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Clippers Ready to Scare Up the Rest of the West

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Happy Halloween LA!

While most of you will undoubtedly be checking out the outrageous sights on the streets of WeHo tonight, a different kind of talent will also be on display with the kickoff of the ’06-’07 NBA season. For the Clippers, the fun begins on Wednesday night with a trip out to the Valley of the Sun to exorcise the demons of last year’s playoff loss against Phoenix.

Without question, this year is the most pivotal year in franchise history. Many of the haters are calling the Clippers a one-season wonder, that the ghosts of the team’s star-crossed history are bound to return. Thus, as Clipper Nation prepares itself for the annual NBA trick-or-treat, the question remains: are we going to get a king-size candy bar or are we going to be the proverbial Charlie Brown and get another stupid rock?

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Early signs seem to be good. Starting center Chris Kaman just signed a 5 year, $52 million extension, ensuring that the team will maintain its strong frontcourt tandem with Elton Brand. It also signals the continuation of Sterling’s recent willingness to spend money to retain core players – coach Mike Dunleavy may be next in line to cash in.

Furthermore, the pundits appear to think highly of the Clippers, moreso than the Lakers.

Here’s one man’s take on the Western Conference:
1. Dallas
2. Phoenix
3. San Antonio
4. Clippers
5. Utah
6. Houston
7. Denver
8. Lakers
9. Memphis
10. Sacramento
11. Golden St.
12. Minnesota
13. New Orleans/Oklahoma City
14. Seattle
15. Portland

I think the Clips go for a franchise record 52 wins and take Dallas the distance before bowing out in the second round again.

But I want to hear from Clipper Nation! What do you think the Clips are gonna do this year? I know that there are approximately 27.6 Laker fans for every 1 Clipper fan in LA, but y’all better recognize, there’s another “brand” of basketball being played in this town these days.

AP photo by Mark J. Terrill