Tuesday, April 02, 2002

CLIPPERS WATCH: Scott Howard-Cooper brings the tempered enthusiasm on ESPN.com, saying 1. it would take a miracle for the Clippers to make the playoffs at this point, and 2. that isn't so bad after all:

It all comes with the backdrop of a season in which the Clippers showed this is something worth keeping together. Capacity crowds are the norm at the end of the season. Richardson is a candidate for Sixth Man of the Year; Olowokandi, getting better by the month, for Most Improved Player. Brand will make the trade with the Bulls the right move even if Chandler turns into a star. General Manager Elgin Baylor should get some attention from his peers for Executive of the Year. Alvin Gentry won't get much play for Coach of the Year, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't, given that the team has made the massive jump the last two seasons on his watch. He has given a young team breathing room while getting smarter on the court, while he's stressed attitude and comportment as much as defending the pick and roll.

Combined, it has gotten them this far, with the rest up to Sterling. It has gotten them all the way to missing the playoffs and still being able to feel good about the season. Realistically.

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