- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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Will Sam Cassell be the same player he was last year? If not, they have an emerging superstar in Shaun Livingston, who reminds me of Magic Johnson when he drives into the paint. He has a long, quick first step with a nice crossover move, his body is filling out and his defense took a big jump.... One of Elton Brand's failings used to be that he didn't make clutch shots, but he's improved and should get more MVP consideration. Put it this way: If the Lakers offered Kobe Bryant for Brand, I would tell owner Donald Sterling not to do it. It's harder to replace the effort and production Brand gives you at power forward than the scoring Bryant provides on the wing.... Chris Kaman's season put him on the verge of becoming one of the top five centers in the league. He doesn't get that kind of respect because he looks so goofy, but he's a great complement to Brand with his rebounding and opportunistic play around the basket.... I believe the rumors that Mike Dunleavy can't stand Corey Maggette, but I would caution against a trade. We all fear Maggette as a scorer.
The Clippers ranked first in the league in blocked shots (503) and second in rebounds (3,532, one fewer than the league-leading Heat). No other team made the top five in both categories.