Older players take longer to heal, so there's no telling when Sam will return from plantar fascitis, a real mother of an injury that hobbled Tim Duncan much of last season. The conventional wisdom on plantar fascitis is that a reducation of minutes doesn't do much to help – it's an all or nothing proposition.
How will the math work? As we've already witnessed, Daniel Ewing will take a good number of Sam's minutes, probably 10 or so a night. On top of that, Mobley will likely see another 4-5 minutes – remember that Dunleavy liked to play Shaun and Cassell together in the backcourt. The only good news to come out of the injury is that the recent defensive lapse may be attenuated by Cassell's absence. Poor Sam, who has never been mistaken for Sidney Moncrief, has pretty much been a cipher on defense this season. But whatever benefit the Clips may derive on the defensive end from Sam's absence will nullify itself offensively, because Sam has been their best jump shooter over the past two seasons. Anyone notice how the Clippers slide has coincided with the deterioration of Sam's heel?
It's a bad situation that can be alleviated only by the addition of a jump shooter. This isn't a case of a prolonged slump, like we often see in baseball, where a team "just isn't hitting." And barring Tim Thomas returning to his playoff glory, opponents are going to continue to play the Clippers below 17 feet or so until the Clips can prove they can win from outside.