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Davis shoots high on goals

October 02, 2008|Lisa Dillman | Times Staff Writer

Three Clippers' practices . . . and time for a state-of-Baron address.

Make that a mini-motivational address from point guard Baron Davis after Wednesday's morning session at the team's new training facility.

Even for those not blessed with good hearing, his voice wafted, loud and clear, through the gym at the Playa Vista complex.

Davis spoke about aiming high and competing with the likes of the Lakers and the Celtics.

It would be easy to say those words have never been uttered before here.

But, of course, that would be a tad hyperbolic because the training facility recently opened.

"Let's get it done," Davis said, in conclusion.

That would be the slightly modified family version.

"You've got to set your expectations as high as possible," Davis said later, taking a turn on the exercise bike.

"And if the Lakers weren't thinking championship, they wouldn't have made it to the Finals and have a good opportunity to do it again this year.

"We have to start thinking like that. Period, point blank."

So, was this a spur-of-the-moment thing or did something lead Davis to speak up after two practices Tuesday and one Wednesday?

"It's just instinct, just feeling it out," Davis said. "It's best for us to start thinking like that now before we shoot a basket or have another practice.

"This is our third really good practice. I think Coach has been giving us some great things. We're doing everything that we're supposed to be doing. But we can always do better and push ourselves."

Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy wasn't surprised Davis grabbed the verbal reins.

After all, the face of the franchise should be its voice.

"Absolutely. I expected it the first day," Dunleavy said.

Bonus coach

Said Clippers swingman Ricky Davis, who played with Davis in Charlotte: "He's like the second coach. You've got Coach and you've got Baron. Baron the Brain.

"He might not even need instruction from the coach. He just knows tempo and knows when to get his shot when he needs it."

Said Dunleavy: "He's clearly a leader of this team. Watched him play on the floor last night and since the time I've been here, nobody's been able to run an offense the way he can run it, based on scoring and making plays."

Rookies and injuries

Yes, they seem to go hand in hand.

Clippers rookie guard Eric Gordon's ankle injury, suffered on the first day of training camp, could keep him out of practice five days, a week or longer.

Is Gordon injury-prone? He also suffered a hamstring injury that limited his summer-league play to two games.

Or is he simply the victim of a couple of flukes?

Dunleavy picked the latter.

"He's had a bit of bad luck," Dunleavy said.

Gordon, the Clippers' first-round draft pick in June, sprained his right ankle during the night scrimmage Tuesday after stepping on a player's foot when he was going for a defensive rebound.

He was scheduled to be evaluated by a doctor.

Missing a week or so at this stage of camp isn't a huge setback.

"The thing is, it's early enough, so there's plenty of time," Dunleavy said. "Basically, as long as he stays and watches everything we're doing. Conditioning wise, he's in good shape."

Also missing the morning practice Wednesday was Marcus Camby, who is suffering from flu-like symptoms, the Clippers said.


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