Under doctor's orders, Chris Kaman stayed away from his teammates Thursday.
Nothing against the Clippers' leading scorer, but that may have been the best call of the week. Kaman is suffering from a virus -- not flu, the team says -- and the last thing they need is for what he has to go spreading through the squad.
It's not a good thing if their numbers continue to hover around 10 and 11 players, at practice, and especially with a three-game trip coming up, starting at Oklahoma City on Sunday.
First, though, is tonight against Toronto. The Clippers are hopeful that Kaman will be back against the Raptors.
Kaman, who had 20 points and 11 rebounds in Wednesday's loss to the Thunder, struggled in the second half, and went two for seven from the field in the fourth quarter and had an especially costly turnover, an errant pass, in crunch time.
"We knew he was sick last night," Marcus Camby said. "Knowing him, he would never use that as an excuse. Those shots he normally makes. . . . He can't play great every night, which he has been doing."
Coach Mike Dunleavy said of Kaman's sickness: "It was one of those things I wish I knew two hours sooner. That could have been a factor. He missed five or six layups in the game."
The Clippers haven't won when second-year shooting guard Eric Gordon is out of from the lineup. Gordon (sore left groin) will be out, at minimum, five more games.
His value, at both ends of the floor, has only been reinforced this week.
"We miss him tremendously," Camby said. "I never thought we would miss him as much as we did. Obviously he's the one guy who has to be a constant for us. A guy like Eric is sorely missed for what he brings to the court."
It wasn't so long ago Camby was teammates with Allen Iverson in Denver.
Camby thought that his buddy, who is in limbo with Memphis, might return to the NBA instead of retiring.
"That's a strange situation," he said. "I haven't had the chance to talk with him. I hope he's still in Memphis when we get down there next week. I still think he has a lot left."
This wouldn't be the way Iverson exited, Camby thought.
"Not with all the controversy he had in Memphis and Detroit," Camby said. "I don't want anything to tarnish his legacy. I still feel he's a Hall of Famer."