I stopped by Playa Vista today for the Clippers' shootaround in advance of tonight's final pre-season game, the dress rehearsal for the season if you will. You know, I wasn't in practices last year, but I've heard stories. This team is loose - as Jack Black might say, "loosey-goosey baby, loosey-goosey". (But let's hope they're not, as Billy Zane might say "limber, too limber.")
I chatted withSr. for a few minutes after the walk through ended. Here's what he had to say:
- Marcus Camby was participating in shooting drills at the end of the shootaround when I was there, but that's the first court time he's seen since Craig Smith landed on his ankle a week ago. He hasn't practiced yet, won't play tonight against the Hornets, and coach doesn't know what his status will be for opening night. It's possible that he could be out, on restricted minutes, or that he'll be fine. Other than Marcus, everyone is available to play tonight.
The most telling sight at the shootaround, other than the aforementioned loose and upbeat feeling of the group, was
Baron Davis, once again drilling with assistant coach John Lucas after most everyone else had left the gym. Lucas sets up three cones beyond the three point arc - one straightaway, and one on either wing - and Baron starts under the hoop. Lucas drops a ball at one of the cones, and Baron must collect the ball behnid the arc before it bounces a second time, then make a move and finishes at the rim in one dribble. If it doesn't sound that tough, try it yourself. Lucas, as we suspected at the time he was hired, has become Baron's mentor. As Lisa Dillman reported last week, when people talk about an unmotivated and out of shape Baron Davis from last year, Lucas doesn't recognize that guy. The test will of course be the regular season, but Baron is putting in the time in pre-season, that much is certain. He's the only Clipper to have played in all seven pre-season games.