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NBA Road Ahead: Tough Stretch For the Clips and Bobcats
by Bryan Leonard - 03/15/2008
Whatâ€™s blue and red and has no home? The LA Clippers! That is, the Clippers have played 11 of the last 12 games in Los Angeles, and yet they are a miserable 1-8 straight up and 2-7 against the spread the last nine games. Theyâ€™ve played only two official road games during that stretch, and one of them was against the LA Lakers in their own city. And it didnâ€™t help, as they got blown out 119-82.
So, essentially, this team has no home court edge, getting beaten up wherever they play. That makes this week even worse for the Clippers, beginning a 5-game road trip. If youâ€™re looking for bad situational spots for this bad team, look ahead to this Friday and Saturday, when the Clippers play back to back road games at Atlanta and Washington. Thatâ€™s a LONG way from home, especially for a team that seems to have packed in the season already.
After getting blown out by the Lakers, they come up short in a 99-96 loss to the lowly Timberwolves, the NBA's worst road team. The Clippers led by as many as 13 points before faltering badly. Sam Cassell couldnâ€™t wait to get out of town and is now gone and the Clippers have been short-handed the entire season. Against Minnesota, Brevin Knight sat out with a sore neck. Dan Dickau and Andre Barrett, recently signed to a 10-day contract, turned into the only available point guards, and both were hard-pressed to guard a larger Randy Foye, who torched them for 26 points and six assists.
Center Chris Kaman is still playing on restricted minutes because of an achy lower back. In the Clippers' 37-point loss to the Lakers, point guard Dan Dickau made his first start of the season. The Clippers have used 27 starting lineups because of a revolving door of injuries. And losing brings lousy chemistry: 'It's just tough right now,' Corey Maggette said. 'We don't have a lot of guys playing the right way. This whole year has been up and down with lineups. You don't know who's going in. You don't know who's going to play. Our chemistry is a little suspect.â€쳌 The Clippers had played 11 of 12 games at Staples Center, going 3-9 in the stretch. Now they head out for a long road trip, good luck!
The Pacers have a difficult situation Friday and Saturday, playing back to back road games at Dallas and Orlando. That will be their 5th road game in 6 games.
The young Timberwolves also play their 5th road game in 6 games on Friday and Saturday, playing at the Sonics and Blazers.
Perhaps worst of all, the Charlotte Bobcats are in the middle of a stretch where they play 10 of 11 games on the road! This week they have to go through the dreaded Texas Triangle against Dallas (Wednesday) and at red-hot Houston (Friday). That 5-game Charlotte winning streak (5-0 against the spread) will be put to the test! Keep in mind Charlotte is on a 7-2 run over the total, topping 100 points in 6 straight.