Maybe it’s the constant double-teams off the ball, or maybe it’s just a mechanical burp, but Elton Brand’s jump shot has been off the past week or so.  Whatever the cause, Elton has gone to more of these little dribble-drives, and it’s working.  I’ve never understood why Elton doesn’t use his agility against big men more often.  He’s got the quicks to take Jeff Foster off the dribble anytime he wants, and the size to dribble in a couple of feet, then shoot over a perimeter defender if he’s lucky enough to draw a guard off the switch.  I’m not suggesting that the Clips abandon their post game, but varying Elton’s station on the floor is an effective way to keep opposing defenses honest.  To be sure, it’s a lot easier when Chris Kaman is playing well.

The Clippers generated 27 FGAs and 13 FTAs for Brand and Kaman collectively against a team whose frontcourt defenders have a pretty good reputation, despite their recent woes.  The key stat is Kaman’s one turnover against all those touches.  One of the goals we had for Kaman at the outset of the season was cutting that turnover rate down to about 12 per 100 possessions.  Though he’s managed to shave last year’s 16.4 rate down to 16.2, he’s got a long way to go.  Chris’s turnover rate last night?  5.81.  Throw in a couple of steals, a couple of blocks, 4-5 from the line, and you’ve got a solid outing…despite the humiliating Tinsley between-the-wickets moment. 

Maybe it’s a stretch, but I can’t help but wonder if the Clippers’ best defensive game of the season had anything to do with Daniel Ewing’s being on the court for 31 minutes.  I know Jamaal Tinsley managed 15 shots, but Ewing picked his pocket repeatedly and Tinsley could generate absolutely nothing for anyone else on the floor.  Ewing is a dogged on-ball defender, and the Tony Parker matchup on Monday night should be really interesting.