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CLIPPER REPORT

Rice Struggling to Find His Old Shooting Touch

November 28, 2003|Jerry Crowe | Times Staff Writer

A little more than a week into the Clipper phase of his professional basketball career, Glen Rice had not yet found the shooting touch that had helped him become one of the top 50 scorers in NBA history.

Rice did not play in Thursday night's 102-96 loss to the New Jersey Nets. He has made two of 14 shots and scored five points in four games.

"I probably threw him into the mix too quickly, from the standpoint of conditioning," Coach Mike Dunleavy said of the former Laker, who started the season on the injured list because of a hyperextended right knee. "Most of what he's done on the floor has been pretty much right, good decisions.

"But when you've got a long-range shooter, it's a conditioning thing. It's one thing to be out there just banging down shots. It's another thing to do it when you've had to run up and down the court a bunch of times and defend and bang and all that."

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Former Clipper center Benoit Benjamin might not have cared much for them, but Dunleavy said Clipper fans deserve a hand.

"They do a pretty good job of being fans," he said. "I thought that before I got here. When we'd come here to play, their fans got into it; you noticed them. You go to a lot of arenas around the league, you really don't notice them.

"I think the fans are good, and obviously they're loyal because they haven't had a ton of success to [make them] stay. So that, to me, is a very positive base, and once we start playing better over the next year or two, I think that group will grow."

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