By Kevin Sawyer
Clippers: 8-24 (3-13 home)
Margin: -6.4 ppg (-10.1 home)
Last 10: 3-7 (margin -7.1)
Pistons: 20-11 (8-6 road)
Margin: +1.1 ppg (-0.7 road)
Last 10: 8-2 (margin +4.4)
Well, this should put the Sunday jinx meme to the test. The Clippers were a lottery team BEFORE Chris Kaman went down with injury. Today’s version will be playing without Zach Randolph, Baron Davis, Ricky Davis, and some other players whose absence actually makes them a better team.
At present, the Pistons are likely to face a starting lineup of Eric Gordon, Fred Jones, Al Thornton, Marcus Camby and Brian Skinner. That is, unless Camby is found this morning with his head in an oven, in which case the Clippers will look to Paul "Paxil" Davis to man the pivot.
This team really doesn’t have any offensive weapons. Gordon and Thornton are the "scorers" (defining that term loosely), and each has a PER in the 12s, though Gordon has shot the ball pretty well of late. When healthy, this is one of the worst offensive squads in the league. Now? Ouch.
That said, the Clippers do play relatively solid defense, thanks in no small part to Camby. With no other personnel capable of securing a rebound, Camby has gone berserk, averaging 19 rebounds per game in the absence of Randolph and Kaman, and garnered more offensive rebounds than the Phoenix Suns combined on Friday night.
So there, I said something nice. Now let me say something mean. The Clipper franchise shouldn’t exist.
With Detroit still thin at the frontcourt, Camby could put up the highest rebound total in a very long time.
Keys for Detroit:
NOTE: SINCE THIS IS A SUNDAY GAME, I AM REVISING MY ADVICE DOWNWARD ACCORDINGLY.
Stay between your man and the basket: Before the game, or after a timeout, select one opposing player to defend. Then, work to stay between your man and the basket. This is the best way to prevent the offensive player from scoring. Remember, you play defense with your legs, not your hands. When the opposing player does shoot, put your hands in the air to contest the shot.
Practice sound shooting fundamentals: When taking a shot, square up to the basket. Make sure to bend your legs and your elbows, and use your offhand as a guide. If necessary, use the backboard, aiming for the square just above the rim.
Drink plenty of fluids: The game of basketball can take a lot out of you. It is vital that you consume enough fluids in the 24 hours prior to the game to avoid dehydration. During the game, consume small quantities of liquid to replenish fluids lost through expiration. Avoid drinking too many liquids during the game to avoid cramping.
Question of the game:
Is the Sunday jinx for real? Seriously, this is as bad of a squad as we will face all year. If we can’t win this one, we might as well count every Sunday game as an ‘L’ going forward.