Monday, March 05, 2007

some random this n that thoughts on a Monday morning in Kailua:

Corey Maggette had 20 points (5 for 6 from the field, 10 for 10 from the line), 4 assists & 3 steals in only 22 minutes against Indiana on Saturday. Now that is an incredibly efficient line, reminiscent of some of the fine work Maggs did for the clips in the playoffs last year. He’s averaging 19.2 in 6 games since the all-star break. Corey’s chip seems to be conspicuously absent from his shoulder since being put in the starting rotation.



I have to think that both Corey and Coach Dunleavy have to be a bit relieved that the whole back & forth pull between them, if it ever really existed, can be shelved for at least the rest of the year. Once the trade deadline came & went, no matter how much Coach had wanted to deal Maggs, he had to live with the fact that this is the squad he's got, and he then at least had the gumption to swallow his pride & give Corey both the starting gig & the minutes. Although injuries is a factor, Quinton Ross is still healthy, and the former starter is getting substantially less time on the floor. Dunleavy has to realize that with Sam out he's gotta make up that scoring somewhere.

With the Clips putting forth such a forceful beatdown on the Indiana Pacers on Saturday, my mind got to wandering on an Indiana tangent, specifically the rumors of a Reggie Miller comeback, which reminds me of the slightly more substantive rumors of a Scottie Pippen comeback. What are these men’s reasons for even contemplating something like that at this stage in their lives? From what I hear, part of Scottie’s motivation is money, as apparently he’s made some bad business deals along the way. But what about Reggie? Well, with Reggie, it seems that the rumors were nothing more than that, apparently started by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, then later dispelled by club basketball prez Don Nelson Jr.

As for Pippen, the kettle would seem to be percolating even more in that direction in lakerland, as it looks like Lamar Odom will likely be out for the season. HUGE loss for the Lakers. Pippen played a very similar role for the Bulls back in the day, and in the triangle, that Odom does (or did) now. But does Pip still have the legs & the motor?

From the OC Register:

The loss of Odom could mean a more accelerated pursuit of Scottie Pippen, 41, who is preparing to come out of retirement and has drawn Jackson's interest. Odom's all-around role is one Pippen already played for Jackson in Chicago. But Pippen's planned return was to help lift a team to an NBA championship in limited minutes, and if Odom can't return, the Lakers hardly fit that description. Also, the Lakers are uncertain about Pippen's physical condition.

And what does this mean for the Clips? Eh, hmm,not much on first glance, except a better shot at maybe catching their Staples Center cotenants in the standings. They’re in the 7 spot now, but the upcoming schedule is pretty rough, the only home games in the next couple weeks vs. san antonio (tonite) & Detroit, and then the road, where the clips have suffered verily.

As mentioned, the Clippers stomped Indie, 87-64, on Saturday, the best defensive outing in team history (based on how many points the opponent scores). Clipperblog has (as usual) a great writeup on the game, and presents the question on whether Daniel Ewing playing 31 minutes made a positive defensive difference towards this historical night? Some interesting back & forth in the comments over there, where I also found reference to an eye-opening quote from Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the OC register (I found the article; here it is) wherein the Clips head honcho calls bullshit on the press after the ongoing Maggette trade rumors:

"Are you finished writing about Maggette? Because I was never going to trade him," Sterling said. "That was a waste of print. I'm going to re-sign him when his contract is up."

Well, seeing is believing, but Maggette IS playing great right now, really looks committed, doing what he does best, getting to the line again & again, but not (at least to my eyes) just playing for stats, which he might have been doing the last couple months coming off the bench, when he was angling for a trade. Also, are refs gunning for him? Against Indie, I noticed he got MORE bullshit calls, just like in the seattle game. Weird, and something to watch for.

Doug Collins mentioned it on the TNT broadcast last week, and it may have a bit of credence, you have to wonder if the injuries, especially the devastating Shaun Livingston knee debacle, hasn't brought the team together emotionally. Prior to that awful moment, they seemed pretty effin lackidaisical, not necessarily each player, but as a whole, they seemed a bit lost. Now? Even with guys missing, they're playing together, they're playing with intensity. Daniel Ewing looked pretty good on Saturday, and I kinda hope they keep this Conroy kid around, he's got a lot of fire, really gets into it and seems to see the floor pretty well, but I don't think it'll happen, especially with it looking like the Clips will sign this Jason Hart guy from Sacramento, who I don't think I've ever seen play. Not sure how much room will be left on the roster if that happens, but the team being the injury ward that it is right now, I guess "we'll see" is a good position to take, so pencil me in for that.

As for the home game against the Spurs tonight? Well, I wish I could be more optimistic, but San Antone has won 11 of the last 12 games against the Clippers, and are currently on a season high 8 game winning streak, so, um, you want fries with that? Anything can happen, but don't go mortgaging the house or anything on EB and the crew, unless you've got, like 8 houses, and in that case, give it to me instead. Thanks in advance. Go Clips.

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