An NBA team’s media day isn’t unlike the first day of school. Although nothing of consequence happens, the two-hour photo shoot and schmoozefest mark the start of the NBA season. The official training camp roster is handed out like a syllabus. Players and beat writers who haven’t seen one another in months exchange hugs. And from this day on, each rostered player is the property of his NBA team. Voluntary workouts are now mandatory, and the real basketball course work begins.
A few observations from Staples Center:
“Crack,” Davis said in jest, before attributing his svelte physique to a summer regimen that had him either in the gym or in Asia — both sure-fire ways to drop LBs.
Nobody professes to be more excited about Davis’ conditioning than Mike Dunleavy. “At times last season I thought — because of conditioning — that he got tired and settled for too many 3-point shots,” Dunleavy said. “I’ve been in the gym with him and he’s worked all summer.”
Dunleavy recounted a playoff series he called while Baron was still with Charlotte. “Power forward/point guard” was how Dunleavy remembered describing Baron at the time, a nod to Baron’s ability to use size and strength to overpower smaller PGs.
Dunleavy and Davis might disagree about the extent to which a half-court offense requires structure, but that doesn’t mean that Davis isn’t a Dunleavy-kind-of-guard. If you quantify Davis’ offensive production during his best years in Golden State, he did most of his damage as a scorer from the left elbow, where he either backed opposing guards, exploded past mismatched defenders, or made eye-popping passes out of the double-team.
Skeptics will insist that temperament trumps all, and that a Baron Davis-Mike Dunleavy marriage is doomed to failure. But if each can cede between 10 possessions per game to the other guy’s way of doing things, the situation is workable, particularly now with Eric Gordon on the other wing, a couple of corner threats, and bigs who can run the floor.
Blake Griffin: Controlling the floor at Staples
(Photo by Kevin Arnovitz/Clipperblog)
The Clippers open their preseason schedule Sunday evening in Oakland against Golden State.