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Game 44 Preview: Blazers vs. Clippers

A Look at the Clippers

I'm going to be honest with you.  I hate previewing games like this.  There's no way to do a decent job.  After the last preview in which I made fun of the Clippers I wanted to give them some really outstanding analysis, but the fates are conspiring against me.

Let's look at the Clippers' plight for a second.  Leading scorer Zach Randolph...out.  Leading assist man and second-leading scorer Baron Davis...out.  Leading rebounder Marcus Camby...probably out.  Chris Kaman...out.  Mardy Collins...out.  Brian Skinner...possibly out.  It sounds like a bunch of dorks signing off on their Jim Rome calls all at once.  It's like somebody took the Clippers' lineup sheet, folded it into a small square, and then took some scissors and made one of those paper snowflakes out of it.  All that's left is Al Thornton and Eric Gordon scoring about a billion points each.  That's the Clippers.

I mean, usually I'm good for at least three Ricky Davis jokes but he's gone so far downhill this year it's not even worth it anymore.

Stats don't matter. Past experience with them doesn't matter.  The 4-5 Clippers games I've watched this year don't matter. (Dear God, here's my question:  Why do Clippers games happen to good people?)  There's just no precedent.  There's no predictability.  Except, of course, to say that these guys have lost 15 of their last 17. Their only wins have come over the Bucks and Thunder which, when put together, sound far more arena league football teams made up entirely of male strippers than NBA squads.

Which means, of course, that the Clips have a shot at winning tonight, just because bizarre things like that happen sometimes.  They beat us at home last time, giving us our longest losing streak of the season (3 games).  As I said, in my last game preview I pretty much riddled them with bullets and they came out and got us in overtime.  So I'm going to give them their fair chance at victory before this game.  But that better not happen.

So that's it.  I expended my entire arsenal with "Al Thornton and Eric Gordon score about a billion points each now" and "The Clippers better not win".  Way to go, professional-sounding blogger man.  You can just kiss your BloggyTM goodbye.

So, anyway, I have no idea what you're going to talk about in the comment section now.   Michael Redd being out for the season?  102 reasons why it might be a good idea to make an offer for Shaq?  Failing that, just go ahead and share your best Ramblin' Rod stories or something.  No...not Strickland.  If you don't know who Ramblin' Rod is then pull up a seat on the grass underneath the old learning tree and let some of our long-time Portlanders school you on how to get your cartoon on.

Keys to the Game

There's only one.  Bulldoze them.  The only real danger is that the Blazers will hate playing this kind of game as much as I hate previewing it.  That would lead to a lackadaisical attitude and life for L.A.  The basic gameplan should be to overwhelm them in the post, off the drive, on the boards, from three-point land, in transition, and with pressure defense on their main scorers.  If they're even close to handling us we're doing something wrong.  Just don't let this game become a game.  That's it.

Check out the (undoubtedly better) Clippers preview from our old pals at ClipsNation.

Enter tonight's Jersey Contest Form  here.

--Dave (