It's easy to be happy when your expectations are low. Really low.
With Z-Bo, Kaman and Boom Fizzle all out I EXPECT the Clippers to lose every game. With backups Mike Taylor and Ricky Davis out, and Paul Davis waived, I EXPECT games to be over in the first quarter, a blow out by the fourth.
But that has not been the case at all. These "non-star" Clippers have been battling All-Star players and giving them a serious scare until late in games, sometimes until the final minute. They have shown a lot of heart.
Why I Still Bother to Watch Clipper Games
- Camby has consistently shown effort and determination. If people actually saw his stats (and didn't live in China) he would be going to the All Star game. You can see him giving his heart to the game in every possession.
[ClipperNation please stop bringing up trade scenarios with Camby in them! He's my favorite Clipper now. He's my new Elton Brand. He seems like a really nice guy and he works so hard. I want him to stay with the Clippers as long as possible. We should keep him 'til he's 40. He can become our very own Dikembe Mutmbo.]
- Gordon has consistently shown his desire to win every game. Even in a game like today where his shot wasn't falling, he played solid defense and got to the line to help his team while racking up fouls on Phoenix. Yeah, and he's only 20. I am really starting to believe that he can play the PG position in this league and become as good as Deron Williams. (Yes, yes he had a bad game tonight with 6 TOs but it hasn't been a pattern...)
- Thornton, although far from consistent, cannot be maligned for his lack of effort. His intensity may actually be the reason he gets so much negativity from many here. He often goaltends. He tries to score by himself. He doesn't pass enough to guys in scoring position. But you can't say he's not trying. And after a game like today's, where he dunked 4 times and went hard to the rim, who's to say that he won't figure it out someday. He may never improve or become as consistent as we want him to be, but halfway through his second year as an NBA player is way too soon to give up on him.
- The other guys are stepping up and playing failry well. The defense is obviously bad at times as they have not had enough time together playing team "D". But their offense has been impressive at times, as they have shown they can score against opposing teams' starters.
Collins, Jones, Skinner and Novak have been showing why the Clippers, in theory, should have a really good bench and therefore, a really good team. I can't wait until Z-Bo, Baron, Ricky D and Mike Taylor are back.
- Fred Jones deserves his own bullet. Where has this guy been? Why hasn't he been playing anywhere? I believe this guy is definitely an above average NBA player. He could probably be starting somewhere! Great passes, the ability to hit runners and 3 pointers, he can drive and dish... An INCREDIBLE pick up (for the Clippers?????). How is he not on some championship contender? Sure, he'd be at the end of a bench, but still... Maybe there's some underlying factors I don't know about?
So even though the Clippers have been losing, I've enjoyed watching them compete hard. I have no doubt that this dark period of losing is not without benefit. Gordon and Thornton are growing and getting to know how to play with Camby better, and we are finding out what they can get out of Collins and Jones.
Kaman Out Until After All Star Break
Ralph said he talked to Duneavy last week during the road trip and found out that Kaman will most likely be out until after the All Star break as his foot is not healing correctly and that if he were to try to get on the court too soon he would just re-injure it.
Can we just waive him and get Paul Davis Back? I thought Paul was just starting to find his groove after that Sacrametno game and it doesn't seem like Dunleavy is going to use Samb. He used Jordan today and poor DJ just has no offense in his game yet.
Upcoming Schedule Good for Clips?
The Clips will be eating home cooking for about two week, until they play GSW on Sunday the 25th. While home, the Clips have 5 games at Staples with NO back to backs! Hopefully they can get guys back from injury.
Ricky Davis' suspension should now be over and he should be eligible to play Wed against the Hawks. Should be interesting to see if he can play or if he's still hurt.
Hopefully Zach and Baron can return sometime during this homestand as well and get in some valuable practice time with the team to help build/rebuild chemistry.
Wed vs. the Hawks
I'll be at the game Wed. I am very excited to see the young Hawks live. Hope the Clips can keep it close or even upset.