Believe it or not, there are remaining, lingering points of interest in the final three-and-a-half weeks of the Clippers' season.
Starting with second-year center DeAndre Jordan.
If anything, Jordan's progress and playing time has been one of the more debated issues among the fans. Many wonder and question why he isn't playing more.
Jordan is averaging 14:41 minutes per game and played 24 minutes in Sunday's 102-89 loss to the Kings, scoring eight points and grabbing seven rebounds.
"If he runs back harder on defense, he'll play more," said Clippers' interim head coach Kim Hughes on Monday. "His offense was good. He was four of five from the field, all dunks, no post moves. In practice today he was terrific.
"His playing time is predicated only on playing defense. If he plays better defense, he'll play up to 30 [minutes]; he knows that. I'll be true to that. But it's on him. He has to follow up what he needs to do."
Running back on defense was an elusive concept against the Kings for the Clipper big men.
"Collectively, our starting bigs didn't run back on defense and what compromised that, our backup bigs ran back even less," Hughes said. "We substituted and we saw worse results."
Jordan's increase in playing time could neatly coincide with this trip to Texas, games at Dallas on Tuesday night and at Houston on Thursday.
He has about 20 family members attending the Rockets' game, and many other old high school friends from the area are planning on watching him. Jordan was decidedly unhappy the last time the Clippers were in Houston, and he didn't play a minute in that game three days before Christmas.
The low point?
"It was. One of them," Jordan said. "Because my friends and family were there. I was upset. I think it'll be different this time."
He is finding it hard to believe he has almost finished his second NBA season. Jordan is averaging 4.3 points and 4.1 rebounds, and his season highs were 23 points (at Memphis), 12 rebounds (at Cleveland) and he had five blocked shots at San Antonio earlier this month.
"Last year's season went by slower since I wasn't playing a lot at the beginning," he said. "It went by really fast this season. I'm going to be going into my third season.
"It's gone by fast, man. I'm loving it. I mean, you don't love losing. But playing steady minutes, it's fun."
He was asked about the differences between Hughes, who took over on Feb. 4, and predecessor Mike Dunleavy.
"Kim is more hands on with the players, a players' coach," Jordan said. "He'll, like, pull you aside and say this is what you need to do to perform better and to play more.
"Coach [Dunleavy] was more like film-teaching. Kim is out here [on the court] teaching. Which is totally different. Kim will be like, ‘OK, DJ, there were some clips on the film, I want you to go here.' He'll actually show you."
Then there's the bluntness.
"Pretty upfront," said Jordan, laughing. "Very upfront. He's a straight-shooter, which I like. There's no beating around the bush. There's no like, ‘Well, you know, like maybe this.' It's like, ‘OK, if you don't do this, you're not going to play.'
"He doesn't sugar-coat anything. I like that a lot better than ‘I don't know, maybe.' "
Speaking of honesty … Hughes stated the obvious, that Sunday's effort was "unacceptable." The Clippers have lost nine of their last 10 games and haven't won on the road since Feb. 2.
"We are a team that loves to blame other people," he said. "Right now, when you talk to people one-on-one, the first thing you hear out of their mouth is, ‘Well this is what he didn't do.' I want to hear what you can do."