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Los Angeles Clippers Getting Inside 2008-12-30

Los Angeles Clippers Getting Inside 2008-12-30
It likely will get gloomier before it gets better for the Clippers after the discovery that high-scoring forward Zach Randolph will miss at least two weeks and possibly more, due to an injured left knee.

"That (stinks)," Clippers point guard Baron Davis said.

With starting center Chris Kaman having already missed 14 games with an injured left foot, power forward Marcus Camby has masqueraded as the center and has averaged nearly 15 rebounds. But now, Camby is a man on an island.

"I don't know how long Zach is going to be out," Camby said, after the Clippers' loss to the Dallas Mavericks. "He was definitely missed out there (Sunday). And we definitely miss Chris. I need one of those bigs to come back and give me some help."

The Clippers' offense, which is predicated on a lot of isolation play, will suffer without Randolph, who is averaging over 23 points per game since joining the team in a trade from the New York Knicks.

Opposing teams now will load up on small forward Al Thornton, who likely will shift over to power forward, a position he played a lot as a rookie last year in the absence of Elton Brand. Opposing teams also will devote even more attention to Davis, who seems to be wearing down physically from the massive number of minutes that he is playing, and mentally from the mounting losses.

Davis said the offense needs to change now. He suggested that spreading the floor would create more opportunities to penetrate and provide drive-and-kick opportunities for shooters on the perimeter. Davis also said that Thornton could be given more post-up opportunities. Davis said he needed to personally be more aggressive in creating his own offensive opportunities.

Above all, however, the Clippers need to go forward with more purpose in turning around what presently is a dismal state.

"We just have to change our intensity," Davis said. "We have to play with enough fire. We play in spurts. Man, I don't know what to tell you."

At 8-21, the Clippers only are two games worse than last year, through 29 games. But the atmosphere feels much bleaker. It has the feeling of late last season, when the Clippers lost 26 of their final 30 games, or the 2003-2004 season, when they dropped 22 of their last 25 games.

"I've been through a couple of these in my career," Davis said. "Each one is a new experience where you learn something new about yourself, about your teammates, about the league."

MAVERICKS 98, CLIPPERS 76: Erratic shooting plagued the Clippers once more, as they misfired from the field, as well as the free-throw line, in losing for the 12th time in 15 home games. The Clippers shot 38 percent from the floor and missed nine of their 24 foul shots. Mardy Collins -- who made three of four field goals off the bench -- was the only one of 11 Clippers that played that made more than half of his field-goal tries.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 30, 2008


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