My dad always said, it's better to be lucky than good. Of course, only one of those was an option for him, so what's he going to say?
The Clippers have had some luck early in the season. They faced the Suns twice in the first week while Amare was still working into shape and into the flow. They saw a struggling Dallas team playing without top defender Josh Howard the game after a sprained ankle. And tonight they won't have to deal with Andrei Kirilenko, who has also sprained an ankle. Will it make a difference? Well, The Jazz were 38-31 with AK47 last year and 3-10 without him.
Everyone deals with injuries. These ankle sprains and such, the ones that cause a player to miss a handful of games, don't make a big difference to the injured player's team over the course of an 82 game season. But when you only play an opponent 2, 3 or 4 times, these little things can add up. Catching a tough team on the second night of back-to-backs, at the end of a long road trip, or with a key player out makes a difference. And at the end of the season, it still counts as a W against a division winner.