Even with injuries, Baylor has been disappointed

Times Staff Writer

Elgin Baylor followed Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy’s suit a day earlier, labeling the team’s season as disappointing.

“It’s been a disappointing season -- no doubt about that,” Baylor, the team’s vice president of basketball operations, said at Friday’s practice. “The expectations going into the season, with the team we had, we believed we were talented enough to win. Even knowing that [Elton] Brand was out and Shaun Livingston was out.

“We haven’t played as well as we thought we would play. Certainly injuries have played a part in it.

“It’s been disappointing, but we aren’t going to give up. We are going to continue to play as hard as we can and hopefully win some ballgames.”


The Clippers, who have lost nine of 10 games, will be looking for their first win of the new year when they face the Dallas Mavericks.

“I still think even with the injuries we’ve had, we can still win some ballgames,” Baylor said. “We just need to believe that and go out there and play as hard as we can and continue to work hard.

“You can talk about it, but you have to believe that.”

Baylor, said as of now, a trade would be difficult to pull off. But discussions probably will progress as next month’s trading deadline nears.

“It would be very difficult to make a trade to get equal value with someone to come in and help us,” he said. “That’s not going to stop us from trying to improve the team. But it would be difficult at this point of time. I think near the trade deadline, some teams would be willing to move people for various reasons, cap reasons, salary reasons and different reasons.”

As in many recent games, the Clippers played the Mavericks close before faltering down the stretch in a 102-89 loss Dec. 21 at Dallas.

But close doesn’t equal wins.

“We played a good game, but good isn’t good enough,” Dunleavy said. “It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past, you have to be tight [against the Mavericks]. You can’t have any turnovers or give them easy buckets. They have guys that can run the floor easily and when you don’t give them easy buckets, their half-court game is really good.”

Center Chris Kaman, averaging a career-high 39.3 minutes, did not practice Friday so he could rest.



vs. Dallas, 7:30, Ch. 5

Site -- Staples Center.

Radio -- 710.

Records -- Clippers 10-22, Mavericks 25-11.

Record vs. Mavericks -- 0-1.

Update -- Dirk Nowitzki scored 30 points and Devin Harris 21 in Dallas’ win over the Clippers last month.