The FanSided network (for whom I write this blog) is thinking about doing some “Best Of The Decade” stories. One of the proposals was that for each sport have bloggers from two teams debate which one was the Worst Franchise Of The Decade. Naturally, for basketball they instantly knew the Clippers would have to be one of those teams. So that’d be me. The other team clearly had to be the Knicks. Which is my true hometown team. Yup, that’s how my decade’s been. In fact, since I believe our Knicks’ blogger is on hiatus, they may want me to write both sides. That’s kind of like a psychotic breakdown combined with massive depression. If someone asked you to dredge up all the awful things that’ve happened in your life over the last ten years, well, that’s not my idea of how to spend a Saturday night. Thus, even ignoring the whole article idea, you can imagine how unexcited I was to watch the Knicks-Clippers game on Friday.
It wasn’t just that the only possible outcome was that one of my teams would lose. It was that from the way they’ve been playing (meaning poorly), I knew both my teams would suck at points and I’d be doubly frustrated. Surprise, surprise, I was correct. The first half the Clippers were phenomenal the first half, with tv commentators Ralph Lawler and Mike Smith pretty much calling the game over before halftime. They talked about how great the Clips looked and how this showed their potential. Me, I couldn’t enjoy it ‘cuz I was too annoyed by how craptastic the Knicks were playing.
Second half? The Knicks came out on fire, showing not just the offensive brilliancy that they’re capable of, but also surprisingly good defense. Yeah, you heard me right: good defense. Maybe it’s a fluke, but somehow Knicks’ coach Mike D’Antoni, a man known for unstoppable offenses and unusable defenses, has managed to get his team to hold its’ last seven opponents under 100 points. Maybe it’s due to the fact that they’ve been playing Jared Jeffries a bunch (who in their game last night played 30+ minutes but didn’t attempt a single shot — which has to be a first for someone on a D’Antoni team).
Anyway, so the Knicks come out looking great. I should be happy now, right? Both my teams feeling it and playing quality basketball — what more could a fan want? Um, for the Clippers to have kept playing great. Apparently they made some deal with the Knicks that only one team would play with passion at a time. As awful as the Knicks were that first half, in the second half the Clips matched that level of incompetency play for play. The Knicks won, and truth is, when push came to shove, that’s who I wanted, but when I turned off the tv I just felt dirty. I was told I should be happy about how great each team played for a half, but I’m a New York Jew so I can only focus on the bad parts.
I almost miss last year’s godawful Clipper team. At least with them I knew not to expect anything. But this year, they tease me, they flirt with brilliance. Yet when I turn around I see they’ve gotten back into bed with mediocrity. All I want is consistency (for both my teams). Is that too much to ask? I’m fine if they lose games ‘cuz they miss shots, or the other team is just better, or the other team has an insanely good night. But when the Clips stop moving the ball on offense, when Kaman and Eric Gordon look lost and make awful passes, when defensive effort and/or rotations aren’t there… well, a fellow can only take so much.
Here’s to hoping that things turn around in the next decade…