"We gave up too many offensive rebounds tonight," said the Clippers' Rasual Butler in what qualifies as the understatement of the year. The Hornets set a team record for rebounds against a Clipper squad that appeared disinterested. Thanks to Paul Augustin, a B/R featured writer for the Hornets, for rubbing salt in the Clipper wound with that tid-bit of information.
Making matters worse, Kareem Rush, on the heels of establishing himself as a key player off the bench the game before, told teammates he has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in this right knee and is out for the season. The Clippers, it seems, can't shake the injury bug.
This apathetic display against an undermanned Hornets team coupled with the injury to Rush will no doubt resurrect talk of the Clipper "curse." I for one am sick of it. There is no curse that can't be reversed with a quality any team can bring daily, 100 percent hustle. The Clippers seem to lack that quality.
The lone bright spot in a forgettable game was the play of Al Thornton. His season-high of 30 points came on 12-for-17 shooting from the field. Thornton blamed the bad start, the Clips falling behind 7-0 and 10-2 to begin the contest, for the loss.
"If we got out to a great start to the game, there's no doubt in my mind it's a win."
So, an eight point deficit was enough to knock the wind out of the Clippers. Since when was an eight point lead safe in the NBA? Not that any team quivers when they see LAC on their schedule but imagine the sense of giddiness that an opposing team will have knowing that all they need to do is put up an imposing eight point lead and the team from L.A. will lay down. Pathetic.
It's easy to kick a team when they are down and that is not my intent here. My plan this year as I follow the Clippers is not to write game recaps, there are plenty of good sources for that, but rather to write team reviews. Less micro and more macro. Right now, this team appears lost in the fog.
Consider me the lighthouse.