Preview and Chat: The Los Angeles Clippers

Kurt —  November 21, 2006

UPS. We’re not the nickname-giving type of blog, but we love the suggestion from Dan to start calling Kwame Brown “UPS” — What Can Brown Do For You?

Tonight he may need to do a lot, his slow introduction back into the Laker rotation will get a jump start as the Lakers look to match up with the big front line of the Los Angeles Clippers

Everything I learned about the Clippers…. I learned from Clipper Blog. Kevin may be the most insightful blogger out there, and while his team is an impressive 6-2 on the season he has a couple of concerns (and he is not alone).

First, the Clippers aren’t taking advantage of their biggest strength by pounding the ball inside — so far this season Elton Brand has used about 19% of the Clipper possessions when he is on the floor, well below the 24.7% of last year. That slack has been picked up by guys like Tim Thomas and Shaun Livingston, who make their living on the perimeter. Add to that Chris Kaman shooting just 37.7% on the season and you’ve got trouble. Kevin reports that things returned to normal other night against Philly — Brand looked like Brand again. I’m sure they will try to establish him early and often tonight.

Second, young Shaun Livingston has not lived up the hype. He was all but handed the starting job at the point, but his is shooting just 35.8% (eFG%) with a PER of 8.91 this season, a regression for him. Sam Cassell has stepped up and again bailed the Clippers out, but obviously he is not the future — and Kevin is beginning to wonder if Livingston can be.

Despite that… How much have the perceptions changed in Clipperland when they are 6-2 and concerned, rather than rejoicing?

Some guys can flat-out write. There’s a reason one of the links on the left is to “anything by Eric Neel” — I found him way back at Sports Jones and have followed his writing ever sense. If you wonder why, read this great column post Lakers/Bulls game about what is going right in LA.

Things are bad. Just how warped has our world become when Rupert Murdoch can be positioned by his PR people to take the moral high ground?

Things to look for. The spot the Clippers have been the weakest defensively this season is at the point, not a big shock with the older and slower Cassell getting more minutes (Livingston is a good defender). If the dunking-on-Ben-Wallace Smush Parker shows up he could have a good game.

While it’s a game time decision, Jordan Farmar appears to be sitting this one out because of his sprained ankle. Look for Shammond Williams and Aaron McKie to get some run.

Want to keep your eye on a fun matchup — Quinton Ross on Kobe. Even the “slowed” Kobe.