Writing about the Clippers — and Mercy the Kitten

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That won't help me now, though, Mercy's last gasp still fresh in everyone's mind and the Clippers' ho-hum game with the Suns going as everyone would have expected.

The Clippers' starters scored 61, the bench 56.

The usual suspects did the bulk of the scoring, so what's going to get noticed more online and in the newspapers? What's wrong with the Lakers, or what's good now about the Clippers?

I type DeAndre Jordan's name, knowing that last May 19 I wrote "too bad he's such a waste of space," and amen.

At the time I meant where he stood on the basketball court, but I worry now it will become a way to describe a Page 2 column about him.

Come on, can I get any love for DeAndre Jordan?

If I'm going to write about a Clipper on the day everyone wants to know what's wrong with the Lakers, I know it better be Chris Paul or Blake Griffin.

And they were stupendous against the Suns, and so was Kobe Crawford, Eric Bledsoe and Lamar Odom.

But I just love Jordan, as fun-loving as Odom, as poor a free-throw shooter as Griffin, as exciting as Bledsoe and nowhere near the scorer Crawford is.

If the Clippers have championship aspirations, which are essential in keeping Paul, then Jordan has to do more in the middle.

"I expect more rebounds," I told Jordan.

"So do I," he said.

"The key is patience," says Clippers assistant coach Marc Iavaroni. That goes to show you how hard I work to get noticed interviewing assistant Clippers coaches.

"The most important stride he's made is the amount of time he can stay focused," says Iavaroni. "This year because of guys like Paul, Chauncey [Billups] and Blake staying on him and pumping him up, he's done a better job."

No one ever credits Page 2.

Jordan went for eight points, six rebounds, two blocks and one assist against Phoenix — one assist possibly a career high. The numbers aren't electrifying unless witnessed in person.

A two-hand stuff at the rim to prevent a Phoenix dunk protected a one-point lead and brought everyone to their feet in Staples Center, the energized Clippers going on to outscore Phoenix 39-28 to end the game.

On top of that, who else dances to music no one else hears while Griffin is shooting a pair of free throws? Or pulls the jersey out of Michael Beasley's pants and then tells the referee to make sure Beasley tucks in his jersey?

"I can put the Kobe face on too," Jordan says. "But I have nice teeth and a nice smile and I like to show them off."

That's one of the reasons why the Clippers are so much fun, because they know how to have fun. And win.

The Lakers don't, but that's a story for next week.

t.j.simers@latimes.com

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