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For Clippers, it's sit and miss

In four preseason games, Kaman, Camby and Davis have yet to play together.

October 19, 2008|Lisa Dillman | Times Staff Writer

Familiarity remains elusive for all of the Clippers' new moving parts.

In an ideal world, that would be the goal. But at this point, merely getting acquainted under game conditions would be a start as far as the Clippers' Chris Kaman is concerned.

"I keep telling Marcus [Camby] and Baron [Davis], 'Come on, you guys have got to play, so I can play with you and get used to playing with you,' " Kaman said after the Toronto Raptors defeated the Clippers, 93-89, Saturday night at Staples Center. It was their first loss in four preseason games.

How many games will Camby, Davis and Kaman get in together before the season starts Oct. 29?

"Maybe none. Who knows? Maybe I won't play with them at all until the season," Kaman said. "You deal with it."

In four preseason games, the three have not been in the lineup at the same time. Davis and Kaman both played in the preseason opener at Fresno, and Davis has been out since then because of the flu and a sprained ring finger on his left hand.

Davis said he will be seeing a hand specialist Monday.

Camby was slowed by the flu and, more recently, an injured right heel. And Tim Thomas has been sidelined since the preseason opener because of a strained groin.

"These guys need to play together," Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy said. "The guys that are here I'm pretty happy with what they're doing. That's great. But when three of the guys are penciled to be in the top eight [are out] . . . it's not as comforting."

And he said that before Toronto's two big men, Chris Bosh and Jermaine O'Neal, combined for 46 points and 20 rebounds. Bosh, playing nearly 36 minutes, had 26 points and 11 rebounds. Toronto is 4-2.

For the Clippers, Ricky Davis had 14 points and Al Thornton had 12. Rookie guard Eric Gordon finished with 10 points.

"Tonight, I thought we made some mistakes with the ball," Dunleavy said. "We just didn't have good spacing at times and it cost us."

Bosh talked about his new front-court running mate, who was acquired from the Indiana Pacers in the T.J Ford deal in the summer.

"He had pep in his step," Bosh said. "Throw it down, let him go to work. That's how it worked for me. People wrote him off, but he's back to his old self. We know we can shoot it, but we have to concentrate on defense, take the next step."

Said Kaman of Bosh and O'Neal: "I think it'll be offensively the best four-five combo in the league. I'm trying to think if there's anybody any better. Boston has [Kendrick] Perkins and KG [Kevin Garnett], but they don't have the offense they have there."

Meanwhile, back to Los Angeles and Camby.

"I think defensively it'll be tough when he gets back for people to score inside," Kaman said. " . . . I'm excited about the opportunity to be able to play with both of them because I think Marcus makes it easier on the defensive end and Baron makes it easier on the offensive end."

And speaking of one Baron Davis . . .

He sat in the dressing room afterward and spoke about the injury, which occurred when he landed on the hand in practice on Friday. X-rays did not show a break, and an MRI was inconclusive.

"It is what it is," Davis said. "It's hard. It doesn't feel good. It's not comfortable, not a comfortable feeling. . . . The good thing is that it is the preseason, so you can deal with all your bumps and bruises early."


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