Finding light in the gloom
Four games in five nights -- including one in overtime and another in double OT -- and two injuries in addition to two other long-standing ones and no apparent reinforcements on the horizon.
Just about time for Christmas for the Clippers.
Lest it all sound so gloomy and Grinch-like, well, it isn’t entirely so.
It has been an upgrade from the word “struggling” in the last couple of weeks. The Clippers, who were 2-2 on their mostly Midwestern trip and have won five of their last eight games, returned to Los Angeles and had a light day Sunday, mostly watching film.
Rookie point guard Mike Taylor suffered a broken right thumb in the second quarter Friday at Indianapolis and will be out for about six weeks, Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy said.
Additionally, forward Zach Randolph was bothered by a sore back in the blowout loss at Milwaukee on Saturday, but that was more of a case of heavy minutes in the previous games on the trip, not something expected to affect him tonight against Toronto.
The news regarding center Chris Kaman and swingman Ricky Davis is ambiguous and not immediately promising, respectively. Dunleavy said Kaman’s return could come either next week or after Jan. 1, and it appears as though Davis could be out through mid-January.
Kaman has been out because of a strained left arch and Davis has tendinitis of the left knee. Finding reinforcements, in the aftermath of the Taylor injury, would be Plan A. But that’s seemingly impossible with the glut of teams searching for help, not selling it. The prime example of that would be Phoenix, which will hold an open tryout today for point guards.
“We’re right there, as far as our ability. And we have a good group,” Dunleavy said. “I’ve got to figure out how to get better bench play.
“I think the overall components of what we have, you know, have started to round into shape. Guys are getting comfortable to where we really can compete and have a chance to go on a good run.
“We missed out a little on this trip, the Chicago [loss]. To me, the mental aspect of it is when you make mistakes, it costs you games. When you are sharp, it wins you games.”