Chris Bosh made 15 straight baskets in the Raps’ win over Washington last Wednesday, including a shot from beyond half court to end the third quarter. I simply point this out to say that this is the kind of basketball shaman we were up against in this game.

The Clips have largely been feasting on easy competition of late. Case in point, they entered the fourth quarter of Friday night’s game trailing a Celtics team that had lost a franchise record 13 straight – a team that’s obviously trying to lose – before eking out the W. 7 of 8 is 7 of 8, but I can’t say I didn’t see today’s loss coming.

Although the Raptors barely average more points per game than the Clippers (98.4 to 97.1, after this tilt), it sure felt like they were dictating the brisk tempo. The two-headed point guard combination of Ford and Calderon gives the Raptors a dimension the Clippers are sorely lacking. Hell, the Clips would love to have one of those heads.

By midway through the first quarter, when Bargnani made a vicious jam, saved a ball from going out of bounds and then made a cold blooded jumper from the arc on consecutive plays, the outcome felt like destiny. They Clippers may have been piling up wins lately, but they lack an identity. Granted, the softness of the Clips’ recent schedule is a direct biproduct of the difficulty of their early-season slate, so they’re simply getting what they’re due. But to enter the second half of the season without a reliable strategy on either offense or defense does not portend well.

I don’t mean to be harsh. EB was stellar, as has been his wont of late. Kaman, however, has such an obvious case of post-contract syndrome, he needs to be sat. He missed a very un-Bosh-like 9 straight shots to finish the game. Dunleavy seems afraid to make decisions. Contrast this with Sam Mitchell’s starting Calderon over T.J. Ford – a potentially galling maneuver, but one that produced obvious results. Guys need to worry about their jobs – that’s a major motivational tool. I hate to be a Kaman hater, but the dude sleepwalks through games like he doesn’t know the shootaround has ended.

T.J. Ford’s jumper doesn’t look too bad. That was a surprise. You gotta like the Anthony Parker story, too. Ime Udoka of the Blazers, the NBA’s other feel-good, late-bloomer story, is over two years younger than Parker.

Sammy’s game looks great in the halfcourt, but he struggles with the faster pace. He had a team high 3 turnovers. Shaun was 5 for 5 to offset Kaman’s ineptitude, but truth be told I hardly noticed him. He’s just so unassertive.

All in all, the better team (at least for now) won the contest. I can’t see the Clippers winning more than 1 or 2 of the remaining 5 games on this trip, either. But if they do, it’ll be because Dunleavy starts making the tough choices. Then and only then will we become a team that can give opponents pause come playoff time. I still think second round can happen again.