The Clippers did get this one thing right.
Holding Fan Appreciation Night against the Lakers later this week at Staples Center would have been flat-out strange. A lot like grabbing a piece of cake and taking the presents at someone else's birthday party.
In this case, the toys being Blake Griffin figurines.
The Clippers gave out the figurines at Monday night's game against Dallas, which the Mavericks won with ease, 117-94, leading by 21 at the half. It was either give them out now or let them gather dust in storage over at headquarters in Playa Vista.
Kidding aside, unlike so many bobbleheads of athletes, this figurine actually resembled Griffin. Of course, if it were truly accurate, he would be wearing dress clothes, not his Clippers uniform since his injured and now-surgically repaired knee kept him out the entire regular season.
"I want to thank you guys for your support and hope to see you all back next year," Griffin told the crowd.
The future is even murkier for most of the current Clippers. There are nine free agents, an unusually high number. And, who knows, maybe only five or six of the current squad will be back.
Rasual Butler had a much better, more creative, way with words than Griffin, summing up the situation on his Twitter account a couple of hours before the Clippers dropped to 28-53:
"2games left and no playoffs feels like I'm breaking up with one of the best girlfriends I ever had! Hate to see it come to an end!"
Butler then re-tweeted himself, amending his comparison to romantic relationships:
"It's called an analogy lol to show the care I have for the game is all! The game doesn't compare to a woman and vice versa ha."
This was the Clippers' eighth loss in nine games. Chris Kaman led with 17 points. Steve Novak had a season-high 15 points and Craig Smith added 15 points. For the Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki had 25 points and Shawn Marion added 21 points.
"Shawn Marion destroyed us tonight, and he's not even a scorer," said Clippers interim Coach Kim Hughes. "[He] runs like a deer, and we were running like plow horses. We couldn't keep up with him the entire first half. He looked like a sprinter, and we looked like a miler out there."
Novak, who also had a season high 23-plus minutes, took plenty of ribbing from his teammates after he tripped and fell when going to check into the game.
"That was quite traumatic," he said, smiling. "Was that funny or what? It was funny. You can tell me My ego took a hit."
His ego was boosted, however, by the 15 points.
"It was the most I played all year, and it just feels good to be out there playing," Novak said. "When you're not playing, it's so difficult to stay in game shape. I always need one game and I feel great. It's always been the case with me. I have one game and then I'm great.
"I played last game, like 18 minutes, and even when I stepped on the court for warm-ups, I felt totally different."
There is one game remaining, on Wednesday, against the Lakers, who will be Kobe Bryant-less.
Sitting out Monday night's game were guards Baron Davis (sprained right wrist) and Eric Gordon (viral infection). The starting lineup was: Butler, Steve Blake, Travis Outlaw, DeAndre Jordan and Kaman.
Jordan has provided some hopeful moments down what has been a miserable stretch. Against Dallas, he had 10 points and 13 rebounds, his second double-double in two games.