Despite the Clippers' 114-113 exhibition loss to the Portland Trail Blazers Sunday night at Cal Poly Pomona, Coach Don Chaney said he saw several positive things, most notably the play of forward Jamaal Wilkes.
Wilkes scored 20 points, including a 19-foot jump shot with 25 seconds left to give the Clippers a 113-112 lead. But Portland rookie Terry Porter sank two free throws with three seconds left.
"He's improving every game," Chaney said of Wilkes, who had knee surgery last spring. "He's so much better than the summer. It's like the difference from a guy playing in grade school to the pros. He's moving well, not thinking about the leg or anything."
There is a possibility that Wilkes could beat out Marques Johnson as the starting small forward. Chaney says all starting spots are open, and Wilkes says all he wants is quality time.