Clippers at Sacramento - Game Preview

2009/2010 NBA Regular Season
Clippers_medium
vs.
832_medium
27-51
23-46
Arco Arena
April 8th, 2010, 7:00 PM
FSN Prime Ticket, 980 AM
Probable starters:
Baron Davis PG Tyreke Evans
Eric Gordon SG Beno Udrih
Rasual Butler
SF Andres Nocioni
Drew Gooden
PF Carl Landry
Chris Kaman
C Jason Thompson

 

The Back Story:

  • February 20th in LA, Clippers 99 - Sacramento 89 -  Recap  Box Score
  • February 28th in LA, Sacramento 97 - Clippers 92 -  Recap  Box Score
  • March 21st in LA, Sacramento 103 - Clippers 89 -  Recap  Box Score

The Big Picture:

It was a pretty dismal March for the Clippers, and April is looking just as bleak.  LA was 3-13 last month, with one of those wins coming on the first, which seems like ages ago.  They've lost their first two games in April, which means they've lost 15 of their last 17 games.  One of the real lowlights of that stretch (and there have been plenty) was the loss to the Kings in LA when Sacramento was playing without Tyreke Evans.  This is the kind of game the NBA should just cancel.  Just step in and call the whole thing off.  Neither of these teams has anything to play for, and it will probably be reflected in the game itself.

The Antagonist:

Quick, name all the teams that the Kings have beaten in their last 11 games?  If you answered "the Los Angeles Clippers" you are correct.  The Kings are 1-10 in their last 11, the one win coming in LA against the Clippers.  So that's nice.  We've remarked before that teams seem to have a little extra confidence, a little spring in their step, when playing the Clippers.  Does it just seem that way because the Clippers lack of resistance makes teams look that much better?  Do the other teams have confidence they'll win based on the matchup?  Or do they get motivated to avoid the embarrassment of losing to the Clippers?  Whatever the reason, you can be pretty certain that the Kings will be up for this game.  It's their best shot at one more win this season.

The Subplots:

  • Beno Udrih.  Last season, Beno Udrih had his career high of 30 points against the Clippers.  Last month, he had a career high of 17 assists (along with 20 points) against the Clippers.  So what career high will Udrih shatter tonight?  What will it be?  First career triple double?  10 steals?  Seven blocked shots?  Anything is possible, really.
  • Road record.  This is the Clippers final road game of the season.  They're 8-32 and with another loss will match last season's terrible 8-33 record.  There were a few encouraging aspects of this Clippers season going back into January, but they have NOT been a good road team at any point.  The idea that they'll end up as bad as last season's team (and worse than the 10-31 road record of the 07-08 Clippers) is more than a little depressing.
  • Carl Landry.  The Clippers are facing Landry for the sixth time tonight.  That's a tad unfortunate, considering the way the guy lights them up.
  • Hawes.  Spencer Hawes got his knee banged in a game against Indiana last week and is done for the year.  The good news is that there's no structural damage and he won't need anything more serious than rest.  Hawes has a history of knee problems, so the Kings are no doubt thrilled to that he's not seriously hurt.
  • Revolving door on the wing.  The Clippers and Kings are meeting for the fourth time since the All Star break, and the Kings will likely start a different set of wings in each of those games.  In the first meeting it was Omri Casspi and Francisco Garcia.  In the second, it was Casspi and Udrih.  In the third, with Evans out and Udrih at the point, it was Donte Greene and Gracia.  Lately, Andres Nocioni has been starting at the three, so it will probably be Nocioni and Udrih. 
  • Big Night for Kaman?  Chris Kaman has had many big games versus the Kings in his career, and with Hawes out, he'll have a big size advantage over Jason Thompson. 
  • Movie Quote: 

    Farewell, Aragog. King of the arachnids. Your body will decay... but your spirit lingers on and your human friends find solace, the loss they have sustained.

    Slughorn, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009).  This quote is in honor of ClipperZoe, who is a Harry Potter fanatic, and who will in fact miss Clips Nation Night because she'll be at a birthday party sleepover with a Harry Potter theme. 
  • Get the Kings perspective at Sactown Royalty.
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