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Kaman Will Be Eased Into Lineup

Times Staff Writer

Chris Kaman, expected to come off the injured list next week, will be slowly integrated back into the lineup while Chris Wilcox continues to start at center for the Clippers, Coach Mike Dunleavy indicated Friday.

“Kaman probably will come off the bench,” Dunleavy said of his 7-foot, second-year center, sidelined because of a sprained left ankle. “I don’t think he’s going to be ready to be a starter right away....You kind of see how play goes. Sometimes it’s matchups and in some cases size. Kaman’s more a center than Wilcox is, but Wilcox has done very well....

“It’s not like a guy can come back and be ready to play big minutes right away, so you just kind of ease into stuff and see how it develops.”

The 6-10 Wilcox, usually a reserve forward, has averaged 18.2 points, seven rebounds and 34.3 minutes through the season’s first six games.

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Kaman last season was the only Clipper to play in all 82 games. He started 61 of them and averaged 6.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 22.5 minutes.

He is eager to return.

“I hate sitting out and watching these guys practice,” he said. “But most of all, I hate watching them play in the games, seeing them running up and down when I’m not playing. The worst part is, I’m getting out of shape just sitting here. I’m not able to run or anything....I’m going to have to start all over.”

TONIGHT

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at Chicago, 5:30 PST, Channel 5

Site -- United Center.

Records -- Clippers 3-3, Bulls 0-3.

Record vs. Bulls (2003-04) -- 1-1.

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Update -- Illinois native Corey Maggette averaged 31 points on 55.9% shooting last season against the Bulls, who nevertheless ended a seven-game losing streak against the Clippers with a 114-110 overtime victory April 2 at Chicago.


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