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Clippers - Sonics Preview

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OK, this isn't really going to be much of a game preview.  

If you are at the game tonight, don't you DARE leave your seat at halftime.  Get your beer and go the bathroom during some second quarter free throws (the lines will be shorter anyway).  At halftime, you need to be in your seats and watching the show, because ClipperZoe will be performing as a member of the Junior Clipper Spirit!  (I'm so proud.)

She's in the youngest group, which will be up right after the Spirit and the Junior Jam Squad do a routine.  She'll be the cute one.

I'll have more to say about the 'Junior Spirit Clinic' experience after it's all done.  For now it will have to suffice to say that the twelve members of the Clipper Spirit that I've met so far are all wonderful people, and were great working with the girls on their routines.  And team director Jessie is the best.

If you look closely, you may even see me - I'm one of the parent chaperones who will be escorting the girls to the floor level just before halftime.  Since all of the other chaperones are female, I should be pretty easy to pick out - I'll be the bald one.

As for the game, it should be an emotional night for the Clippers after learning more of the fate of Shaun Livingston.  Sam is the starter the rest of the way - no more debates about that one.  Thomas will continue to start for Kaman until Chris is more fully recovered from his illness, but if he'll guarantee 5 for 7 every night, he can get sick more often as far as I'm concerned.  I assume Ross will start at the 3 and play a lot of minutes so that he can guard Ray Allen.  Although MDsr is using Q less and less, Allen is the type of matchup where he likes to have Q on the floor a LOT.  

The loss of Livingston throws a wrench into the Clippers defensive schemes more than anything.  Previously MDsr had three perimeter defenders he trusted - Shaun, Ross and Cat.  Because Shaun and Cat were also able to contribute on offense, they received consistent minutes.  Without Shaun, Ross will undoubtedly see a significant increase in playing time, which will eat into Corey's new found minutes, unless he plays more 4 as he did against the Warriors.  (A possiblity against size challenged Seattle as well.)  It's a double whammy also, because Sam's increased minutes will be another reason to keep the 'poor' defender Maggette out of the game.  However, I've said it many times - put Corey on a scoring threat and let him focus and use his athleticism and you turn the liability into an asset.  In this game, I'd put him on Rashard Lewis, tell him to stay home, and challenge him to shut Rashard down.  But MDsr won't do that - he'll have Cat on Lewis every minutes he's on the floor.  Oh well.

The Clippers signed Will Conroy from the D-League to a 10-day contract today for depth at point guard.  They had to cut Von Wafer to make room for him.  I always liked Conroy at UDub and he had some nice numbers in the D-League.  

Also, the Clippers web site has a 'Get Well Shaun' section at this point.  Please take the time to leave a comment for Shaun either here at ClipsNation or on the Clippers web site or both.  

The Clippers and Sonics have split theie prior two meetings this year, with Seattle winning in LA way back in November (in a game that seemed like an anomaly at the time but turned out to be a harbinger) and the Clippers winning impressively in Seattle last month.  They meet again Thursday night in Seattle.