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Houston 110 - Clippers 93

Final - 3.28.2009 1 2 3 4 Total
Los Angeles Clippers 17 19 23 34 93
Houston Rockets 30 27 28 25 110

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The Clippers are terrible, and absolutely no fun to watch right now.

As bad as they were last year, I never felt like this. We did the whole AYSO parent thing - one team has to be the worst one in the league, and it doesn't mean that they're bad kids. We encouraged them to try their best, we cheered wildly for the occasional good play, we reminded them that they'd get a pizza party at the end of the season.

But the only reason the Clippers didn't lose these last two games by 40 points each is because the other team simply couldn't be bothered. With the playoffs looming, the top players need to get their rest. A third to a half a game is plenty to beat the Clippers.

It seems like I'm not the only one having a tough time staying interested. With the news in this morning's LA Times that Baron Davis likely has stomach ulcers and not just a case of the flu, no one even mentioned it here. He has ulcers? I have ulcers!

What is being said in the locker room prior to games on this trip? Whatever it is, it certainly isn't firing the team up. Quite the opposite, it would seem. In the last five games, the Clippers have trailed at the end of one quarter by no less than 13 each time. They managed to come back and get a win in New York behind a spectacular (and highly unlikely) performance from Mike Taylor. But let's face it - digging a big first quarter hole is not a good formula for winning basketball games. In those five games, the mean first quarter score has been 35 to 20. Game over. Season over.

Intellectually, I know that having something to play for matters hugely. The Clippers don't, and it is brutally apparent in everything they do. But there's just no way you can look at this team right now and conclude "yeah, they'll be OK next year." The argument that they're a good team when they're healthy just doesn't stand up. They're just a bad team - a really, really bad team - healthy or not.

In Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the protagonist, Peter Bretter, composes a puppet musical about Dracula (if you haven't seen the movie, trust me, it somehow works). In it, puppet Dracula sums up the current situation quite well in song:

It's getting kind of hard to believe things are going to get better
I've been drowning too long to believe that the tide's going to turn

I know just how puppet Dracula feels.

You may be asking yourself, why was ClipperSteve thinking about Forgetting Sarah Marshall after watching the Clippers versus the Rockets, aside from the obvious puppet Dracula connection? Well, it's because Luis Scola reminds me of Russell Brand.