I think we can all agree that Sam Cassell absence this year has hurt the team. He's missed 16 games so far this year and he's played under 10 minutes in 5 games this year (which might as well be a DNP). This was after he only missed 4 last year when the Clippers had their greatest success, of which he was a huge part.
We knew coming in that Cassell would probably miss more games than last year, only because a 37 year old point guard can't be "Mr. Dependable" forever. However, Sam has missed or been a non-factor for far too many games this year.
In Sam's last year with the Timberwolves, he suffered through an injury plagued season and the team missed the playoffs. That summer he worked hard under the supervision of John Lucas and when he came to the Clippers, he had an unbelievable year and impact. So tell me, wouldn't it be wise to stick with what worked? Shouldn't Sam have busted his butt over the summer working with Lucas again to get ready for this season? Instead, it seems like he didn't work out as hard this past summer, and thus, hasn't been able to help the team as much.
A recent article in the Los Angeles times says:
So Sam...if it worked for you last year, why didn't you do the same thing this past summer? Maybe a summer with John Lucas would have gotten you ready for this season and helped you lead the team and do the job they pay you to do!
I'm not blaming Cassell alone for this season's woes. Everyone is to blame. But if I'm the self-appointed leader of this team, then I'd better bust my butt to get ready for the NBA grind and be ready to play every night...or at least almost every night. Maybe Sam got a bit too happy with last season's success and his new contract. It's unfortunate that it took another injury plaqued season to make him realize what he needed to be doing all along!