When the Clippers had to play double overtime in Indianapolis on Friday night, we all knew that it did not bode well for another game in Milwaukee on Saturday. Especially considering the huge minutes the starters had been playing, and the almost complete lack of productivity from the bench.
Still, on one would not have suspected such a total and complete collapse.
The Bucks scored the first 8 points of the game, and then went on a 15-3 run later in the first quarter to stretch the lead to 18, and finished the first quarter ahead by 22. The first half lead grew to 32 and the half ended 62-32, a victory of sorts for the Clippers as it was the first time in a while that they had more than half of Milwaukee's total. The lead was never less than 27 in the second half.
The Clippers' four game road trip ends 2-2, and the results overall are almost as mixed. The loss in Chicago was fairly encouraging, in that the Clippers played well enough to beat a decent team on the road. But the win in Indiana was discouraging, as the Clippers had to get lucky to beat a very short-handed Pacers team.
The two losses on the trip could not have been more different, and present an interesting topic for a debate in a sports bar at some later date: is it better to lose in overtime in a game you should have won, or to be completely out of the game from the first quarter? Obviously they both count the same in the standings. Psychologically, it's probably easier to get over the second one. Whatever excuse you want to use (we were tired, we were cold, it was just one of those games), you just dismiss the game and move on. It probably shouldn't be quite so easy to explain away such total indifference and ineptitude, but we all need our little rationalizations. But it's more than a little backwards. If the goal following a loss is to win the next one, surely it's not a good sign to lose by 34.
Hopefully some help is on the way in the forms of Chris Kaman and Ricky Davis - not to mention five days off for those very tired starters to get some rest. There's one more game tomorrow night before then, and maybe the team can dig deep and get a win against the Raptors. But after being competitive for every game since adding Zach Randolph to the roster, it was not fun to revert to the form of the first two weeks.