After Wednesday night's game against Boshless Toronto at Staples --- and there are no gimmes at this point --- the Clippers play 9 of the next 12 on the road, including games at Houston, Dallas, and Utah in the next week.  Assuming they play .500 H/R ball [a 3-9 record], the Clippers will return from Minnesota on January 10th, 13-22.  If they want to be any better than 13-22, the Clips must pick off some road wins, while still sweeping Sacramento, Boston, and the Knicks at home next week.   

Professional Basketball Team

Road Ws

Home Ls

TOTAL

San Antonio

10

3

+7

Utah

12

5

+7

Phoenix

8

2

+6

Houston

7

2

+5

Dallas

8

3

+5

Denver

7

4

+3

Minnesota

4

3

+1

NOOCH

5

5

0

Portland

6

6

0

Los Angeles Lakers

3

4

-1

Seattle

4

6

-2

Sacramento

3

6

-3

Los Angeles Clippers

1

5

-4

Golden State

1

5

-4

Memphis

2

7

-5



At the start of the season, I privately made a promise to myself not to judge the season numerically until after that January 10th game.  Measuring the Clippers' schematic progress was one thing, but I pledged that I wouldn't really look at the overall W-L number. 

In their struggles --- and even before Thomas, Magette and Cassell [ed. 1626p] got knicked up --- the Clippers have made repeated references to their health.  They aren't making excuses...but...[1] it got me wondering just how their injury situation stacks up against other teams..  Are the Clips really worse off than the Lakers, who have Kobe on an iffy ankle, and are completely without Odom.  What about Utah, with their best player [and make no mistake, anyone you asked prior to the season "Who is the Jazz's best player," would've cited AK] missing the first month and day-to-day most of the second?  And the Spurs, who were without their second or third best player depending on where you rank him, for the better part of a month, and have a sore-kneed Duncan?  What about Phoenix, who has a mid-percentile Amare, Nash, who has a grilled cheese sandwich for an L-5, and Barbosa, with a bum ankle?  Houston without McGrady?  NOOCH with David West out, Peja useless and Chandler brittle?   Hell, Golden State is treading water without Jason Richardson? 

The point is that, all things considered, the MASH tent could be a lot worse for the Clippers.  They still have their projected starting five out there.  Maggette is fine and their backup centers are all okay.  Granted, Sam Cassell is an enormous missing piece for the Clippers, but good teams perform without key players.  We saw it on Sunday against Houston.  The Spurs didn't miss a beat without Mano.  The Nuggets started a deli platter and a pair of Wallabees last night against Washington and won. 

So enough veiled references to the health situation.  This is a deep team that should be competitive every single night. 


[1] Have you ever noticed how "I'm not making excuses, but" parallels good old "with all due respect..."