The CW (Clipper Weekly): Together Everyone Achieves More
Current Record: 36-37, 3rd Pacific, 8th West
It’s amazing how sometimes a little adversity can galvanize a group of people and inspire them to achieve more than was thought possible. OK, so in the Clippers’ case, they’re basically achieving what was expected at the beginning of the season. Nevertheless, after utterly disappointing play for most of the season, the Clips seem to have finally found their groove just in the nick of time, playing their best three-week stretch of ball despite the absence of their leader of today (Sam Cassell) and leader of tomorrow (Shaun Livingston).
While the Clippers were unable to close out a nailbiter against a tough Houston squad, the team responded with back-to-back road wins, including breaking a Washington Generals-like ten year losing streak in Sacramento (17 games), and a laugher against Portland. The Clips have maintained a high level of execution, particularly on offense, which means a lot of people are getting touches. And surprise, surprise, when people are getting the ball and the team is winning six out of seven, the clubhouse mood gets a little bit lighter. Corey Maggette is happier with his increased role. Jason Hart has gone from in-over-his-head to team catalyst. Chris Kaman… well, he’s still playing like a stiff, so not everything has changed for the better.
Yes, that is a feeling of anticipation that is arising from Clipper Nation once again. Despite the fact that most fans expected the team to be closer to title contention than the lottery, this is still the same franchise that has four playoff appearances in its 23 years in LA and has never had two consecutive winning seasons. Just getting to be a part of the dance means something to the Clips. It may not seem like a big deal to the Showtime crowd, but to even be validated as an above-average team (and not just a one-year wonder) is significant. It represents a hope that Clipper fans can dream bigger.