Drew Gooden is a Clipper

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gooden.jpgWhen the trade first went down, it was expected that the Clippers would buy out Drew Gooden and he would ;and somewhere as additional depth for a contending team. But instead, the Clippers like what they have found.

“We’re going to keep him,” Clippers general manager Mike Dunleavy said in phone interview shortly thereafter with FanHouse from Lexington, Ky., where he will scout Thursday’s game between Kentucky and South Carolina. “There’s no ‘probably.”’

“To have another body, I consider him our second-best big,” said a pleased Kim Hughes when told after the game about Dunleavy’s assurance Gooden will stay. “It’s great because it gives us more rotations again.”

Gooden has played two games as a Clipper, one he started, and he has averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds (he had 20 points against Detroit). He is filling a need at the four, which was supposed to be Blake Griffin’s spot this year, then belonged to Marcus Camby for most of the season until he was traded.

Gooden has brought energy to the team, something that can stick out watching the Clippers. He is aggressive on the glass, and can play pick-and-roll defense like a pit bull. He has offensive limitations, and can lose that defensive focus, but for the most part has been a pleasant surprise for the Clippers.

And for once, owner Donald Sterling is not making a decision based solely on saving a few bucks. So Gooden stays because it is good for the basketball team.

Looks like Donovan to keep Andre Roberson, Steven Adams as starters

Los Angeles Clippers v Oklahoma City Thunder
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Billy Donovan was given the head coaching job in Oklahoma City to bring their offense into modern times — and it seems to be working, Russell Westbrook said he feels a lot more space in the system.

But if the Thunder are going to contend for a title, they need a top 10 defense as well — and to do that Donovan is going to keep a Scott Brooks move and continue to start  Andre Roberson and Steven Adams. Check out the starting lineup for their first preseason game Wednesday.

There also was this report via Anthony Slater in the Oklahoman yesterday about a scrimmage at practice.

Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and Andre Roberson all started for the White team. Nick Collison joined them, but that was only because Steven Adams sat out with back soreness….

Donovan said the teams weren’t split by accident. That’s how they’ve been divided in practice. So at this point, it seems Roberson is this team’s starting shooting guard and Adams is the team’s starting center.

This is the smart move. Last season the lineup of Westbrook, Roberson, Durant, Ibaka and Adams was +13.4 points per 100 possessions over their opponents. Roberson and Adams are there for defense — neither brings much offensive game to the floor, but when you have Westbrook and Durant and only one ball between them, you don’t need more offensive threats. You’re going to get plenty of points.

If they can just stay healthy, Oklahoma City is a team to be feared.

Knicks’ legend Harry Gallatin passes away at age 88

Harry Gallatin
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The Hall of Fame player behind the original iron man streak is with us no more.

Knicks’ legend Harry Gallatin passes away at age 88, the team confirmed Wednesday.

Gallatin led the Knicks of the late 1940s and into the 1950s, when he set a then record playing in 610 consecutive games. Nicknamed “The Horse,” he was a beast on the boards who averaged 15.3 rebounds a game one season and averaged 11.9 boards and 13 points per game over the course of his 10-year career. He’s still fourth all time in total rebounds in Knicks franchise history.

Gallatin was a seven-time All-Star and twice All-NBA selection. After his playing days, he spent many years as the athletic director at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends.