Monday, March 19, 2007

I didn’t get to watch the Clippers win at Charlotte on Friday (no fox sports prime ticket at Stately Alf Manor) but I did catch, well after the fact, in the evening after a hard day’s work on said manor, a tivo’d edition of the KTLA telecast of yesterday’s matchup in the Meadowlands against the New Jersey Nets. Cutting to the chase, it actually ended up being a fun game to watch, not really a great game, although there were some well played moments, but the virtual shit exhibited by the Clips down the stretch kind of ruined the effect, and served to force ponderage on whether or not its time to pop a shiny red bow on this season and drop it off at the post office for delivery to Sasketchawan, hold until next year. More on that below.

To no surprise of clipper fan innernet haunters in the know, clipperblog breaks down succinctly & excellently some key moments. You want to say that when you go up to block a shot you should not swat it out of the park so it can stay in play, but you also want to say that one of your teammates might try & swoop in to grab the loose ball. I’m starting to think that unless Elton can actually grab the ball as he blocks it, he’s better off sending it into the stands.

Kidd had just an incredible day, for him, shooting the ball. Not known as an outside gunner, he was throwing it up with reckless abandon, especially in the first quarter, and sinking just about everything.

Cat Mobley had a great game, which ended up being totally wasted with a few bonehead clipper hijinx down the stretch that threw yet another very winnable game into the laundry hamper of destitution.

Sigh, at least the Clips won at Charlotte on Friday night. Small consolation though, as we’re now 1-3 on the road trip with stops still at Chicago and Milwaukee. Have to sweep those two to come home at .500. Charlotte and Milwaukee at the outset were the two most obviously winnable games, with New Jersey the other one you had to feel good about. Having let New Jersey slip away, tomorrow’s contest at the United Center in Chi Town looms large, but it’s getting harder and harder for me, with every loss down the stretch, especially with Golden State turning it on like they have, to like our chances of grabbing one of those last two spots. As of today, we’re in the 9 spot, one game back of the Warriors.

I mentioned that Cat Mobley had a nice outing shooting the ball, and so did Corey Maggette. As Clips Nation points out, though, those two were responsible for 13 of the clippers’ 18 turnovers yesterday.

Corey turned it over almost every way imaginable, and always at crucial points in the game. In the final 69 seconds of the first half, Corey had three turnovers and the Nets scored the last 5 points to take a 3 point lead into the locker room. With a little over 2 minutes to go in the game, Corey turned the ball over on consecutive possessions with the team done three and desperate for a hoop.

Ouch, and this from a blogger who’s season long motto has been “play corey.” Clipper Steve goes on to say:

This loss hurts. It hurts bad. It's one thing to play well enough to win in Houston but come up short. But to squander break out offensive efforts from Mobley and Maggette, because of carelessness with the ball and the inability to box out is inexcusable. This may well be the game that ends the Clippers season.

I have to say I was thinking the same goddamm thing as the seconds wound down on this one. If we can’t pull this game out, if we can’t get out of that building against that team, with the score that it was down the stretch, then what the fuck CAN we do? Perplexing at best, with a heavy lean toward mildly depressing.

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