The old punching bags, back at ARCO.
That long winning streak against the ClipSet ended earlier this year, another notch in the bedpost of new-found mediocrity. But that game was in La La Land, which means to seven-year home win streak against Sterling's men is in tact.
The Clippers are on the blood-soaked edge of playoff contention, a scant single game ahead of Golden State. The Kings sit a distance away - 3.5 - whereas a win tonight would be intriguing and a loss final.
With that in mind, it's hard not to root for a loss. The sooner it's official (yes, it's still not official), the sooner Ronnie Price is freed. Justin Williams still has 10 games to make some free throws, dammit. Quincy Douby can get that rookie field goal percentage over .400, given the minutes.
It is beyond unlikely the Kings can rebound to make the playoffs. It is even more unlikely Musselman will concede given the scrawniest sliver of hope. Price, Williams, Douby - to Muss, that's concession. To us, it's a reason to watch. Hence, a large part of current frustration with the status of our roar-feeling.
That other old punching bag in town is Jason Hart, the hero of L.A. and last year's Sactown Goat. You knew he'd bounce back, and I'm sure he's got something for the Kings tonight. I'm sure Muss would love nothing more than to send Vitaly Potapenko in there and break Hart's tibia, as well. Hart seemingly started the whole public defenestration of Coach with that fiercely ridiculous blowup in the media of lies, damn lies, and playing time. Hart was inconsequential to the Kings' on-court situation; he was smoldering on the tip of a wick for its public affairs. That Marty McNeal dossier - misplaced, in my estimation - set this hell off.
No love lost anywhere on the court. Which could make for a brilliant game of attacks and counterattacks or boring bludgeoning of matchups. It smells like a bounceback for Speedracer, and Bibby's continued surge would not shock. Brand cannot be stopped save by Brand himself, and Cassell loves beating the Kings. If nothing else, since basketball soon closes in Sacramento, let's enjoy the professional game, warts and all.
I'll be in attendance, heartily calling for a Undoubylievable resurrection. Fingers crossed.