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Charlotte Bobcats at Los Angeles Clippers preview -- Game 46

The Big Picture: The Los Angeles Clippers -- and Blake Griffin -- didn't play last night, so they're relatively rested for tonight's game against the Bobcats at Staples Center. While the Cats' west coast swing is already a success by just about any reasonable standard, it can always get better.

The Clips started the season 5-21, which may have killed their playoff run before it began, because the eight seed in the Western Conference is probably going to have to win at least 46 games, and that would require LAC to go 29-8 the rest of the way. Good luck with that.

But if you're looking ahead to 2012 (CBA willing) and beyond, Griffin might be the second or third most valuable player/asset in the league -- depending on how you feel about LeBron James and Kevin Durant -- and with Eric Gordon's emergence, they have an inside-outside combination of guys who produce plus offense. Just keep giving those guys what they need to keep getting better, and surround them with one other scorer off the bench and a bunch of defensive aces, and they should be playoff contenders, if not title contenders, for years.

Musical Interlude: Mary J. Blige and U2 -- "One"


Key to Victory: Griffin may get off a highlight dunk -- or two, or three... -- but that doesn't mean he's winning the game singlehandedly. He'll get his highlights. Don't let that distract from the scoreboard.

Detail That Might Interest .08% of You: Blake's brother, Taylor Griffin, shot 22% from three in his college career, and then, in his 32 NBA minutes, actually attempted two threes, missing them both.