Reporting from Portland — He watched for a month, and, in the span of three days, played in a win and played in a loss.
The verdict? Baron Davis had positive things to say about the four-win Clippers after a careful evaluation. The point guard praised the energy of the youngsters and thought the team would eventually jell now that he has returned, along with center Chris Kaman.
"I know we're going to win more games as myself and Chris get in better shape and get more acclimated and get our rhythm," Davis said Friday after the Clippers lost at Denver, 109-104, in a foul-riddled affair.
"I know we're going to win a lot of games."
Other than one 10-minute appearance, Davis was out for a month because of a swollen left knee. And Kaman suffered a severely sprained left ankle on Nov. 9.
Two of the kids, however, filled the gap.
Eric Gordon has led the Clippers in scoring 14 times in 20 games, and has been in double figures 17 times, including 15 games with 20 or more points.
Rookie power forward Blake Griffin's numbers have been chronicled more often, averaging 20.6 points and 11.7 rebounds. His 17 points and 12 rebounds against the Nuggets were his seventh straight double-double and he has had 13 in all.
"It gave the guys an opportunity to step up and really do what they're capable of doing, and that's being dominant, especially for Eric and Blake," said Davis, who had eight points, six assists and two turnovers in nearly 20 minutes against the Nuggets.
"With me and Chris out, they've been carrying the load. So now it's a matter of us fitting in and establishing a system. Getting everybody to settle into a role, and continue to attack. I love this team. I love the way we're playing. I'm proud of these guys. We're going to get better."
The Clippers were careful with the minutes in Kaman's return, holding him under 13. He played just 2:05 in the second half.
Kaman went four for five from the field, scoring 10 points off the bench and adding six rebounds.
"Certain moves, and maneuvers I tried to do, hurt a little bit," Kaman said. "I didn't have the strength I wanted, but I'm just trying to take my time, see if there's open guys, open shots.
"I wish I could have been more help but I feel all right. I'll take it and try to get better each game. Hopefully it'll get stronger and heal up."
Some more numbers to ponder away from Staples Center.
Not only have the Clippers lost all nine of their road games this season — the Wizards are the only other team in the league also winless on the road — but they are 0-13, dating back to last season.
They lost their final four of last season and won just one of their final 16 road games, the victory coming March 25 at Houston. Craig Smith, incidentally, scored 25 points against the Rockets.
In 2006-07, the Clippers lost their first seven games on the road before breaking through at Memphis, on Dec. 9.