Clipperblog anticipated bringing you a breakdown of Elton Brand's boffo 15-point first quarter, highlighted by a 7-9 jackrabbit start in the game's first five minutes, but forgot to set the Tivo.  With no FSN replay[1], we'll just have to pontificate without the benefit of game tape, though Clipperblog will be deprived a narrative of Mike Smith's New Years Eve plans.  If we had the game tape in frame-by-frame, we'd see Elton muscling Jared Jeffries for prime position just off the block, giving himself enough space either to drive --- which he did remarkably [and should do more often] --- or shoot his face-up jumper.  Because Elton is an undersized PF [remember that Jeffries has at least two, probably three inches on Elton], getting him floor space is vital.  This afternoon, Elton had the run of the place and finished 13-18 from the field, 6-7 from the line, for 32 points.  Defensively, Elton was beastly, racking up a career-high eight blocks.  While I can't be certain because I'm a non-Tivo-setting dolt, it seemed as if a good number of those rejections came in help situations.   As a team, the Clippers blocked 16.  Just to put that in some numerical context: The Knicks hit 29 shots from the floor, but the Clippers blocked 16.  That's an ungodly ratio.

Shaun's aggressiveness on both ends is apparent from wherever you're watching the game.  I realize it wasn't the second inbound in Game 5 against Phoenix, but coming out of the timeout at 3:35/4th after the Knicks had cut it to ten --- with the full starting lineup back on the floor --- Shaun fearlessly took a 16-footer, a shot he never would've taken four weeks ago in that situation. Kaman didn't break double-digits today, but was almost always where he needed to be offensively.  If you think Elton's ridiculous numbers and the amount of space he's getting on the left block dating back to the Utah game are a coincidence, think again. That old symbiosis between Chris and Elton is starting to reemerge.  Defensively, Kaman is on his way to becoming a reasonably adequate interior defender.  Look, Chris is never going to be Dave Cowens, okay.  But do you remember how disoriented he was at the start of last season? 

Cat has hit 8 of his past 16 shots from beyond, a good sign heading into the road trip.  Last winter while Maggette was out, before the Vlad acquisition, Cat was a real force of stability for the Clippers on those winter trips back east[2].   The Clips will need him next week, too. 



[1] There's something to be said for a cable network whose only other programming comprises high school football roundtables and serial reruns of a Chris Kaman hunting trip. 

[2] 28, 16, 18, 20, 10, 27 on that 4-2 road trip vs. MIA/ORL/BOS/TOR/NY/DET.