Baron Davis questionable to return

Baron Davis was to the locker room with a bruised tailbone after falling very hard on his tailbone midway through the second quarter and is questionable to return.

He was able to get up and walk off under his own power, but came out of the game while Denver guard Dahntay Jones was shooting free throws and headed straight to the locker room.

Davis was called for a foul on the play. He was undercut while in the air and fell directly on his tailbone. He did not brace himself with either hand, presumably because he’s still nursing a partially torn ligament in his left ring finger.

UPDATE: Davis’ injury is now being termed a sore left hip instead of a bruised tailbone.

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Jordan could see time in D-League

Rookie center DeAndre Jordan was inactive again tonight, which makes you wonder whether he’s a candidate to be sent to the D-League at some point.

“Yeah, it’s possible he could do that,” coahc Mike Dunelavy said before the game. “Basically with DeAndre, he’s a rookie and he’s got a lot to learn yet.

“We really have been pleased by what he’s done and how hard he works but there’s such a curve. A lot of these guys come in and they haven’t seen different sets around the league, it doesn’t come automatically to them. You got to experience it a little more, in his case.”

Would Dunleavy consider the same thing for rookie guard Mike Taylor?

“Probably not. He’s played well and we need three point guards at all times because somebody could get injured,” Dunleavy said.

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Answers Part I

3 Questions:

– What’s wrong with Chris Kaman??? He’s been horrible.

– How did the team react to Baron’s “team meeting” after the Laker game?

– What was the mood in practice?

I’m just going to answer your first one since a couple others asked similar questions later on…

I don’t know that I’d agree Kaman has been “horrible.” To be honest, I don’t think it’s fair to judge him after exhibition and one regular season games when he’s constantly teaming with a new point guard, teammates, etc. And, he has yet to play with Marcus Camby. Basically, I think Chris started slowly and didn’t turn it on in the first couple of games, which he admitted to, but he’s had a couple decent games since. For Chris to be successful though, the Clippers have to have a consistent, concerted effort to feed him the ball in the low post and let him work. There has been no consistency to this first part of the season.

Humiliation can either break you down or it can make you stronger. What is the overall mindset of the team heading into Friday evening’s game?

As for the mood of the team after Wednesday’s drubbing and Baron’s team meeting, I’d say it was subdued. Hard to tell if it was head-between-the-tail subdued, or just we-got-embarrassed-on-national TV subdued. But my general experience has been that when an athlete is embarrassed, they generally tend to shut up and focus inward on the issues until they solve them. These guys get paid a lot of money, but they still have pride. And when that pride is undercut, by a loss like that, all attention is generally directed inward, rather than outward. Hence my perception that they were subdued in the locker room after the game and at practice on Thursday.

Does Camby have a target date for his return?

He said after Thursday’s practice that his target date is Monday. There is about a 2 percent chance he’d play before that, but he’s mentioned on more than one occasion how it would be tough to come back on a back-to-back, which the Clippers have Friday and Saturday.

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B-Diddy expects to play opening night

Here’s the story I just filed advancing the Clippers season opener Wednesday night.

By Ramona Shelburne
Staff Writer

PLAYA VISTA — Hold the parade and the “Welcome Home” dinners for a little while.

Baron Davis is back in his hometown, a newly-minted 65 million-dollar-man, and yes, he will most likely play in Wednesday night’s season opener against the Lakers after missing nearly three weeks with a finger injury.

But he wants all the hoopla put on ice for a while.

“I want to establish myself and set my mark. I just want to get to the season and see what I got to offer, then let the city get a glimpse of what we have in store in the years to come,” the former Crossroads High and UCLA star said Tuesday after going through a complete practice for the first time in nearly three weeks.

“I ain’t throwing any parties or welcome home dinners. There’s a certain way to do this. I want to do the work first before I take credit for anything. I haven’t done anything yet but just come to the Clippers.”

With himself and forwards Tim Thomas and Marcus missing virtually all of training camp with an assortment of injuries, Davis knows that might take a little while.

A murderous early season schedule doesn’t make it any easier. The Clippers play 12 of their first 15 games against teams that made the playoffs last season.

“The most important thing is for us just to be patient with each other as a team, knowing that we’re going to hit some bumps and lumps early because we lost the preseason,” Davis said.

“Really everybody is new because no one has played with each other before. So it’s going to take some time. We can develop an attitude and an identity early and once we establish that it’s just about building on it.”

That said, Davis’ early season goals are modest. He’s hoping for at least five games over .500 by the All-Star break, keeping the team in playoff contention but also allowing room for growing pains.

In keeping with that theme, Davis said he’s thinking of leaving his beard long, at least in the beginning of the season.

The beard, which made him something of a cult figure up in the Bay Area when he led the Golden State Warriors to their shocking first round upset of the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks two seasons ago, helps to remind Davis that success in the NBA is a “struggle” and a “grind.”

“I was going to switch up my look and have a clean cut when I came to L.A., but I might keep it for opening night,” he said. “It’s like my little protective layer, letting me know that I’m still in the struggle. I’ve been hurt, I’ve been in the grind. So I might leave it for opening might. Once we get rolling, maybe I’ll cut it off.”

Injury updates: Thomas (groin) is also probable for Wednesday night’s game. He was able to complete the entire practice Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s there. I’m moving and doing pretty much everything I want to do on the court,” Thomas said. “The hardest part is just wearing the protective pieces the staff has given me to protect it. I kind threw that away and just went with it today. It’s just mind over matter right now. Its a sleeve that keeps it warm or whatever, but it’s just uncomfortable.”

Marcus Camby (bruised heel) is doubtful. He has yet to return to practice, doing mostly running and shooting on a side court.

“I think Baron and Tim will play, but I’m still very doubtful on Marcus,” Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. “He’s out until he can show that he’s ready to go. He’s doing a lot of underwater treadmill stuff, trying to keep conditioning that way.”

Davis will play with his left, non-shooting ring finger taped to his middle finger, and splinted with a hard plastic sheath.


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