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Sacramento 103 - Clippers 98

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Well there you have it.

We've made lots of excuses for this Clippers team this season.  They didn't get a chance to gell in training camp because of all the injuries.  They opened with a really tough schedule. 

But when they faced a supposedly inferior opponent two weeks into the season, they played as if they simply didn't care. 

From the opening possession, the Clippers played essentially no defense.  They were completely unable to get stops when they needed them the entire game.  The only reason the game got close in the fourth quarter was because of LA's red hot three point shooting - they made 7 of them in the period and 10 for the game.  But that's no game plan.  You have to be able to stop people, and the Clippers allowed the Kings to shoot 52.5%.  And it's not just that the Kings were red hot - they got layups and wide open jump shots throughout the game.

There were so many things we thought were givens that turned out to be wrong, at least for this game.

  • During free agency this summer, we thought it was a given that Baron Davis was a far superior player to Beno Udrih.  Well, for this game at least, it looked like the Clippers signed the wrong guy.  Udrih scored 10 as the Kings raced to a 7 point first quarter lead, and when he nailed a crucial baseline jumper in the fourth, he had a career high 30 for the game.
  • We thought it was a given that Baron (facing weaker defenders) and Kaman (facing a team against whom he's always plays well) would have big games.  Well Baron finished with 12 points on 4 for 15 shooting, and Kaman had his worst game of the season, finishing with 8 points, 6 assists and 4 turnovers.  Take the play where he caught a pass all alone on the right side of the basket and rather than a two handed stuff decided to shoot a leftie layup, and put it in the Clips Nation Glossary under 'Mr. Flippy.'  In the first half he caught a pass on his way to the basket, and rather than going straight in for the dunk, decided to cross under the basket for the leftie reverse layup - and he promptly traveled.  Hey, looky there - that's four points he just gave away in a game the Clippers trailed by 2 in the final minutes. 
  • We thought it was a given that the Clippers would be a good rebounding team.  Well, for the eighth time in eight games, the Clippers were outrebounded - 40 to 30.  Marcus Camby - 4 rebounds (only 2 defensive).  Chris Kaman - 6 rebounds.  So I guess the good news is that between the two of them, they had a 20/10 night - the bad news is we used to get that from just one guy.
  • We thought it was a given that the Clippers starters were pretty good, and that the team would struggle with their second unit.  Well, Ricky Davis finally broke through with 16 points and Tim Thomas had 12 points on 7 shots, so the bench came through better than in any other game this season.  But the starters STUNK.  Don't be fooled by Al Thornton's 20 - he was only 6 for 16 from the field.  Rookie Jason Thompson may have know that he wasn't really quick enough to stay in front of Al, so he gave him lots of room on the wing.  Al started the second half with 4 jump shots in 2 minutes - he made one of them.  He really wanted to drive on Thompson, but the rookie just kept giving him the space to take the jumper, and Al kept taking it.  All five Clipper starters had miserable games.

I really don't have anything else to say at this time.  There's just no excuse for losing to that team.