Whew. Am I glad that's (almost) over. Not really. I haven't actually watched more than ten minutes of preseason Clipper basketball this year. Oh, I've been following the antics of Doc and crew, but I'm saving space in my brain (and on the DVR) for the upcoming actually-relevant regular season games. Anyway, the Clips come in tonight at 2-5, the Blazers come in at 3-3... so I guess both teams are fighting for preseason mediocrity. Meaningless mediocrity. Mediocrity that means nothing. Ponder that for a moment.
The Blazers won a surprising 54 games last year (it was surprising to me) with what's generally thought of as one of the weakest benches in the Western division. They even won a series in the playoffs before getting hammered by the San Antonio Spurs 4 to 1. But they have a real nice starting five with Robin Lopez, LaMarcus Aldridge (who is out for tonight's game), Wesley Mathews, Damian Lillard, and Nicolas Batum. Four of the five starters started eighty-two games last year and Aldridge started 69. That's kind of amazing, no?
After those five they had Mo Williams, who averaged 25 minutes, and they had some other guys whom I can't remember and coach Terry Stotts can't remember either (Thomas Robinson? Dorell Wright?). Williams is gone, off to Minnesota for no reason that I can conjure, and they're bringing in, wait for it... Steve Blake and Chris Kaman! Yeah! They also have Victor Claver (who sounds like a Nazi spy) and Meyers Leonard (who used to be my accountant).
I don't think anyone will care, nor should they, but Portland is my pick to drop in the West this year. Not that they're not good, Aldridge, Batum, and Lillard are stars, but the roster is way thin, and they were super freaking lucky with their lack of injuries last season.
As for the Clips tonight? I've been poring over the internet for the last ten minutes and I can't find any info about Doc Rivers starting anyone other than his top five players — I mean top four and Matt Barnes. It looks like Doc is finished experimenting with the likes of Joe Ingles (it was nice meeting you, leave your uni in the locker), Reggie Bullock (he's gonna look good in a suit for the next three months before he finds his way to another team), and Chris Douglas-Roberts (the shorts are a failure, the hair is marginal, I thought you'd be bigger and better).
The game's on Prime Ticket and NBA TV at 7:30.