by Chris Tagawa
What a horrible time for a winning streak. Just when it looked like the Clippers might pull off a great trade and get Artest, they (the Clippers) reel off three straight home wins against three horrible teams (Boston, Sacramento & New York) and all of a sudden everything is okay again. Talk of the chemistry is coming around and the big men are finally getting healthy means no more deal for Artest. Not more than a week ago I was hesitant to get too excited about trade rumors, but this one really got me going. Here's why the deal would make sense:
1) The Clippers have been missing the defensive fire they showed during their 2005 playoff run and Artest could have sparked that.
2) Offensively, Artest is averaging 16 pts and 7 boards a game on a team with arguable the biggest ball-hogging black-hole in the league (Mike Bibby).
3) It's been a while (maybe never) since the Clippers have had a player with a nasty edge. The closest player I could think of was Michael Cage and he might just have been nasty sporting his geri curl.
4) Sacramento gets to unload a ticking time bomb in Artest for a slightly lesser talent in Maggette (something is better than nothing). Sacramento stated "Greater" for "Lesser" equals no deal. Someone should explain the "Addition" by "Subtraction" theory to Sacramento brass. Just wait until something sets this bomb off. Also, it's not like Maggette is chopped liver (15 pts & 5 boards a game). Not much difference in season averages.
However, the argument is futile, because, the Clippers are on a six game road trip against five sub-.500 teams and will probably win at least four if not all six games. Add the fact that Artest just dropped 39 against New York, strengthening the reasons for not doing this deal in each franchise's minds.
I just wanted to vent a little about the trade that was never going to happen.
*EDITOR'S NOTE: Chris is a friend of The Association, as well as a lifelong L.A. Clippers fan who knows his hoops. The opinions expressed by Chris are his own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the rest of us at The Association. We sure like reading them though.