The War-bloons have basically been treading water for the last couple of months, and like a small-time sucker playing conservative bets at the $5 blackjack tables in Reno, the house odds are starting to take their toll. Yet as their won-loss record sinks further into the red and the playoff dream shrivels up like Adonal Foyle's points per game average, Head Veep Chris Mullett can only watch as opportunities like the NBA trading deadline slip past like Brad Miller blowing by Troy Murphy unabated to the hoop.

All season, Mullethead has been unwilling or unable to make a deal to improve this team. When he did dip his toe into the trade waters, it was only to bumble around the fringes of the Ron Artest trade like George Bush trying to find his way out of a Chinese paper bag, coming away with nothing except increased team disharmony.

On Thursday the trading deadline passed without the team making any move to get better. Tuesday's debacle at the hands of the Sacramento Queens put the War-droops back in familiar territory in the Pacific Division.The number eight playoff position is three and one-half games off and pulling away. After Saturday's loss to the Spurs, they find themselves seven games under .500.