A couple times a year, a bad team will just hand you a basketball game. Memphis did and the Clips accepted. Memphis turned the ball over all night, but it wasn't as if the Clippers were doing a superlative job pressuring the ball.
When the Clippers were clicking on offense, it was because Chris Kaman was able to set up shop in the low post. I can't recall a game this season during which Kaman was so free to do whatever he wanted down on the block. But tonight, he was catching entry passes about seven feet from the hoop. And on the off-chance that Chris was further out, he was able to devour Mlicic and whomever the Grizz through on the double-team. At 7:13 in the 4th, the Clips ran Dan Dickau on a low screen, which left a Kyle Lowry-Mlicic double-team for Chris to feast on. Over the past ten days or so, Dunleavy has been running interference with his little guards down low for Kaman, and it's working because sets like these are yielding PG-off/balanced Center doubles for Chris.
With Patterson's departure and Thomas' gimpiness, Al Thornton should be getting more minutes in the coming weeks. While there's some sense in the Clips going small, Thornton gives up a lot defensively against guys like Hakim Warrick. I'm not sure what the solution is. Do you let Thornton cover Lamar Odom tomorrow night? It's a real compromise.
Los Angeles Clippers forward Elton Brand this week took the next step in his recovery from surgery on his ruptured Achilles tendon. Brand went for a checkup in Delaware, where he had his surgery, and he was cleared to begin dribbling and taking stationary shots. "We are pretty much still with the original plan," said Dr. Craig Morgan, who performed the surgery at Christiana Care's Wilmington Hospital. "The rest of his rehabilitation is going to be getting his strength back." Brand, who suffered the injury during a regular offseason workout in August in Southern California, is set to begin the new activities Monday, according to the Los Angeles Times, which first had the report. A normal timetable for recovery from Achilles tendon injuries is about a year, but Brand is targeting February 2008 for his return. Morgan said Brand would need to have about 90 percent of his overall strength in his left Achilles tendon before he would be cleared to practice. Right now, he's at about 75 percent. "He looks good," Morgan said. "He is right on schedule." Brand, who was able to shed his walking boot in later October, has been able to participate in advanced elliptical and treadmill cardiovascular conditioning and aqua-therapy. He also has been on an upper-body strength program, along with rehabilitation of the injury itself.
A late-February return would be interesting. I'm dying to see Kaman Version 2.0 playing alongside a rehabilitated Elton.