Darn it! The Clippers won.
The Blake Griffin contest just turned further in favor of Sacramento.
The Kings played with absolutely no effort and got punked tonight en route to a rout. This game was literally over at the end of the first quarter. For those of you wishing it were on TV, don't worry there wasn't much to see.
Sure, I could put some stats in here and talk about how Brian Skinner somehow found some leftover Elton Brand mojo in his locker, sprayed it on and went for 21 and 10.
I could write about how the Kings' big men, Jason Thompson and Spencer Hawes were continually getting knocked onto the floor by the aggressive Clipper defense, getting stepped on repeatedly, as the Clippers blocked, snatched and wrestled the ball away.
Or I could write about how good the offense looked, how Gordon was again the perfect picture of consistency, how Kaman went for a double double and 4 blocks, or how Acker even looked good in limited minutes or how DeAndre had a monster high two hand slam.
But I won't write any more about those things.
Why? Because the Kings were so bad - so bad, that I'm sure any team from the NCAA tournament could have done the same or even better than the Clippers.
Don't get me wrong. I was happy to see Gordon's bingos and Kaman's utter rejection of Jason Thompson's slam attempt but it is just not that fun when the other team looks like they're not even trying. I don't think any of them even put their hands above their shoulders unless they were shooting. They looked tired and uninterested.
It was so bad I even caught Marcus Camby yawning.
It was so bad Dunleavy actually SAT DOWN AND DID NOT CONTINUALLY SCREAM AT EVERYONE for most of the game. I don't think I've ever seen Dunleavy sit for that long during a game - EVER!
So to wrap up - The Clippers showed up and beat up the Kings. They led 35 - 15 at the end of the first quarter, at one point led by 30 (71-41) and it was basically on cruise control all night. A big giant SNOOZER.
SO WHY WAS THE STAPLES CENTER PACKED?
I know I got two tix for free for filling out a survey, but they must have paid people to come to the game tonight. It hasn't been that full since maybe the Boston or Cleveland games? But Sacramento????? Come on!
Of the games I have been to this year, the ones that have been packed have been the ones against teams with a large fan base. It's usually been almost 50% opposition fans. But tonight there didn't seem to be many Kings fans at all or maybe they were quiet the whole night because they were losing so bad?
I looked around and all I could see was one King fan, center court right behind the announcer, who kept screaming something or other at the refs and Kings players. And I don't think it was a Maloof.
So where did all these Clipper fans come from?
I heard a lot of kids in the 300s shouting "Let's go Clippers!"
The four "Fire Dunleavy!" guys were at it again tonight, in section 119, about 12 rows directly above MDSr.
It seemed like there were a lot of friends of ushers or employees as an unusual amount of employees kept talking to people around us as if they got them in. Maybe they are giving away tickets to employees now and having them fill the arena?
Could be, as there were many people there who did not have that typical Clipper fan "look". Most looked totally lost while enjoying the massacre. Will these free giveaway seats spawn new Clipper fans for next year?
Probably not. The girl in front of me was flipping through a Laker guide during the game.
As soon as the playoffs start, I'm sure at most of those "freeloaders" there tonight will forget about the Clips as they root for the Lakers to go all the way.
- Assistant GM, Neil Olshey says the team will draft based on best available. For those unaware, that means the Clippers will use their draft pick for the player they believe has the most talent/potential when it is their turn to pick. As opposed to saying they will pick the best point guard, or "big man" available etc.
Brian Siemens (radio announcer) remarked post game that he believes the Clippers could very well trade away their pick, if another team offers a player that can help improve the team immediately.
I would think they would keep Blake Griffin if they got him, but anyone else - I agree. They might not be able to get a star player for picks 2 through 6 or 8, but if they could dump Ricky Davis as part of the deal, they should probably do it (as long as the contract they get back is "good").
- Dunleavy may be trying to get on Baron's good side. In his post game interview, the coach praised Baron's aggressiveness and leadership displayed during the game tonight. He said that Baron was very involved and actually interupted the coach's huddles several times to interject some points that Dunleavy said were "right on".
Maybe those "Fire Dunleavy" chants are getting to him? Trying to ingratiate himself with Baron can't hurt as the season ends with fans yelling for his head.
- In his post game interview, Baron was asked about the renewed sense of defense, as the Clippers "seem" to be playing better D, holding the last three opponents' points to below 90. BD remarked that they are communicating more, talking and helping each other. He also said it doesn't hurt when you have two 7 footers squashing guards that get by them into the lane. He once again said how this is a good team that just needs to find better "chemistry".
To support Baron's thoughts, I have to agree that having two 7 footers on defense, continually rotating between Camby, Kaman and DeAndre did look very promising. Add to that Skinner's outstanding play (21 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks) and the Clippers interior "D" was awesome - tonight.
Let's see how it looks against someone who actually wants to win a game.
- ClipperSteve is in Cabo. I hate you, CS!
(Enjoy your holiday and be safe!)