If Chris Kaman makes his 2009 debut tonight and spends time on the floor with Zach Randolph, which is what is supposed to happen, keep an eye on the right block.
Kaman and Camby were quite effective together for a dozen games in November. They were clearly the Clippers two best players during that stretch, and worked off of each other well. Likewise, Camby and Randolph have been effective together. MDsr expressed the same things to Lisa Dillman yesterday.
So there's a logic that says the Kaman and Randolph will be good together also. Call it the cummutative property of bigs. A+B=Good, B+C=Good, ergo A+C=Good.
Of course, it's not so simple. Kaman and Randolph are both talented players. And contrary to his reputation, Randolph has not struck me as an overly selfish offensive player as a Clipper. He's made some very good and unselfish passes as the double has come, feeding the likes of Camby and a cutting Al Thornton. But there are clearly more issues with the Kaman - Randolph permutation.
For one thing, Camby is not a featured scorer. Since there's only the one basketball, the offensive side of the floor is where most incompatibilities emerge. Camby is a good passer and not a one-on-one scorer. He's not likely to be a bad fit.
Kaman isn't the high-volume scorer that Randolph is, and has spent most of his career as the second option in the post after Elton Brand, so it's not like we're talking about integrating Randolph and Dirk Nowitzki. But still, Kaman does need more touches than Camby, so distribution alone could be an issue.
More important though is a simple question of real estate. Zach Randolph is left handed. Kaman makes most of his post moves to his left hand. Both players have spent most of their NBA careers on the low right block, where they can spin into the lane to their left hand. Kaman spent four seasons on the right block with Brand on the left block. Then he spent last season as the only post option. Randolph, on the other hand, gives the impression that he is infinitely superior on the right block. I say gives the impression because I really don't know - I don't think I've ever seen him anywhere else.
So the first time they come down the floor together, let's see who gets to pitch their tent on that the low right block. I'm guessing it will be Randolph, and Kaman will be required to develop his left block game.