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GAME 28/82: at the L.A. Clippers, Open Game Thread

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Update [2005-12-27 20:49:13 by TZ]: So um, this has been slightly updated to reflect the fact that Shareef won't be playing, thanks to a broken jaw courtesy of Zach Randolph. Scroll down or click here for that news. Yep, the fun gets funner.

The water cooler talk in the sleepy burbs of Sacramento today had to do with Rick Adelman's shrinking future. Even the casual fans are talking about it, saying he's done after a Clippers loss. Of course, it would be casual fans calling for our head coach's head, because, you know, all of our local sportswriters have apparently been fitted with kid gloves.

That's the thing, though. The last time the "Fire Adelman" chants grew to deafening levels, the team went on a three-game winning streak. Do you really expect anything different this time? Wouldn't it be just like this team, when there are murmurs of firesales, of giving up, of an early season's end, to come back and shock the NBA with a double-digit win in L.A. tonight? Wouldn't it be just like Adelman and Peja and Bibby to wow the crap out of us when the end appears imminent?

So, um, hit the bank on your way to Reno. You can't trust the Kings, but you can trust the Kings to annoy the crap out of you.

To the starting lineups:

L.A.'s A-TEAM
PG - Sam "Broke SAC's Hearts in '04" Cassell.
SG - Cuttino "Broke SAC's Heart in '05 By Not Working Out A Sign-and-Trade So We Could Actually Get Something For Him" Mobley.
SF - Ron "Broke A Detroit Fan's Cheekbone in '04" Artest. (Just trying it out for size.)
PF - Elton "Will Probably Break SAC's Hearts in the Coming Years" Brand.
C  - Chris "Broke Andre the Giant's Win Streak at Wrestlemania I" Kaman.

SACTOWN
PG - Michael Bibby
SG - Kevin Dallas Martin Jr.
SF - Predrag Stojakovic
PF - Kenneth Cornelius Thomas
C  - Bradley Alan Miller

(Remember - no wins means no attempt at clever nicknames. You want deprecating humor? You beat the damn Portland Trailblazers at home.)

The line: +8.5. As I said this morning, it's not high enough. But remember - these Kings like to destroy their fans from the inside out. That said, I expect them to cover.

Fun bet o' the night: Cat Mobley threes? I say four.

Sideshow most likely to be entertaining: If Geoff Petrie makes the trip, I'm using TiVo and my home network to consolidate all the shots of him standing in the tunnel into one clip. Then, I'm going to sync it up to Third Eye Blind's "Jumper." Then, I'm going to cry uncontrollable.

Best matchup: Brand vs. The Kenny Thomas Show. Wait. Holy crap. A guy named "Elton" is a legitimate MVP candidate in the National Basketball Association. Moving on. (Brand vs. Shareef would've been much better.)

Pregame haiku:

Fire Adelman.
Yes, please fire Adelman.
That is all I got.

7:30 p.m. on Comcast. Just remember - it can't get worse than this!