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The Young Get a Little Restless

February 05, 2001|LONNIE WHITE

Darius Miles, Quentin Richardson, Keyon Dooling and Corey Maggette all have shown their NBA talent.

At various times this season, each player has been counted on to lead the Clippers, but in Saturday's dramatic victory over the Portland Trail Blazers they combined for only nine minutes of playing time, their lowest total this season.

After Sunday morning's practice, each player handled his lack of time the night before in his own way.

After spending about five minutes near the end of practice talking alone with Coach Alvin Gentry, Miles and Richardson dressed and left L.A. Southwest College, refusing to talk to reporters.

Neither Miles nor Richardson seemed angry or upset but their body language said plenty. It was obvious neither was pleased after Miles played only three minutes and Richardson six in the 90-89 win over Portland.

"They were disappointed that they are not playing and that's understandable," said Gentry, whose team tonight will try for its first three-game win streak of the season when it plays the Chicago Bulls at Staples Center.

"But they have to understand it is a process that you go through. It is not an entitlement . . . They have to get to the point that every time you walk out on the court, you have to try and get yourself better as a player. And, we have to try and do everything we can to get them better as players. There are going to be guys disappointed . . . It's just the way [Saturday's] game went dictated that we went with who we went with."

Like Miles and Richardson, Dooling and Maggette also were not happy with their lack of playing time Saturday. But their actions after practice were different.

Dooling attacked his frustrations by grabbing assistant coach John Hammond to work on several areas of his game. He worked on his dribbling and shot numerous jump shots.

"There's really nothing you can say about it, you have to learn how to deal with it," said Dooling, who contributed two points and one assist in nine minutes against Portland. "I have to stay in shape and I have to try and get better. That's not on Coach Gentry, that's not on anybody else. That's on myself. By working hard, that's kind of my protest to show coach I want to play."

Maggette also spent some extra time shooting after practice. He then received medical treatment on a couple of nagging injuries.

"I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing," said Maggette, who was not pleased after not playing against the Trail Blazers. Before Saturday, Maggette had played at least 10 minutes in 16 of the previous 17 games he had dressed for.

Lamar Odom, who did not practice Sunday because he received treatment for his sore left wrist, left knee and left quadriceps injuries, said he also understood his teammates' frustrations.

"They just want to play," Odom said. "Good players feel embarrassed when they don't play . . . They are going to be all right."


Point guard Jeff McInnis (right knee) and Sean Rooks (knees) joined Odom as players who did not practice Sunday but both are expected to play tonight against the Bulls. Power forward Brian Skinner, who missed Saturday's game to attend a family member's funeral, is expected to be back for tonight's game.


vs. Chicago, 7:30

Fox Sports Net 2

* Site--Staples Center.

* Radio--KXTA (1150).

* Records--Clippers 15-33, Bulls 6-40.

* Record vs. Bulls (1999-2000)--0-2.

* Update--Something will have to give tonight because Chicago has lost 14 consecutive games but has won nine in a row over the Clippers. The last time the Bulls lost to the Clippers was Dec. 27, 1994 and the last time the Clippers defeated them in Los Angeles was Nov. 26, 1989, a span of 10 games.

* Tickets--(800) 462-2849

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