During the season's first week, True Hoop wrote that "the Clippers are obsessed with the Suns," a characterization that isn't unfair.  Clipper Naçion's obsession - at least, Clipperblog's -- is the product of the Suns' hypnotic charisma.  No team in recent memory has achieved the stylistic heights of the present-day Phoenix Suns.  This aesthetic boldness stands in stark contrast to the Clippers' hopeless absence of style, something that's just as tragic as the Clips' underachievement itself. Last season, the team cultivated a versatile offensive mode - a precision-oriented half-court offense that juxtaposed the quickness of their bigs with the physicality of their guards and swingmen.  They may not have flashed, but they purred with a coherence and versatility that made them one of postseason's most complete teams.   This year's squad is sullen, ugly, and with no apparent identity - win or lose.  The season is now a terminal exercise.  If the Clippers are fortunate enough to see the playoff bracket, they'll be dispatched with brute force by an elite team.  With expectations tempered, what else is there? 

The scintilla of hopefulness that surfaces after watching Shaun Livingston declare himself the best player on the floor.  Chris Kaman's recognition on certain nights that, with his size and footwork and Brand on the opposite block, he can score whenever he wants to provided he can hold his concentration for six or seven seconds.  The prospect that, in the coming years, Elton can expand his game to a Garnett and Barkley-ish range.  Can you see EB with a 22-footer?  If Elton wants admission into the inner sanctum - and if the Clippers truly want to contend -- he must develop one.  Looking ahead, the Clippers have cast their lot as a 1-4-5 team, a model that's capable of producing a raging identity [a pretty good 1-4-5 team resided in town not long ago.], particularly when endowed with the Clippers' agility.  In the final 30 games, will we witness a glimpse of this nascent style or just a workaday march to the finish?