Well, maybe the Clippers will convince us to not take pre-season seriously eventually. If every game is either a 30+ loss or a 30+ point win, you kind of have to get off the roller coaster at some point or you'll throw up.
Because I'm trying to take it all with a grain of salt, I'm not going to bother with a big recap. I do have a few thoughts on the game, and on a few other subjects as well.
The Clippers actually led this game 47-46 midway through the second quarter. From that point they were outscored 81-40, in about 31 minutes of basketball, which Ralph's computer like mind tells me is more than two points to one. Again I say, sweet sassy molassey.
Of course, Baron Davis has yet to play, and Chris Kaman took the night off, so there's that caveat. It's not like any of the Clippers had particularly good plus/minus scores for the game, but the bench guys' numbers are particularly eye-popping; Jake Voskuhl -22 in 17 minutes, Al-Farouq Aminu -30 in 28 minutes, and Craig Smith, a seemingly not feasible -32 in 17.
Blake Griffin's line (23 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and a block, on 10 for 15 from the field in 24 minutes) is a fantasy owner's, well, fantasy. But he's got to do a better job from the free throw line, where he was a miserable 3 for 10.
If there's an east coast bias for the highlights at NBA.com, it was not apparent last night. The Clippers made three of the top ten plays... while losing by 40! Maybe they won't be suffering from a lack of exposure after all, as long as Blake Superior is around.
The good news for Clips Nation is that after suffering through three games with nothing but radio coverage, the next two are on TV. Tuesday's game in Mexico City against the Spurs will be on NBA-TV, while Thursday against the Nuggets in Staples is on Prime Ticket.
The good news for the Clippers is that after Mexico City they are done traveling. I'm sure Vinny Del Negro is going to be happy to have as much practice as possible, in their own fancy practice facility, with his young squad. In fact, the get a full eight days between their final pre-season game, Tuesday Oct. 19th, and Opening Night against Portland, Oct. 27th.
The Clippers cut their roster down to 15 today, waiving Jake Voskuhl, Jon Scheyer and Stephen Dennis. Voskuhl and Scheyer were no-brainers. Dennis on the other hand showed an ability to score in the first two pre-season games (though he was 0 for 4 last night). Being from DII, Dennis had little chance to make the team at this point, but he probably played well enough to get on the radar. If he tears up the D-League, don't be surprised to seem him get his shot at the NBA yet.
Assuming the Clippers decide to keep 14 players, they'll have to make one more cut before the start of the season. Twelve players have fully guaranteed contracts and are Heidi Klum safe. That leaves Willie Warren, Marqus Blakely and Jarron Collins battling over the final two spots. Warren has a $100K guarantee and Blakely's is $35K - that's what it will cost Donald Sterling to cut them. Collins' contract is unguaranteed, but VDN has indicated that he'd like to have a third big on the roster. Warren has yet to play in the pre-season, dealing with an adductor strain. Blakely has played very little in the first three games, but I assume he'll get his chance in the coming week to make his case.
- The Warriors surely wish they could play the Clippers every game. They seem to have massive games whenever they do. Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis combined to shoot 14 for 18, including 7 for 7 from three. That's 35 points on
36 18 shots, an effective field goal percentage round abut 0.97. Sweet sassy molassey.