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When it rains, it thunderstorms

That's what Sam Cassell said about the Clippers current injury situation.  The latest news is that Maggette's strained hammie is going to take 2 to 3 weeks to heal, and that Mobley may have to sit out more to allow his groin to fully heal.  In addition to those two (the first and third scorers on the team this season), Al Thornton is still slowed by a sprained ankle, Quinton Ross' knee is hurting and Ruben Patterson's dislocated pinky is still painful, which reduced the Clippers to six healthy bodies for Monday's practice.  Suddenly, the Clippers' supposed glut at the small forward has been reduced to Tim Thomas, their starting power forward, in terms of players who are  healthy.

Patterson will continue to play, and Ross will probably be available tomorrow as well, and even Thornton could play.  But let's face facts - without Maggette, and facing 5 straight top Western Conference teams on the heels of two losses, we're staring a seven game losing streak in the face.  You might as well shut Mobley down for these next five, and try to get him 100% for the Pacers Dec. 2, because the Clippers have little chance with or without him.

Look at the first quarter against the Bulls, without Maggette, with Mobley playing at (he says) 70% and with Ben Wallace doing a good job on Kaman.   In the first six minutes of that game, Brevin Knight was 2 for 3 and Tim Thomas was 1 for 4 (0 for 2 from the arc) and those were the shots the team was getting.  THEY HAD NOTHING.  It was horribly bad offensive basketball, befitting a team starting two guys who can't score (Knight and Patterson), a guy who was hurt (Mobley), and a one dimensional shooter who does nothing to create shots for himself or his teammates (Thomas).  Kaman will have to make everything happen for this lineup, and until he figured out how to attack Wallace (which he did, to his credit), it was painful to watch.  (Actually, it was still pretty painful after Kaman got going, but somewhat less so.)

If Mobley does shut it down, it will mean lots of minutes for Sam Cassell - so what happens when his 38 year old body breaks down?  (Thank goodness he had that birthday so I can dispense with the 'soon to be' prefix on his age.)  The team is so limited on the offensive end, Sam almost has to be out there to avoid a complete offensive meltdown.  Limiting the number of shot clock violations to single digits will be a moral victory.  And if all of these wings are out or limited, it also means we'll see a lot of players playing out of position.  Cassell and Dickau getting minutes at the two, Thomas sliding back down to the three, Powell pressed into service at the three or the four, in addition to Williams and Davis at the four.

Given the time estimate on Maggette, I will be shocked if the Clippers win another game in November.  That means 5-9 for the month, after opening 4-0.  Now, the simple fact is, based on Win Score, Brand, Maggette and Livingston were the Clippers three best players last season.  You take the three best players off of ANY team, and they're going to lose most nights.  This team hasn't lost a game with a healthy Maggette and a healthy Mobley this season.  So the question is, when will they have that again?