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PRO BASKETBALL DAILY REPORT : CLIPPERS

Brian Who? Centers Filling the Gap

November 21, 1996|CHRIS BAKER

Although many felt the Clippers would struggle after failing to re-sign center Brian Williams, centers Kevin Duckworth and Stanley Roberts have helped the team win six of its first 10 games.

"Duck and Stanley have come through for us," Coach Bill Fitch said. "Those three guys playing center [including Charles Outlaw] were supposed to be a Band-Aid and they've ended up being a pretty good steady bandage."

Fitch also credited the Clipper reserves, who averaged 45.2 points and shot 45.6% in the first nine games.

"When we started camp we wondered how they'd react when we've got two guys at every position and nobody has distinguished themselves as a real horse, and so the coach has to say, 'OK, you're the real horse,' " Fitch said. "They've taken their minutes and done everything for the team.

"They've proven to themselves why you have to have more than one guy at every position."

*

Fitch, who needs one loss to become the first NBA coach to lose 1,000 games, says he has already surpassed the milestone.

"If you count playoff games, I've already lost more than 1,000 games," said Fitch, who has a regular season record of 897-999 and a playoff record of 51-55. "I've lost 1,050 games and still got a job.

"It's not separate, it's only what you make it. It's because somebody made a mistake a long time ago. It's like my age."

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