Friday, May 05, 2006

Quinton Ross

This is from an email I sent on February 24, 2006.... A couple of prescient things regarding the playoffs, but mostly I'm just trying to get some content out here. And certainly the wins and losses don't lie as regards QRoss's impact on the team.

Quinton Ross, a guy Mike Dunleavy saved from the Belgian pro league last year, appears to be the key to the Clippers season. He is easily the Clippers best on-ball defender, and draws the toughest defensive assignment on the floor from the 1 to the 3. This season he has guarded Steve Nash, Ray Allen and Tracy McGrady in Clipper victories.

The Clippers for the most part have been very consistent this season. They have beaten the teams they are supposed to beat, and they've struggled against teams like Detroit, San Antonio, Dallas and Phoenix (they have one win against Phoenix, and two close losses on the road against the Spurs and the Mavs.) They only have 8 'bad' losses all year (losses to teams with losing records.) Ross was hurt for 6 of those 8 losses.

Ross has suffered from back spasms off and on this season. He has missed the last 5 games, and the Clippers are on a five game losing streak. They are 2-8 in games in which both Ross and Corey Maggette have been hurt. The two wins, btw, were against Charlotte (worst record in the league) and Portland (worst record in the west). Basically, with both of those guys gone, they can't win.

I just read that he is going to be out for two more weeks, so don't be surprised if the Clippers keep losing. At this point, Maggette may be back before Ross is.

Interestingly, all of this may be a blessing in disguise. Before this losing streak, they were just a game back of the Suns, trying to win the Pacific Division and secure the 2nd seed in the playoffs. Only problem is, I don't think they were going to get there. Now, they're back down with Memphis, and a couple more losses will put Memphis in the 5 seed, with the Clippers at 6. If the Clippers are healthy for the playoffs (Ross and Maggette and Rebraca, oh my!), and luck into the 6th seed, they could actually have home court advantage against the Nuggets in the first round, and take some momentum into Phoenix in the second round.