Lisa Dillman at the LA Times reports that Chris Kaman could see action….soon:
Kaman has missed the last 42 games this season with the Clippers because of plantar fasciitis of his left foot.
His projected return almost has been a moving target, pushed back so long, so often that Kaman almost became the forgotten man…
“At the beginning, it was really frustrating for me,” said Kaman, who was averaging 13.9 points and 9.4 rebounds before the injury. “Because I was uncertain when I was going to play. Knowing now what I know, I wish I could have known back then how long it was going to be.
“I have to be patient. I can’t really complain or do anything about it. Just wait and let it heal and take my time, not overdo it.
“Obviously it [stinks] but there’s nothing I can do about it, got to try to get back into shape now and get ready to play. I’m looking down the road and not looking behind me.”
Kaman was just getting over a four-day bout with flu, which set him back. He had traveled with his teammates to Phoenix last week before getting sick.
On Tuesday, he was doing some spot-shooting at the Clippers’ training facility, a bit of running and some half-court activity. He thinks he could be back in the lineup, ready for game action, in about two weeks.
That possibly would have him returning against Cleveland on March 10 and the chance to get in the final 19 games of the season.
This would allow Coach Mike Dunleavy to unleash his three-big man experiment, trying to split time among the likes of Kaman, Marcus Camby and Zach Randolph.
At this point, Kaman’s return is more important as a showcase for his talents than for anything he might offer the Clippers on the court by way of production. In a league bereft of big men, the Clippers have three legitimate frontcourt starters. This luxury — along with Eric Gordon — represents one of their biggest assets as they retool in the offseason. The more Kaman can demonstrate as an NBA center over those last 19 games, the more leverage the Clippers will have to swing a good deal, whether Kaman or Camby is the trading chip.
I still believe a Camby-Randolph-Kaman frontcourt would be a disaster against all but the slowest of teams, no matter how tirelessly Camby tries to defend the perimeter. But with the season lost and the Clippers already playing hellacious defense, the “Big Three Experiment” is far too alluring to be dismissed. If the Clippers can’t be a winner this season, then they should at least try to be a curiosity. Whatever else the “Big Three Experiment” might be, it’s a compelling entertainment product for a certain kind of basketball fan.