Please, please, please, please... let us win this one.
It's not going to be easy. Kaman and probably Cassell are out for the Clippers. Brad Miller is back for the Kings.
But maybe a start, without Sam-I-Am looming in the background, is exactly what Shaun Livingston needs to get going. Certainly before the season started, I would not have been overly traumatized by the prospect of playing one whole game without Cassell.
And although Kaman has had some GREAT games against the Kings, what does he have to show for it? Look at this way - Aaron Williams has probably actually beaten Sacramento at some point in his career, which is more than can be said for Kaman.
Wouldn't this be a great game to start Maggette over Mobley? Ross will draw the Kings leading scorer and run-away favorite for Most Improved Player Kevin Martin, leaving Mobley to contend with Ron-Ron. Cat has done a great job on some forwards the last couple of years, but Artest is a different animal. I'd love to see Maggette's strength matched up there. And he'd certainly have a little extra motivation, playing against the guy he was almost traded for.
James Singleton figures to play a prominent role after his strong showing against the Nuggets. The Kings are not huge, so Singleton could play some 4 against them. An 'energy' lineup featuring Maggette, Singleton, Livingston, Brand and Ross wouldn't make me sad.
These are not the Kings of 2003. There's really no reason that the Clippers should lose to these guys. Their front line is mediocre. Their depth is non-existent. We need to play solid defense, and stay home on Martin and Bibby. On the other end, Elton Brand should be more than Shareef or Kenny Thomas can handle, so the Kings will have to double. Let's dive to the basket when the double comes and get some easy baskets.
And above all, let's not fall behind by 15 in the first quarter.