What makes a center?

As shocking as it may sound, considering Chris Kaman’s underachieving debacle last year, it is a relevant Clipper conversation to wonder if Kaman can make the All-Star team. It is a possibility, but I wouldn’t bet on it.


The problem is that Yao Ming will get voted in as the Western Conference starting center, and the Suns’ Amare Stoudemire probably will be the backup. So where does that leave Kaman? Well, off the team. If Stoudemire were considered a power forward, then Kaman would have a shot. But as it stands, Stoudemire is listed as a center on the All-Star ballot, and that seriously hurts Kaman’s chances.

At least the league helped Kaman by moving Tim Duncan from center to forward, after he was listed as a center earlier in the season…

Patterson’s pain

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!


OK, Ruben Patterson’s right pinkie finger doesn’t look this bad. But it should be noted that he is playing with a dislocated pinkie on his shooting hand, and that could explain his dropsies and his misses around the basket this season. A few other guys are playing through injuries, too, but Patterson’s has seemed to have an obvious effect.

Here’s hoping that the rest of this Clipper season doesn’t become all about injury talk. Yes, they are banged up. But let’s just take it as a given that all NBA teams have to fight through injuries…

The Clippers’ domino effect

The Clippers had a glorious start to their season, winning their first four games. But now they’ve lost four of five, and it appears obvious what is happening: The Domino Effect.


With Elton Brand and Shaun Livingston out until at least February, that means the Clippers have 13 available players and there will be more wear on tear on their key players. So Cuttino Mobley, Corey Maggette and Al Thornton already have missed games. Quinton Ross also is hurt, and along with Mobley and Thornton, will be a game-time decision for Wednesday’s game against Denver. Maggette has been ruled out.

What is interesting is that the swingmen are going down. An assumption may have been made that the point guards with veterans Sam Cassell and Brevin Knight, would go down first, but so far that duo is OK. Maybe it’s just a matter of time before the dominoes hit them…

The Clippers’ mob boss

It has come to my attention from an observant colleague that Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy has a striking resemblance to New Jersey organized crime boss Tony Soprano.


Now, I’m not sure how close the two are in appearance, but the duo may share a similarity in defying tough odds. Tony Soprano — he survived the mob life even until the final episode of the Sopranos. Mike Dunleavy — he has gotten his superstar-less squad to 5-2 in the superstar-laden NBA.

Dunleavy is far from a perfect coach, but he deserves credit for getting a lot out of his roster. The other night against the Knicks, that was put on display as New York coach Isiah Thomas hardly got anything out of his roster, which actually isn’t as awful as many think. If Dunleavy were coaching the Knicks, here is one bet that they’d at least be in the hunt for the playoffs…

Clippers are holding serve

If we learned anything from their first two games, it was that the Clippers are good enough to hold serve. They can beat “teams they’re supposed to beat” when they’re at home.


However, the big question is how they will do on the road and if they will ever break serve? Can they beat teams “they’re not supposed to beat?”

The Clippers are in the midst of a three-game trip, and perhaps this trip will be more telling about where they stand than their first two wins.

A new Clipper mascot?

I have been promoting the idea of a Clipper mascot for years. One idea was “Clippy: The Seafaring Wonderdog.” Well, that idea only got some rolls of the eyes — and rightfully so. Yes, it is lame.

But this year, could there be a better mascot than Underdog??


The Clippers are back to their traditional role of perpetual underdogs. Maybe that role will help them steal a few extra wins when they’re taking too lightly.

Other than getting in touch with that role, not too much is happening on the Clipper front. A few guys have minor injuries, but it does not look like anyone key will be out for Friday’s opener.