' 7" point guard of the future is out for the year, still not ready for action and may never reach full potential when healed. Depressing is pretty much knowing your team is headed for the lottery - 10 games into the season.
Eerie is watching Kaman go for double doubles every night in loss after loss. Eerie is watching your best veteran point guard wasting his last good year on a injury riddled swiss cheese team - then getting waived, joining the championship bound Celtics. Watching him play garbage minutes in a green uniform in the playoffs - wasn't that eerie?
To me, this year's team still has a lot of hope - maybe not playoff hope - but hope just the same.
So I would suggest the following words to Steve. How about frustrating and disappointing?
Clipper Fans - Don't get depressed yet!
Last night against the Clippers I saw...
Baron Davis charging harder into the paint. I also saw him go baseline with speed which could indicate that his hip is feeling a little better and that he can change directions better. Basketball fans all know how Baron looks when he's feeling good and I believe we have not seen anywhere near his best yet.
Marcus Camby had a great block against a Laker big, in fact according to Steve he had 4! As he mentioned it was only foul trouble that kept him from being even more productive.
So Why Can't the Clippers Hold On To A Lead and Win?
My Opinion? Only Two Things - Conditioning & Foul Trouble.
And the two are actually kind of related. Because of injury and sickness Baron Davis, Marcus Camby and Tim Thomas are not in what broadcasters Ralph and Mike call "Game Shape". The rookies Taylor and Gordon may also not be in "NBA Game Shape" as well, as their bodies no doubt need to adjust to the schedule and intensity of the NBA. (Although Taylor looks pretty darn energetic - let's hope he can keep it up all season).
When guys are not in "Game Shape" they usually tend to foul more, grabbing and holding opponents because they are tired of chasing them around to defend them. Their arms get tired and they tend to let their arms fall from the required straight up position to avoid fouling when trying to block or change shots.
Because of tired legs and arms, they start missing jumpshots later in the game because they don't get as high as they usually do and can't throw the ball as far.
I know most of you b-ball fans out there know all of this but I am just restating for those that may have forgotten that this could very well be the reason the Clippers have lost every game so far.
Ralph and Mike, during the KTLA telecast last night pondered over this very thing and wondered if players could indeed improve their conditioning mid season. Ralph said it might be extremely challenging as some think that most players lose their conditioning as the season wears on.
I say they can and are actually getting into game shape now!
Look at the upcoming schedule:
They are at home until the 19th! They get one or two days off in between each game until then! They have their own brand new training facility with state of the art strengthening equipment.
So keep your heads up Clipper Fans. It's ok to be frustrated or disappointed. But don't give up hope. Give these guys time to get into game shape so they can put together a FULL 48 minutes of basketball, without all the tired fouling.
If they are at their very best and still losing, I will be depressed with you.
But until that happens scream it loud with Clipper Darrell.
"Let's Go Clippers, Let's GO!"