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Blazers 111 - Clippers 102 - Pre-season

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I suppose I have an obligation to post about last night's pre-season game.  

It's pre-season.  It's tempting to dismiss any results for so many reasons.  Tuesday's first pre-season game, with multiple starters sitting out, against Iverson and Anthony, at altitude... that's a tough game to win.  But Portland, without Brandon Roy?  That's a winnable game, right?  

Still, it is just pre-season, and Kaman and Mobley again sat out, this time joined by Maggette.  
MDsr seems determined not to play anyone over the age of 24 on consecutive nights at this point, probably a good policy in pre-season.  (OK, both Thomas and Dickau played in both games, but he's obviously being cautious.)

As for the game, it looks like Martell Webster just went off.  In a pre-season game being contested mostly by second stringers, 28 points on 14 shots (22 points in the second half alone) goes a LONG way.  Without having seen or even heard anything, it's impossible to say why no Clipper defenders could keep this guy from making 11 of 14 shots - maybe he was just in a zone.  

As for the Clippers side, here's what I noticed in the box score:

  • Sam Cassell scored 21 points in 24 minutes.  That's easily the best news of the night, but he didn't get a whole lot of help.
  • Al Thornton had a better night in his second pre-season game than in his 4-13 debut.  He was 7-17 and grabbed 10 rebounds, finishing with 18 points.  He also had 5 turnovers (the team had 20).  If pre-season is any indication, MDsr plans to use this guy and get him lots of shots this season.
  • Korolev had a productive 17 minutes, with 10 points and 7 rebounds, but it remains difficult to imagine him making the team.  (As Zhiv pointed out the other day, Kaman's back trouble makes the possibility of waiving Williams remote indeed.)
  • Dickau led the team in assists for a second time, and also scored and shot well again.  Of course, offense has never been his problem.  Today's LA Times says that MDsr is currently unsure who Cassell's primary backup is going to be this season and that the coach has been pleased with both Dickau and Brevin Knight thus far.  Still, is the playing time decision difficult because they both have strengths, or because they both have glaring weaknesses?
  • Quinton Ross played 25 minutes after playing only 5 minutes in the first game, probably just a quirk in the pre-season rotations.  2 for 9 is pretty dismal for a guy who should only be taking wide open jumpers and layups.
  • Tim Thomas was 3 for 14 (and 0 for 8 on two pointers, ouch).  Paul Davis was 2 for 10.  Ruben Patterson was 1 for 5.
  • So that about sums it up, right?  Ross, Thomas, Davis and Patterson shoot 8 for 28, the Clippers as a team shoot 38%.  You can't win shooting 38%.  (By the way, the uptempo thing is still happening.  102 points on 38% shooting.  94 field goal attempts and 27 free throw attempts.)

One more road pre-season game Sunday in Oakland against the Warriors before the Clippers make their Staples debut next Thursday against the Suns.