Remember last season? Remember how every time we thought the Clippers injury situation couldn't get any worse, it always did? Remember how we went into the season thinking maybe Elton Brand might possibly be back in January and play 40 games or so? And how instead he played 8? Remember how we hoped that Shaun Livingston might be back after the All Star break? And how the next time he played in an NBA game it was in a Miami Heat uniform? (By the way, will Gatorade continue airing the 'good angel/bad angel' commercial with Dwyane Wade blowing past his new teammate?)
Just as we literally never got a chance to see Brand play alongside Kaman 2.0, it's beginning to feel like we won't ever see Camby and Kaman. Or Baron Davis in a Clippers uniform in Staples Center.
Obviously I'm exaggerating, but when Camby missed the first pre-season game because of the flu, we were all a tad disappointed. "That's too bad - I was looking forward to seeing him and Kaman together. But it's just the flu - he'll be on the court soon enough." A bruised heel took care of that idea. "No big deal. It's just pre-season. Sure it would be nice to have him play with his new teammates, but he'll be ready for the opener with the Lakers." Well, guess what? It's Monday, the opener is two days away, and Camby still isn't practicing. So while I'm fairly confident we'll see him play SOME DAY, it's starting to feel eerily familiar. After all, when Elton Brand ruptured his Achilles in August 2007, nobody dreamed that he would never - repeat never - again play alongside Chris Kaman. Think about this - the Clippers gave Kaman his 5/$52M extension in October 2006 with the idea that he and Elton Brand would form an imposing frontcourt for all five of those seasons. In fact, they never played a single game together under that contract.
Speaking of the flu, the Baron Davis situation has been similarly insidious. He stayed in LA during a pre-season road trip because of that same flu bug. When Mike Taylor and Eric Gordon responded to the opportunity to play more minutes with huge games and led the team to consecutive fourth quarter victories, it looked like a blessing in disguise. "Sure, Baron and his new teammates need some court time together. But the rookies looked great, and Baron will be back soon. It's just the flu." Now he's dealing with a partially torn tendon in his left ring finger, and it's still not certain that he'll be ready for the opener.
According to MDsr "We've pretty much got Plan A and Plan B, right? Baron plays or doesn't play." In other words, plan B is to lose.
With only two days of practice left, Baron did not participate in contact drills on Sunday. Hopefully the team is just being extra cautious. SURELY Baron won't miss the opener, his debut in his home town, against the LAKERS, on NATIONAL TV!