Friday, May 19, 2006

Play It Again Sam . . .

I thought the Clippers looked great last night, especially in the second-half. I know Elton Brand had an MVP type season, but he is playing out of his mind in these playoffs. As JA Adande points out, Brand responded huge in the crunch.

Clipper Nation was strong as well. Again, Donald Sterling is handing out t-shits, and boom sticks like it’s candy. I like to think of it as our owner arming Clipper Nation for battle. Almost everybody was wearing a red shirt . . . except, I guess, for the ‘too-cool-for-school’ crowd.

Highlight of the Night: The final seconds of the 4th quarter. I got that nice, warm and fuzzy feeling about seeing the Clippers go for it in Game 7.

Lowlight of the Night: Some 22-25 year old kid falling from the row behind us on to my wife’s head. He thought it was funny. I told him he was an ‘asshole’. He told me to ‘fuck-off’. I stared him down, and he flipped me off. Since my back was to the rail of the upper deck, I decided I was at a decided disadvantage in any fight scenario, so I let the situation cool with my diplomatic skills. I’m still pissed though.

Kosher Ham

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Off To Staples . . .

We’re just about to leave for the 7:00 start of Game 6. A must win. I haven’t been able to bring myself to discuss the events of Game 5. However, I was very inspired by the 19 point comeback. I’m in full support of Mike Dunleavy.

I feel good about tonight. Let’s play one more . . . at least.

Kosher Ham

Monday, May 15, 2006

Give It Up To The Donald . . .

The historically maligned Clippers owner, Donald T. Sterling, has been arming Clipper Nation for these playoff games. Over the last couple of seasons, as a season ticket holder, I’ve found the freebies fairly limited.

Not so for the playoffs.

Mr. Sterling has been giving out t-shirts, rally towels, and boom sticks like they going out of style. I know somebody who has a shirt and wasn’t even at the game.

Clipper Nation grows.

I can’t wait for the game tomorrow night, and I can’t wait to get back out to Staples on Thursday.

Kosher Ham

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Learning To Crawl . . .

That's the way it goes, you have to learn how to crawl before you can walk. That was the case last night. Quite simply, the Clippers have never been in the position they were in last night -- in the postseason. The Suns, on the other hand, just finished an intense series in which they were taken into the last seconds with frequency.

Oddly, it was veteran guard Sam Cassell who took the poor shot. Sam clanked it and the Suns turned it into three points on the other end. It's hard to sit on the bench for almost an entire quarter, and come in and hit a three point shot to tie the game in the final minute.

Although Mike D'Antoni think the Lakers fans have more 'pop', I thought Clipper Nation was strong, except for the dunk idiots who fell on my brother's girlfriend, not once, but twice. The Nation was on their feet almost the whole fourth quarter.

Elton Brand wasn't shooting the ball well, nor was Cassell or Maggette. The Clippers tough defense (and Vlade Radmanovic's 3's) made this a game, and if they play that kind of defense on Sunday, the Clippers can win. They shot the lights out in Phoenix, so last night they came back down to earth . . . hard. I suspect they'll rebound, literally and figuratively (The Clippers Game 2 Plus 31 rebounding advantage, was turned in a plus 1 advantage for Game 3), and even the series on Mother's Day

Kosher Ham

PS - If you missed the article in the LA Times about the homeless Clipper fan, check it out, it's a good read.

PPS - How about Amare Stoudamire's stylin' green jacket (see picture) . . . I don' t think I could pull it off.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Gotta Win . . .

It seems going down 2-0 in a series doesn't bode well. In fact, the number of teams that win the series after being down 2-0 is just over 5%. Not so good.

So, the Clippers are going to have to impose their will a bit more than they did yesterday. Pounding the ball inside is clearly the way to go. You don't have to know much about the series or basketball to know that. But, the Clippers need to get Chris Kaman more involved. The Clippers need Kaman to get double-digit shot attempts, even if it's just 10 shots. He only had 7 on Monday, and three more would have gotten him 10. But, when Kaman gets over 10 shot attempts, he's far more likely to score 20 points in the game. If you look at about the last 20 games where Kaman took over 10 shots, he's scored 20 points in about 50% of those games.

So, tomorrow:
1. More Kaman. See above.
2. Slow it down a bit. Duh.
3. Use Singleton. His athleticism would be a benefit.
4. Chase Phoenix off the 3-point line. Duh.

Kosher Ham

Monday, May 08, 2006

Tempted By The Fruit . . .

The Clippers just couldn't lay off the juicy fast break tonight, and in the end they just couldn't execute. In the first half the Clippers imposed their will, in the second-half, and the Suns imposed theirs, and blowing that half-time lead was a killer.

Before the series started, the thing I worried most about was Leandro Barbosa and Steve Nash playing in the backcourt together . . . I'm not sure the Clippers can match that speed. Also, the Clippers are going to have to close down on the three-point line a bit more than they did tonight, and they especially can't allow those uncontested three point shots to go up.

Still, the Clippers sent a message: They are here to play, and if couple of Clipper shots fall, and a couple of Sun shots don't, tonight might have been a different story. As it stands, the Clippers trail by one.

Game two will be Wednesday night, and Clippers need to work on slowing things down a bit lot. One thing that would go a long way towards doing this would be to get Chris Kaman involved a lot earlier in the second half. He sat on the bench for way to long in the second half.

Elton Brand was amazing . . . this is going to be a great series.

Kosher Ham

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Sun Burned . . .

The Los Angeles Lakers were destroyed tonight by the Phoenix Suns. This series showed me the difference between the Most Valuable Player in the League and the Best Player in the League.

Phoenix’s Steve Nash came out and played the second half on a mildly sprained ankle, while the best player in the league, Kobe Bryant, scored one point in the second half of the game . . . and that was on a free-throw for a technical foul on the Phoenix.

Obviously, I’m not sad to see the Lakers tossed from the post season, they have had their share. Now, the Clippers will carry the torch for LA basketball . . . and how sweet it is!

Kosher Ham

PS - Apparently, tomorrow the NBA will announce that Steve Nash is the 2005-06 NBA MVP. He joins big company to win the award in back-to-back seasons. At the end of the game, Doug Collins made reference to Steve Nash needing to get ready for Sam Cassell . . . something tells me the days of Sam Cassell guarding Steve Nash are long gone, and Steve Nash better get ready to meet Quinton Ross . . . he's a hell of a lot better of a defender than Smush Parker is.