Dunleavy’s team is wrapped around Davis’ finger
He could have spoken about a handful of scenarios in play for Wednesday’s season opener against the Lakers, but for Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy, it’s down to two options and all about one $65-million point guard.
“We’ve pretty much got Plan A and Plan B, right?” Dunleavy said. “Baron plays or doesn’t play.”
That remains the burning question hanging over the Clippers, and Baron Davis’ status wasn’t made much clearer after Sunday’s practice. Davis, who continues to wear a splint on his sprained left ring finger, and Tim Thomas (strained groin) participated in some aspects of training but were kept out of anything involving contact.
There are other concerns. Marcus Camby (bruised right heel) is behind Davis and Thomas in terms of progress and didn’t play a minute in the preseason. His appearance in any of the games this week would be a genuine surprise.
Dunleavy was asked whether two more days of practice would be enough for Davis, the clock racer.
“Has to be. That’s all we’ve got,” he said.
This was the Clippers’ first practice since Friday’s clunker of an exhibition finale against the Denver Nuggets, a glacial-paced foul fest. Dunleavy kept the locker room closed for nearly half an hour afterward and aired his discontent. The polite version would be what he called a “long discussion” with the team.
“I was pretty disappointed with the way we played,” he said. “It has nothing to do with the guys that are out. It’s what we didn’t do.”
Dunleavy came close to canceling Saturday’s scheduled day off and bringing the players in to practice but thought better of it. Perhaps it was more advantageous to let them think about the mental mistakes and missed box-outs -- all of which presumably were featured in Sunday’s lengthy film session before they hit the court.
“Film doesn’t lie, that’s for sure,” Dunleavy said. “Part of it, I’m hoping, was a combination of five games in seven nights. We were short-handed during that time as well. Guys were forced to play different minutes and hopefully that makes us more ready for the season.”
A quick recap of the preseason numbers: Rookie guard Eric Gordon was the leading scorer, averaging 14.6 points, followed by forward Al Thornton (14.3) and rookie guard Mike Taylor (12.4).
Taylor, Steve Novak and Jason Hart were the only ones to appear in all eight exhibition games. Davis and Thomas combined for just 36 minutes, all in the opener in Fresno.
Lakers at Clippers
Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.,
Channels 5, 9, ESPN
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