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Los Angeles Clippers vs. Washington Wizards: Regular Season Game 43 Open Thread

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The Essentials:

Clippers (19-23) vs. Wizards (14-18)
1 p.m.
Verizon Center
TV: CSN
Radio: 106.7 The Fan

Previously

December 14: Clippers 97, Wizards 95

Notable Clippers numbers this season

22nd in expected winning percentage (.397)
20th in pace (91.9 possessions per game)
23rd in offensive efficiency/offensive rating (104.6 points/100 possessions)
18th in defensive efficiency/defensive rating (107.7 points/100 possessions)

Pre-game links

Clips Nation, SB Nation's Clippers Blog
ClipperBlog
Clips Nation game preview
GameDay Clippers

Tonight's Projected Starters
Clippers vs. Wizards
Baron Davis PG Randy Foye
Rasual Butler SG DeShawn Stevenson
Al Thornton SF Caron Butler
Marcus Camby PF Antawn Jamison
Chris Kaman C Brendan Haywood

So, Clippers-Wizards today, ey? If you're tired of these 1 p.m. games, then you're not alone. The whole atmosphere around here seems kind of dead. I can't really put my finger on it, but it's worth pointing out.

Flip Saunders wasn't really in a talkative mood today either. Before the Miami game, he spoke to the media for nearly ten minutes, talking about everything from Brendan Haywood to Randy Foye. Today, however, he cut things off after two and a half minutes, right after he was asked if there were any positives to be taken from the Miami game. "No," Saunders said emphatically. Someone followed up by asking "What about Andray Blatche," and Flip reiterated "No positives" as he walked away. Too bad, because I was just about to ask him what he thought of the players saying Miami was showboating.

(Mike James had a thought about Miami showboating. "If you think so, go out and do something about it.").

Other stuff:

  • No Eric Gordon tonight, he's out with a sprained big toe.
  • You've probably noticed Flip Saunders call a lot of timeouts recently. Why? "We gave them some rope to let them make decisions. They made poor decisions as far as bad shots, so we decided that if we have to call three timeouts in four minutes, we call three timeouts so they understand what's a good shot and what isn't," he said.
  • Mike James is active today. Dominic McGuire is not. Maybe we'll see some of MJ after his rant the other day.
  • Flip's key to the game? Control tempo, which is odd because the Clippers run more set plays than practically anyone in the league. My key to the game? Double Chris Kaman and make Baron Davis shoot jumpers.
  • We were talking to Mike James about Cleveland's pre-game antics, on the heels of a discussion about James' boy and current Clippers assistant coach John Lucas (Lucas worked out James this summer) and the comments he made about the Cavaliers tanking to get LeBron James while Lucas was the coach. The discussion inevitably shifted to "finger gunz," and James admitted that, had the Wizards been winning, it wouldn't have been as big a deal. "That's the way the world works," he said. Mind you, he wasn't defending "finger gunz" -- quite the opposite, in fact -- but he did imply that winning cures all.

GO WIZARDS!