When, with :09 seconds left in a half and the ball, you somehow net a -3, when you can't run a simple 2-on-1 break, when you can't discern that your starting SG's left arm is one of those gag shop doodads that you lodge in your car trunk, you're not going to beat the Eastern Conference's best team on its home floor.  The Clippers had plenty of opportunities.  They decided to pressure Gil way outside in the third quarter, only they allowed a stiff like Brendan Haywood to run unmolested underneath as if he were Hakeem.  Each time they had a chance to cut the lead to single digits in the second half, the Clips seemingly turned the ball over.    

Mobley --- sure, you admire the pluckiness given that his elbow is apparently a Japanese paper lantern --- destroyed the Clips and it took Mike Dunleavy twenty game minutes to see it, despite Cat's zero rebounds, zero assists with a 1-8 line from the field.  Worse than all that?  Caron Butler.  Butler, who was Cat's assignment, torched the Clippers.  Gilbert is going to cook his chicken and shrimp one way or another, but if you allow Caron Butler six field goals inside of two feet, well... I know that every NBA baller wants to be Wes Unseld or Isiah Thomas, but if a guy isn't healthy enough to play effectively, he shouldn't be on the court, particularly against a massively talented wing team like Washington. 

Which breakdown?  How about coughing up a 12-2 run to close the first half?  Or the 25 Wizz points off turnovers?  How about an insider's dispatch from Gil's 25th?  Wishful thinking.  Is there a guy with a more impenetrable consciousness in the game right now than Gilbert Arenas?  I really thought that 30 footer he fired up in the third as the shock clock expired was going to fall, and a small part of me, Clippers' heroic road win streak aside, wanted it to.  Gilbert would've watched it ascend from his fingertips then, just as he made some psychic, otherworldly transmit with the ball's arc, he would've turned away --- just as he did the other night against Milwaukee --- counting it before you did. 

One day I'll write up a counterfactual summary of the Clippers' three-and-a-half seasons with Gilbert Arenas.  I've been planning to.  Really.