On the Clippers, who were 5--4 at week's end without All-Star power forward Elton Brand and point guard Shaun Livingston, both out with injuries until after the All-Star break:
"The pieces look like they're fitting together nicely. Corey Maggette is attacking the basket and getting to the free throw line; Tim Thomas is getting consistent minutes at power forward as a three-point threat who can also finish in transition. Neither one is a back-to-the-basket player, so they're opening up room for Chris Kaman [in the low post]. And their becoming more of a transition team and getting shots up earlier in the shot clock makes Sam Cassell (above) happier, because he'd rather shoot jumpers than throw it inside to Brand every time."