In the Clippers first home game of the pre-season, they lost 118-97 to the Suns. They allowed Phoenix to go on a 30 to 6 run at the end of the first half over the course of 7.5 minutes. That's a lot of points in 450 seconds. Remember 7 Seconds or Less? Well 30 points in 450 seconds is a point every 15 seconds, and, you know, the other team gets the ball in there some too. This is the seamy underbelly of an uptempo attack with downmarket talent - you give up 30 points in 450 seconds to the other team. During the same stretch the Clippers made one basket.
Poor Chris Kaman can't catch a break. His back kept him out of the first two pre-season games. He got back on the floor in time to face Golden State and now consecutive games against the Suns. Chris can score easily enough given the chance (especially against the likes of Sean Marks with Stoudamire rehabbing his scoped knee), but he just can't keep up with the pace. He committed 3 turnovers and 6 fouls in fewer than 19 minutes of playing time. He was 5 for 8 from the field (no dunks - blocked once by Brian Skinner). I think he's going to be happy when the Clippers play the Lakers or the Bobcats on Sunday.
After the LA Times wondered Thursday morning how the Clippers could get Al Thornton and Corey Maggette on the floor at the same time, MDsr showed them by starting both. With Cat Mobley hurt, Maggette started at the shooting guard and Thornton started at small forward, along with Tim Thomas, Kaman and Brevin Knight to guard Steve Nash. The Clippers went through dozens of different starting lineups last season as MDsr looked for advantageous matchups and a combination that worked; that was WITH a healthy Elton Brand, the only constant. I have a feeling last year was nothing compared to life without Elton, where coach is going to over-manage and tweak the matchups on a nightly basis.
The Maggette-Thornton experiment was relatively successful on offense as they led five Clippers in double-figures with 16 and 14 respectively. But defense is going to be the challenge for those guys, as it was for the team in this game.
More of the same Saturday, when the Clippers play the Suns again, this time on the purple and gold floor as part of the Lakers Shootout - bringing a final four atmosphere to the NBA pre-season. It's win or
go home!play the other team that didn't win.
For anyone pulling for the Clippers to keep Yaroslav Korolev and waive veteran Aaron Williams (highly unlikely), there might have been a glimmer of hope in Korolev's 12 minute off the bench, while Williams got another DNP. Of course, Williams is on the team because he is a known quantity, so it's not surprising that he's not playing a lot in pre-season.
Last thing: what the hell is AM 1260 anyway? I got that station NOT AT ALL in my car.