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CLIPPERS FYI

Clippers could consider adding another big man

Chris Kaman played 37 minutes in Thursday's loss to Denver, but DeAndre Jordan is injured, and Jarron Collins, who had two rebounds in 11 minutes against Denver, is in camp on a non-guaranteed deal.

October 16, 2010|By Lisa Dillman

Now that there haven't been any Carmelo Anthony-to-the-Clippers rumors for a couple of weeks, it's time to get back to the pressing issue at hand.

Namely, the Clippers' bigs.

That would be Chris Kaman, who logged 37 minutes in Thursday's loss to the Denver Nuggets. There is DeAndre Jordan, who is injured, and Jarron Collins, who is in camp on a non-guaranteed deal. Collins played 11 minutes against Denver and had two rebounds.

So this begs the question: Are the Clippers, 1-4 in preseason, looking for another big man?

"We have interest in anyone that can help our team and explore avenues to improve our team and explore avenues to improve our roster on a daily basis," said Neil Olshey, vice president of basketball operations.

"We have no interest in players that make us look better getting off the bus because they happen to be 6-10," he said.

With two games in two days and three in four nights, the Clippers had an unusually long session of film and practice Friday. That was to be expected after their ragged performance and Coach Vinny Del Negro's postgame words in which he said their "intensity wasn't good enough."

He has continually spoken about hard work. But there is, of course, the difference between working hard and working smart.

"No question," Del Negro said. "The details, the little things that make a huge difference in games, we have to continually teach those every day and get away from the mistakes younger players make. And the sooner we can do that, the better chance we're going to have."

Injury updates

Del Negro said Jordan (strained right hamstring) won't play in the weekend games. Jordan, possibly, could play in the preseason finale Tuesday against Sacramento at Staples Center.

"It's too bad for him because it's just bad timing for him, from a development standpoint," Del Negro said.

The bench will be bolstered by Craig Smith, who had a full practice — contact and all — on Friday and said he is ready to return Saturday against Utah. He had off-season knee surgery, a relatively minor procedure, but the latest issue has been with his back.

"I think it was due to the fact I just jumped into training camp so fast after my surgery," Smith said. "When the knee goes, different things go."

He expanded upon that theory.

"I'm using my whole body, being in defensive stances, doing a bunch of sprints in training camp," Smith said. "I kind of compare it to, if you're a soldier and you just got out of surgery and you had to go to Afghanistan and fight in the war.

"And after Afghanistan you had to hop in the train and you got in a train crash."

Reflections

The power forward sitting in his car for a few extra moments Thursday night? That was Clippers rookie Blake Griffin.

Griffin, who missed all of last season because of a knee injury, was appreciative of what the game at Staples Center meant in the bigger picture. It was his first game at home in nearly a year.

"It's great to be back," Griffin said after the five-point loss to the Nuggets. "When I was pulling up today, I just kind of smiled. I was literally just sitting in my car, smiling.

"Last year, 41 times, I drove to the arena and put on a suit and sat and watched. So to actually be back and play is awesome."

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

twitter.com/reallisa

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