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Clippers at Sonics - Game Preview and Open Thread

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LA Clippers logo
vs
Sonics logo
6-10 3-15
Key Arena
Dec. 5, 2007 - 7:30 PM
Probable starters:
Brevin Knight PG Delonte West
Quinton Ross SG Kevin Durant
Corey Maggette SF Damien Wilkins
Tim Thomas PF Chris Wilcox
Chris Kaman C Kurt Thomas
The Big Picture:  

Oh man, does this game scare me.  The Warriors started the season 0-6 before getting their first win against the Clippers.  The Bulls were got their first and only road win in Staples Center.  And the Sonics are currently 0-10 against Western Conference opponents.  Yikes.  They're also 3-15 overall giving them the second worst record in the NBA, and 1-8 at home, tied for the worst home record.  But, as it happens, they have a better record in their last 10 games than do the Clippers.  Ick.  Meanwhile, the Clippers have some negative superlativity of their own.  Their 6 game losing streak ties their longest last season, and a loss tonight would be the longest losing streak since Feb. 05.  They will once again play without Sam Cassell, and probably without Al Thornton, and who knows how Cat Mobley and Dan Dickau and Corey Maggette will play on the second game of back to backs.  Sacramento has recent home wins over San Antonio and Utah, leaving the Clippers in last place in the Pacific Division, and looking like they belong there.  And then there's the question of symmetry - the Clippers magical, long forgotten 4-0 start featured wins over the Warriors, Sonics, Bulls and Pacers.  8 losses in their last 9 games included defeats at the hands of the Warriors, Bulls and Pacers.  A loss tonight in Seattle would officially erase any vestiges of the great start.  

The Opposition:  

Take the two best scorers off any team, and they won't be as good.    It's true of the Clippers sans Brand and Cassell (and Livingston and Thornton and Mobley and...) and it's true of the Sonics.  Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis were Seattle's two best scorers for several seasons.  Absurdly so.  Allen averaged over 26 and Lewis over 22 - the third leading scorer, Chris Wilcox, averaged 13.  Allen and Lewis were half the Sonics offense last season.  (More than half if you consider shot creation.)  They got nothing in return for Lewis, while they got a rookie (Jeff Green) and a prospect (Delonte West) for Allen.  By the way, it seems like maybe Allen and Lewis were actually pretty good players - they are currently playing for the 14-2 Celtics and the 16-4 Magic respectively.  The Sonics future is bright (although Seattle's NBA future is far less so).  Kevin Durant is going to be one of the best scorers the league has ever seen, and Green looks like he's the real deal as well, and they have oodles of cap space on the horizon.  But these guys are way too young and way too inexperienced to be expected to win games now.  Which is why the Sonics are 3-15.

The Subplots

  • Please, please, please, please let the Clippers win this game.  That is all.