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CLIPPERS FYI

Clippers center Chris Kaman isn't close to coming back

Center says the team doesn't want to rush him back from an injured ankle and run the risk of injuring it again.

January 02, 2011|By Lisa Dillman
  • Clippers center Chris Kaman reacts to a foul in a game against Denver.
Clippers center Chris Kaman reacts to a foul in a game against Denver. (Ron Chenoy / US Presswire )

Now, a word, or two, from Chris Kaman.

This is almost shaping up as Kaman's (lost) wilderness season as he hasn't played in nearly a month since reinjuring his right ankle at Portland on Dec. 5.

To put it bluntly, the Clippers' starting center is not close to rejoining the lineup.

"It's a slow progress," Kaman said Sunday. "Since I came back and played and hurt it again, they're probably more wary of me coming back sooner. And they're probably going to make it later.

"I don't mean later. But in the sense that take more time with it and make sure that it's really ready and that I can put a lot of pressure on it. Go out there and play and not have to worry about it, or think about it. It's always in the back of your mind, especially after getting hurt the second time."

Man or machine?

The Atlanta Hawks did better against the Clippers' Blake Griffin as the game moved along Sunday, and of his 31 points, only six came in the fourth quarter.

There were the usual dunks, with one sure to get wide attention. It came in the first quarter as Baron Davis sent a no-look, alley-oop lob, which Griffin brought down with a one-handed dunk.

The Hawks' Josh Smith was duly impressed by Griffin.

"He's an animal," Smith told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after the game. "I think they put some machinery in his knee when he had the surgery."

Etc.

Clippers center DeAndre Jordan has 13 blocked shots in his last two games.

Jordan had a career-high seven blocks in the Clippers' loss to Utah on Wednesday, and seemed poised to pass that when he had five in the first half Sunday.

He finished with six blocked shots, 12 rebounds and six points.

"He's more confident," Griffin said of Jordan. "That's it. We see him do those things in practice. It's confidence. It's big for us. We need that."

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

twitter.com/reallisa

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