After last night’s loss to the Spurs, the Clippers can finally get out of the first nine games from hell. The Clippers loss one winnable game against the Golden State Warriors in this stretch while also beating the tough Oklahoma City Thunder. Third quarter collapses are still around and Blake Griffin’s intensity seems to be slowly waning as the season drags on. Injuries are everywhere and the roster has become a complete mess at the moment. But this Friday, the Clippers have a chance at redemption when they face the Detroit Pistons and their other opponents of the next five games. Pistons, Nets, Timberwolves, Pacers, and Knicks. All of these teams have shown flashes of amazing so far in the season but are still pretty much lottery teams that the Clippers have a talent advantage against. With the injury bug still attacking some of the better parts of the roster, everyone from the 14th man to the head coach needs to figure out how to get some wins before roster and/or coaching changes are going to start happening.
The team is not going to have a five game winning streak but they’re also not going to lose the next five games either. Something I noticed so far this season though is that every team the Clippers have played after the Blazers has put a ton of attention on Blake Griffin. This was apparent last night when Duncan, Blair, and McDyess all shut him down into a 5 for 18 shooting night. If the coaching staff and the players can fix this, then it is possible for them to win a handful more games soon. The only team coming up with real big men threat that I can see is the Nets and Knicks. But Amare does not really play defense so I think Blake Griffin’s biggest challenge would against the tandem of Brooke Lopez and Derrick Favors. Pacers can also give the Clippers a run for their money because if they get a hot hand, they could go for another huge night like they did against the Nuggets on Tuesday night.
(Huge Trivia: The Clippers former team name, Buffalo Braves holds the record of most points in a quarter with 58 against the Boston Celtics in 1972 while the Pacers was 4 points short with 54.)
Tomorrow night is a home game against the Pistons and I hope we get a win. Morale has been pretty low lately in Clipper nation with only the biggest optimists and developmentalists seeing good things in the last several games. A couple wins now would certainly boost the fan’s spirits though.