Sweet merciful crap! What is going on here?
It's just pre-season. And the fact that Chris Kaman is now 3 for 18 for 10 points to go with 10 turnovers in the three games is potentially disastrous.
But all that "It's just pre-season" stuff aside, can we all agree that depth is looking like less and less of a problem? The Clippers overcame a 17 point deficit, and erased 10 of it in the fourth quarter with the three rookies on the court.
Eric Gordon isn't going to make 5 threes in the fourth quarter of many games this season. He's not going to score 21 points in a quarter many times. But the very fact that he CAN - whether in pre-season or not - has got me, frankly, a little giddy. Did you see where he was shooting from? There were so many arcs drawn on the UoP court, I guess he wanted to make sure there was no doubt, so he just pulled up from three steps beyond the last one. The dude has got a stroke, doesn't he?
As for Mike Taylor, I just sent an eMail to Matt from Ridiculous Upside asking why this guy wasn't called up to an NBA team from the D-League last season. Seriously. Blake Ahearn? Andre Barrett? These are the point guards who got a look on NBA rosters last year. Where was Taylor? Can he possibly be this good? If he is, why did no one know it until now? No one can stay in front of him. He's getting layups (and a dunk in OKC) in crucial situations in the fourth quarter of close games. That is not supposed to happen. He even made like a point guard in this one: 9 assists and 3 steals, against only 3 turnovers, to go with his 21 points He's averaging over 18 a game in three pre-season games.
Anyone know what happened to Jason Hart? Eight minutes at the start of the game and that was it. And Gordon actually played the point for a couple minutes while Taylor was getting a rest in the fourth quarter. Of course Gordon pretty much just dribbled up and shot the ball. But still... he did dribble. It's hard to imagine that Taylor would supplant Hart on the depth chart based on pre-season, but at the same time you kind of have to start considering it if you're MDsr.
It's great to see Gordon have a monster performance after missing most of summer league and the first pre-season game. We've read the headlines about Jerryd Bayless and OJ Mayo having big games, and we've insisted that Gordon was every bit as good and was a steal at the seventh pick - but it's nice to have a little something backing that up. Say it again - it's just pre-season, and it doesn't mean a lot. But it means more than Bayless lighting up summer league. And it means he can score. Which is a good thing.
Hopefully the team will be at full strength on Saturday against the Raptors. The performance of the young guys has been incredibly positive. Now we need to get Camby out there, get Baron playing with his new teammates, and get Kaman back. There's plenty of work to be done. But the youth movement is certainly on track.