Well – that was disappointing…  (Kevin, I'm just glad you didn't have to watch this trainwreck...)

Before the game started, team stats coupled with common sense tell you we have a serious edge on this Sonics squad.  They’re one of the worst rebounding teams in the L (standing at 28th), and while they score a lot (102.2 per game) they give up 100+.  Our frontcourt advantage (Collison / Wilcox / Petro don’t exactly strike fear in the hearts of man), along with the personnel to lock down on Ray Ray and Rashard should, I thought, translate to a relatively easy win.  However, I didn’t fully account for our diminished stamina from last night’s Laker loss, and lack of a killer instinct at home, which resulted in getting our asses whooped by a mediocre club.  Sure, we hung around in the 5-10 range deficit for a lot of the game, but it never felt like we had a chance tonight.

1st Quarter Horror Show – we come out extremely flat, and basically don’t recover for the rest of the game…

  • I arrived late to Staples last night, and was met with a disturbing 27-18 advantage for the Sonics early in the 2nd quarter.  So I had the pleasure of watching the 1st quarter at home after the game.  It was apparent from tip-off (giving up the easy layup) how little energy and passion we brought to this game. 
  • Half Court Offense – Discombobulation – 1st 2 offensive possessions were just awful (Brand on the low block – 24 second violation; Kaman on the high block – 24 second violation), and set the tone for the “Clipper inside game” for the rest of the game.  I would assume the 1st option offensive game plan was to pound it in low, and let Brand and a seemingly rejuvenated Kaman do their thing.  Save a couple nice possessions, we basically turned into a jump-shooting team and allowed Seattle to exploit continually one of their few advantages – running the floor after a long rebound off an errant Clipper jumpshot...
  • Team Defense – one of the most transparent signs your team has no energy is seen in their defensive rebounding.  5 offensive rebounds for the Sonics in the first quarter alone – seriously WTF?  Not getting back quickly enough against a Sonics team that was pushing the ball up every possession (leaving Ray Ray or Rashard alone at the 3-point line) is also, not good.  This was wayyyyy too easy for the Sonics…
  • 5:38 Maggette Insertion – we needed his energy, his slashing on offense, and while we’re giving up something defensively against Rashard, Q was not giving us much (and looked exhausted from the night before).  Maggette is a Top 50 talent in the L who’s been playing like a monster – I know this will be a dilemma for Dunleavy all season long (getting Maggette appropriate minutes), but it would’ve been nice to see him on the floor for more of the 1st quarter…
  • Livingston Insertion – oh yeah, that didn’t happen. Uhm, Sam is 37 years old and looked it last night.  Livingston played only 20 minutes the night before… yeah…
  • LAC 18 – SEA 27

Rest of the Game – I start drinking more and contemplate which dessert I will make for my pot-luck Thanksgiving Dinner…

  • 2nd quarter we started with a lineup of Livingston / Mobley / Maggette / Brand / TT.  The + / - here is something to watch and my guess is we're basically getting killed. We could really use Williams interior presence off the bench…
  • We Make Collison Look Like a Superstah – Nick Collison might be the slowest human being on the planet.  Yet there he was, getting himself open, making some nice post moves, getting offensive rebounds and easy putbacks…
  • Rashard Lewis gets Room To Operate – we were slow to cover (then double ) Rashard all, night , long.  In fact, we just plain left him open at the 3-point line a decent number of possessions.  C’mon – the guy went for 50 against us – in JAPAN!   We know what he’s capable of, and we couldn’t lock down on him at any point in the game.

In summary, we got outrebounded by one of the worst rebounding teams in the L, held to 41.0% from the field by one of the worst defensive teams in the L, and didn’t exploit our obvious frontcourt advantages on either end of the floor, all the while allowing them to run-n-gun at will.  The only reason we were even hanging around is because the Sonics are not very good, and don’t have the personnel to put their opposition away.  This was simply a game the Clippers didn’t show up for.

Let’s hope we come with more fire against the Timberwolves in Minny this Saturday, we'll need it...

Happy Thanksgiving from everyone here at ClipperBlog, hope you all have a great one (I went pumpkin pie… how could I not?)