Caution was the mode of operation Monday at practice, and if history is a proper guide, that's the way it should be around Clippers headquarters.
Rookie shooting guard Eric Gordon, who has started to emerge in a big way since Cuttino Mobley was traded to the New York Knicks, came out of the Miami game late in the third quarter Saturday and did not return.
A day later, he thought his sore right hamstring was better, but Gordon asked to come out of practice Monday after playing half-court. Marcus Camby watched film and didn't do anything beyond that.
Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy had thought Camby hurt his heel again, but he has an injured ankle. The status of Camby and Gordon will be game-time decisions tonight at Dallas.
"Knocking on wood. The good news is we've had a lot of bright lights, guys starting to show up and do the things that we need them to do," Dunleavy said. "And we're trying to get it to jell as fast as we can get it.
"Obviously, the best we're going to be is when we're healthy. You try and prepare for it. There's a lot of moving parts. We're playing better in the last four or five games. It's going to be a continuous process."
Already, the Clippers were without swingman Ricky Davis, and more damaging, center Chris Kaman, who had been playing well. Kaman (strained left arch) is staying behind on this four-game trip and could be out for two weeks.
Mobley's career is in doubt because of concern about his heart condition. Mobley has seen heart specialists in the East and now is said to be in L.A. and could be having additional tests.
It's hard to say what was more priceless: The tuxedos that rookies DeAndre Jordan and Mike Taylor were wearing as they walked into Staples Center on Saturday night, or the look on Baron Davis' face when he spotted their garb.
Welcome to the continuing education of the Clippers rookies: Advanced Hazing.
They had been forewarned long ago by Mobley, said the third Clippers rookie, Gordon. Gordon, incidentally, was not caught on camera, having arrived hours earlier at Staples Center.
"They wanted to be seen," said Gordon, who wore a blue tuxedo. "It's just their personalities."
Maybe Gordon is a secret hockey fan. Was he there to catch most of the Kings-Blackhawks game that afternoon?
"They were telling us how bad traffic was going to be," Gordon said. "I really didn't hit too much. There was a lot of things happening in downtown."
Still, any hockey fan can appreciate a rookie . . . especially one who can find the net.
"They saw me walk in -- they were, like, 'Nice suit,' " Gordon said.