What have we loyal Clipper fans done to deserve such misery? It almost was easier last year when the team was goddawful ‘cuz we knew not to expect jack (unless we were playing the Lakers, then Mr. Nicholson would show). Even when we get shellacked as we did last night, the Clippers are cruel enough to just show us moments of hope and potential. With seven minutes left in the first half, we were already down by 25, yes, 25 points. 55-30. And these weren’t the Phoenix Suns or the Golden State Warriors who hit the 50 point mark after just a couple minutes into the second quarter. I guess I didn’t get the memo that Sunday’s game was “Defense Optional.”
However, just as I’m about to turn off the game, the Clippers go on a 26-11 run to end that second quarter. We go into the break with serious momentum, the back down to just ten at 66-56. The third quarter starts, and within a minute and a half we get it down to a seven point game. These last nine minutes of playing time the Clippers have looked phenomenal. And this is against one of the few teams expected to have a legit shot at winning the championship this year. But we’ve had periods like these before. Sometimes they get us a huge lead at the beginning of games. Sometimes they help us come back and win it at the end. However, most of the time they’re somewhere in the middle and they don’t last long enough to get us the W. Like last night. That moment when we were within seven was as close as we’d get for the remainder of the game. In the end we lost by 25 points and were down by as much as 31 in the closing minutes.
The thing that makes it even more frustrating is that when the Clippers lose, not only do we go down, but we make the other team look amazing. Actually, usually one of two things happens:
1. A struggling team looks like world-beaters and re-gains their confidence against us. San Antonio had been unable to gel this whole season and the media was starting to question them. Not after last night. Earlier in the season, the Hornets, after getting beaten by 20+ points by the Lakers, looked like a team on the brink. Byron Scott looked sure to be fired. Then they beat the Clippers by 20+ points. A few games later the Hornets were back to getting whupped, and it was clear the Clippers win was a mirage (& Byron was promptly axed). Memphis even seemed to turn their season around after playing us twice.
2. A random role player on the opposing team goes nuts. Look at the box scores:
Vs. San Antonio: DeJuan Blair – 17 minutes, 14pts (on 7-of-9) & 9 rebounds.
Vs. Rockets: Chase Buddinger – 19 pts (on 6-of-9), 5 rebounds.
Vs. Detroit: Jonas Jerebko – 22 pts (8 of 11), 5 rebounds. Austin Daye – 13pts, 5 reb.
Vs. Indiana: Brandon Rush – 13 pts, 11 rebs. Luther Head – 14pts.
Vs. Minn: Ryan Gomes – 15pts, 6 reb. Oleksly Pecherov – 10 pts (in a diff game against us he got 13 pts in just 19 minutes. And shot 75%).
Vs. Mem: DeMarre Carroll – 10 pts, 5 rbs. Marcus Williams – 9pts, 6 assists.
Vs. New Orleans: Devin Brown – 16pts. Bobby Brown, Marcus Thornton & Darren Collison – all 12pts each (plus 6 assists for Collison).
Vs. Toronto: Marco Belinelli – 15pts (60% on threes).
Vs. Oklahoma City: Kevin Ollie – 11pts (on over 57% shooting), 5 rebs.
Another New Orleans game: Hilton Armstrong – 12 pts(on 100% shooting), 6 rebs, 2 stls. Devin Brown – 25 pts, 5 threes, 5 rb.
Vs. Utah: Ronnie Brewer – 17 pts (on 73% shooting), 5 reb. Kyrylo Fesenko – 10 pts (83% shooting).
Look at those numbers! Who the hell is Kyrylo? I wouldn’t be able to identify him if he came up to me, slapped me twice with a wet flounder and said, “Hi, I’m Kyrylo.” Sure, role players occasionally score 10+ pts, but usually it’s like on 4-of-9 shooting or something. You just know that the Nets are bitter that they didn’t get to play us during their historic losing stretch. And did you even know Kevin Ollie was still in the league? I’m pretty on top of players between this site and my fantasy bball obsession, but if you’d asked me what team Ollie was on I wouldn’t have had a clue.
There are still tons of empty seats at Clipper games, so I’ve been talking with marketing about how we could get more people to attend. Finally, we realized the only way is to get non-Clipper fans excited about seeing their team visit & play the Clips. Our new slogan? Here:
“The Clippers – We Make Your Marginal Players Become Superstars!”