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CLIPPERS FYI

Kaman draws praise, gives it back to Camby and Davis

Camby says the center has been playing 'all-star type basketball' all season long, while Davis says he thinks Kaman is just starting to realize how dominating he can be on the floor.

December 18, 2009|By Lisa Dillman
  • Although the Spurs won the game, Clippers center Chris Kaman (19 points, 10 rebounds, no turnovers) put up better numbers than San Antonio's Tim Duncan (21 points, three rebounds, three turnovers) in their game last week.
Although the Spurs won the game, Clippers center Chris Kaman (19 points,… (Harry How / Getty Images )

Reporting from New York — And now, a word or two, from Chris Kaman.

The Clippers, in particular, were talking about Kaman's standout season after his double-double performance (23 points, 10 rebounds) against Minnesota on Wednesday.

Marcus Camby, who had his own double-double (10 points and 18 rebounds), said that Kaman had been playing "all-star type basketball" all season long.

Point guard Baron Davis said he thought Kaman was just starting to realize how dominating he could be on the floor.

Camby's presence looms large for Kaman.

"Last year, I loved at the beginning of the year being on the floor the same time as Marcus, and then I got hurt and wasn't able to finish the season at all," said Kaman, who was limited to 31 games in 2008-09.

Said Camby: "It's easy when you throw the ball down there -- he [Kaman] is going to score at will.

"So you have to double team, and when you double team he's making the conscious effort to pass the ball out and spread the floor out a lot."

Kaman echoed what he had said about Davis earlier in the season. Davis had a season-high 13 assists, at Minnesota.

"Baron does a great job of distributing the basketball -- he's got so much talent and ability," Kaman said. "He's gotten so much better."

The difference from last season to this one, specifically?

"Getting more crafty and tricky with the basketball," Kaman said.

That has not carried over to three-point range, however. Davis was one for six from there Wednesday and is shooting 29.4% from three-point range and 39% overall this season.

Davis and his mentor, assistant coach John Lucas, are using the word "almost" in terms of Davis getting exactly where he needs to be, in terms of fitness.

"I've been staying after practice, just working on my game, figuring I need to get in better condition so I can be a better defender out there on the floor," Davis said.

"Even though I feel I'm in great shape, to play the way we've been playing. But we don't want to play like that. We want to play a lot faster, a lot more aggressive, in-your-face defense. It starts with me.

"I've been willing to put in the extra work in practice and it's starting to show, starting to pay off. I think it's starting to help everybody else."

Davis and Kaman were rarely healthy at the same time last season.

"People don't realize that Chris and I never really played with each other," Davis said. "When we were playing together . . . we were never 100% to play together.

"The centers I've played with in my career, I think he is, all-around, the most skilled. He has the most potential. The one thing I'm not going to let him do is let him settle for anything less than being what he can be."

Etc.

Second-year center DeAndre Jordan was inactive against the Timberwolves, following the pattern of Monday's game at home against Washington.

The first, and most obvious, question: Was Jordan hurt again?

No.

"Based on matchups and practice play -- Brian Skinner had played really well in practice, and so we kind of gave him a chance and he did a nice job [against Washington], 11 rebounds in 12 minutes," Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy said.

The Clippers left for New York after the Minnesota game and didn't get to their hotel until close to 4 a.m. Thursday.

They held a brief walk-through, along with some light shooting, in the afternoon.

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

twitter.com/reallisa

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