In my blogging career, I've had to write several game recaps without seeing or even listening to the game. But never have I felt quite so uninformed as I do for this one. Maybe it's because the Clippers won (I believe it's the first time this season, and the only time in two seasons I can remember, that the Clippers actually won a game I didn't see, although that seems hard to believe). Maybe it's because the media coverage has been reduced to AP wire stories. Watching the 60 second highlight reel on NBA.com, seeing Dan Dickau assisting Q Ross for the dagger with 40 seconds left... well, that just didn't really fit any of my pre-conceived notions of how this game might go. At any rate, I have no feel for this game.
Did anyone watch it on League Pass or on the web? What happened? Help me out here. Specifically, can you answer any of these questions:
Was Kaman good (15 rebounds), bad (7 points on 8 shots), or ugly (almost single-handedly blowing the game in the final minutes)? On the whole, I'll take 15 rebounds any day, though more offense would certainly be nice. From the play-by-play, he appears to have been instrumental in building an 8 point lead in the fourth (with 4 rebounds in the quarter), but then he tried very hard to give it away, with a blocked layup, a turnover, a missed free three, a missed dunk and 2 fouls in about 95 seconds. That, dear Citizens, is a bad 95 seconds.
Why did Dickau get the fourth quarter minutes? Did something happen to Knight, or did MDsr just play a hunch that he needed 4th quarter offense? It seems to have worked - shortly after the Bucks took their only 4th quarter lead, Dickau made 5 straight (including a 3 with 17 seconds on the shot clock if the play-by-play is to be trusted) to build a 5 point lead. They were his only 5 points of the game, but they could not have been bigger, and he also had the aforementioned assist on the clincher. I like Dickau - in many ways I'd rather have him out there than Knight. Neither figures to help a lot in the future, but I get the impression that Dickau could still surprise us with his scoring - what you see is what you get with Knight.
Why did Aaron Williams get 13 more minutes than Josh Powell? I guess I know the answer to that - they entered together and Powell picked up two fouls. But when you think about it, it's really pointless to take a guy like Powell out of the game because of 'foul trouble'. So he got 2 fouls in 4 minutes in the second quarter. Who cares? He plays about 13 minutes a game and picks up fewer than 2 fouls per game. You could play him his normal minutes and he'd still have plenty of fouls left at the end. But Williams played well - 9 rebounds in under 19 minutes.
Why did Sam Cassell and Corey Maggette play so little in the fourth quarter? I think I know the answer in both cases. They were getting their normal rest, and when they normally might have come back, the Clippers were playing well (stretching the lead to 8 at the 3 minute mark). Then, when it went south, it happened quickly, and it was pretty much all Kaman at any rate. One wonders why you wouldn't take a time out at 1:01 with the lead down to three to get your veteran point guard and your leading scorer on the floor. But hey, Dickau to Ross produced the key bucket, so I guess MDsr is a genius, right? (You know, sometimes things work out, but man, that seems like a mistake of Ewing-Bell-ian magnitude. Can you imagine what Sam would have said if this game had gone the other way when asked why he wasn't on the floor?)
The Cassell question has a corollary in that it seems that MDsr is severely limiting his minutes again. Although Sam has played as many as 38 minutes on a couple of occasions since coming back from his calf injury, he never played more than 28 on the road trip. I assume that the heavier game schedule (they had 2 and 3 days off frequently in January) and the additional factor of playing on the road has the coach more concerned about the wear on his body, but if Sam indeed isn't yet asking for a buyout, he will if he has to watch Knight or Dickau blow too many fourth quarter leads.
Cassell's game in the box score is, impressive; really impressive. 21 points, 8 assists, 3 steals and 2 turnovers on 7 for 13 shooting in less than half the game. That's a great game. Seems like maybe you'd want that guy on the floor a little more.
In Maggette's case, I assume this was a Q Ross-Michael Redd thing. Redd was 3 for 13 in the game, and one assumes that Ross was a big reason for that. Q ended playing about 22 second half minutes. He was 0 for 4 when he made the clincher with about 2 on the shot clock. Wow. There's no way that was the shot the Clippers wanted in that situation, but give credit to Ross for making it.
A win is a win, and the Clippers ended up going 3-4 on an East coast road trip, 3-3 after they got Kaman and Maggette back. But if any one out there has more insight into this particular game, let me know. Because I'm still confused.