Sunday, March 25, 2007

Thoughts during half-time (we’re talking tivo-time here, gang, to grab a Ralph Lawler appellation, the game could actually be over as I type this) of the Clipper Wizard matchup at Staples Center, downtown LA, on Saturday, March 24, in the year of our lord two thousand and seven. End scene. Er, rather, start scene. Well, my daughter (10 months almost already, WOW, don’t let people tell you time doesn’t fly) is busy wacking the 2nd half (post burp break) of a 6 ounce bottle of formula (after an apparently delectable dinner of chicken noodle surprise, from our friendly sponsors at Gerber, filling up your baby with quality ingredients since your gradnmama’s granmama was wearing diapers and smacking pans on the kitchen floor) and I’m busy opining on these thoughts that so far haven’t apprised a lick of anything resemble basketball talk, except for the aforementioned acknowledgment that I’m watching a game featuring the almighty clippers against the villains from Washington DC. No, not George Bush & Dick Cheney. Shazam.

So, here I am, watched the 2nd half. Clips win. All hail the Chief. Not Robert Parish NOR our prez in arms, but, um, you know, that guy. Wow, 4 in a row, after the BLOWOUT of Utah the day before. Is there something wrong with me that I get a little EXTRA enjoyment watching Tim Thomas’ 3 balls go down? Don’t get me wrong, I loves me a Cat Mobley trey too, or even a Maggs long ball, rare as they are, but when TT drops one, and then does that G-unit ghost mask move or whatever the hell that is, I just think “yeah.” Maybe it’s because of the off season pickup, something about proving to myself that Elgin does kind of know what he’s doing, even though he put the whole team together (with, obviously, gigantic assistance from Dunleavy), but it was looking like a dumb move earlier in the year, but Tim is turning it on, just like you hoped he would, just at the right time. Maybe it’s because, in a small way, Tim Thomas represents the slacker, the underachiever, in all of us, and not in a bad way. He’s the guy who means well, who gives you his best at that moment, with apologies that maybe he didn’t prepare the way he should have, but when the shit comes down, he’s right there next to you, batteries full, not having blown his load on the preliminary rounds of competition. Ok I’m reading too much into it, maybe, but I’m liking the guy more & more as the year rounds out, and I was skeptical about giving up Vladdie, but you didn’t see Tim go break his leg snowboarding, and I think he’s a lot more athletic and gives you more in the passing game and a la rebounding, (though Vladdie was not bad in those areas either), but the biggest thing is his shot is coming around in a big way. Both him & Cat right now, if they catch it in rhythm and the defenders a little bit late, you can almost BANK it.

I think the biggest thing in the turnaround of the season, which started on the last road trip, right at that San Antonio game, in which we lost, but we played well (yes, we, metaphorically, shit – someone wrote a really nice post on why we can all feel comfortable saying “we” for our team, and one of those days I’ll dig it up & serve it up fresh herein), better than we had in months, and it carried over the whole trip, aside from screwups here & there, mostly turnovers and unforced errors, but you could see it rounding out, but back to what I was saying, the biggest part, the biggest part of the turnaround is the comfort zone our two young point guards have fallen into. Jason Hart & Daniel Ewing were undeniably the weakest link(s) of the team, the point guard position was a complete mess, some idiots were even bringing up comparisons with Rick Brunson, but then, magically, our two lowest totem pole cast members each hit the game winning shot in back to back games. Voila, instant confidence, both in themselves, and from the rest of the team. This didn’t of course, actually, just magically happen, it was the result of a period of a few weeks of gelling, in which the Clips realized that Sam WASN’T coming back, at least not in anything beyond very limited duty, and they’ll be happy to have him for series here & there, but we gotta run with the horses we got, & Ewing and Hart are doing not too shabby a job right now. Our bigs keep up the good play, Corey keeps playing the best ball of his career, and Cat and Tim keep nailing their outside shots and doing all those other famous little things, including the suddenly ferocious defense that we used to know and love out of these clippers, we could have something scary in a big red bag waiting for Dallas or Phoenix, mark this idiot’s words.


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