What started off as a slaughter became a headache against the pesky Sacramento Kings tonight. The Clippers end their preseason 1-7, losing their final six games. Those six games, if you remove the blowout Golden State dealt them October 8th, were close calls that could have gone the other way. But they will have to discover a penchant for closing when the season opens for them October 27th against Portland at Staples Center.
Individually, the pieces are looking fantastic. Aminu has been making shots, Griffin has been outstanding on all fronts, Kaman looks like an all-star that provides them with consistency and personality. Their free agent acquisitions, Foye and Gomes, both look ready to be good role players, Eric Gordon is confident and they are getting the court stretch long thanks to good play by Rasual Butler. That leaves turnovers and Baron Davis as two potentially disastrous situations. Baron seems motivated and talks the talk, but at this point in his career there is little room for vapidity -- he simply needs to bring like he never has and he can.
Eric Gordon didn't play the second half tonight due to a mildly sprained ankle. Luckily he and Griffin have a week to recover from their preseason bumps.
Everyone get over here and say it in unison, "It's only preseason." We in Clipper Nation must take this opportunity to sit back, take a deep breath and put a palm on their collective basketball because right now is the time to huddle together and pray to the basketball gods for closer to take a step forward, raise an arm, bellow out loud -- "I'm HERE!" -- and go out and get it done. There is a lot to look forward to this season, and I'll even go out on a limb to declare that Ryan Gomes is going to turn many heads and make fools out of several hoops swamis. The guy has skills and we like that he's big with an 80%+ career free-throw percentage.