Defense and rebounding win the day. Not a surprise on a team led by Mike Dunleavy. Marcus Camby is a Clipper--with a major chapeau to bballanalyst, who was apparently breaking down the Denver scenarios just as the trade went through.
One has to be fairly well-versed in Clipper personnel, or perhaps just a knowledgable German fan of Chris Kaman, to understand what a nice fit Camby is for the Clips. Kaman has very solid, rapidly evolving offensive skills, and provides about as much of a low-post target as any team needs. His rebounding is outstanding and his shot-blocking improved to solid levels. He is extremely athletic and mobile for a big man, and Dunleavy has often said that Kaman is virtually a power forward. Now we'll get to see the proof of that.
John R can take the reins of running Camby through the internet, which should prove to be a much more appetizing process than doing it with Zach Randolph. But Camby is a known quantity. He's one of the two or three best rebounders in the league. Unless I'm mistaken, he's the best shot blocker in the NBA and has been for a while now. Most importantly for the Clips, he's a solid, proven NBA frontline starter. The Clippers now have a starting lineup, and they still have some money to spend.
Camby also happens to be a Clipper killer. He was a horrendous matchup for Kaman for Kaman's first few years in the league, and my own impression when the Clips played Denver (leading up to the playoff matchup and then the AI era) was that Camby got every rebound, a routine 20+ per game, and also made every shot. As Clippers fans, we've seen that Camby is quite proficient in hitting the perimeter shot when he's left alone.
Camby also represents the type of player that I was looking for DJordan to evolve towards, a big man who protects the paint and the rim and gets rebounds. It's hard to think of a better example. And the timing of Camby's two-year deal not only adds to the Clips 2010 capspace account, but it will also give DJordan a good amount of time to develop.
This is great news, and it should be interesting to see how the analysis of Camby vs. FElton plays out--there has been a fair amount of grumbling about FElton's real ability and productivity after the 06-07 drop and 07-08 injury, and some discussion that the Clips might be better off not maxing out FElton. So now the Clips have replaced the defense and rebounding side of the equation with this very solid, completely cost-effective move, which for me at least is infinitely more exciting than trading for the overpaid Zach Randolph. Camby, in fact, seems to be the anti-Zach Randolph. And now the Clippers have a starting lineup.
Another thing to mention: Baron Davis has gone to the playoffs six times, and he engineered one of the great upsets in playoff history. And he has never played on a team with big men able to rebound and defend like Chris Kaman and Marcus Camby.
Just another Clipper Tuesday.