Absent Post Game Hampers Offense

Times Staff Writer

With Elton Brand sidelined, an obvious deficiency in the Clipper offense was visible in Monday night's 105-90 loss to the Houston Rockets.

While the Rockets fed the ball inside to center Yao Ming to set up their perimeter shooters, the Clippers had no inside presence. The Rockets made 49.4% of their shots, the Clippers 34.1%.

"We've run into stretches where we've had trouble scoring," said Coach Mike Dunleavy, whose team probably will have to wait at least two more weeks before Brand is back from a broken foot. "Part of that is because we don't have a go-to guy in the low post that you know is going to get you a good shot or is going to command a double-team that's going to get somebody [else] a good shot.

"Right now, because [opponents] don't have to come double-team us, we're not getting the free, wide-open looks that most teams will get. Shaq's [Shaquille O'Neal] going to get a bunch of open looks for guys. Yao's going to get a bunch of open looks for guys. [Kevin] Garnett's going to get open looks for guys.

"If you don't have that guy, you'd better do a whole lot of [other] things really, really well, because [otherwise] it's going to be a struggle."


Quentin Richardson, who sat out the last three quarters of Monday's game because of a sprained left ankle, sat out a light practice Tuesday at L.A. Southwest College while Marko Jaric participated. Both are listed as day to day.


Clipper executives, among them General Manager Elgin Baylor, will serve Thanksgiving meals to children and their families this morning at the Bread & Roses Cafe in Venice, which provides hot meals to the homeless.

This afternoon, also in Venice, Clipper players will distribute turkeys, food baskets, clothing and books at St. Joseph's Center, a nonprofit social service agency.

Information: (213) 742-7500.

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