EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Clippers center Chris Kaman hopes to play Tuesday night in the fifth game of the Western
Conference semifinals at Phoenix despite a strained right shoulder
that kept him out of Game 4.
"I'll be good to go tomorrow," Kaman said Monday after
receiving treatment at the Clippers' practice facility. "It's all
about handling the pain. My movement's a lot better. I'll be happy
to get back on the court."
Kaman, wearing an ice pack on his shoulder, made his comments
about 15 minutes after coach Mike Dunleavy said he doubted the
7-foot center would be able to play in Game 5. Kaman sat out Sunday
night's 114-107 victory that tied the series 2-2.
"I honestly couldn't get my arm up over my shoulder," Kaman
said before the Clippers headed to the airport for their flight to
Phoenix. "It's gotten 60, 70 percent better today."
The 24-year-old Kaman was injured during Game 3 on Friday night,
when he had 11 points and seven rebounds in a 94-91 loss. Dunleavy
said Kaman didn't know when or how he got hurt, and his shoulder
didn't start bothering him until well after the game ended.
"It's a bit frustrating, to miss a playoff game after playing
the whole season," Kaman said. "I honestly couldn't lift my arm
over my shoulder."
He had an MRI on Monday that showed no structural damage, and he
was listed by the team as day-to-day.
"There's no way he could play today," Dunleavy said. "Who
knows? Maybe he can play tomorrow. I doubt it. To me, it seems more
likely Thursday than tomorrow night unless he's got recuperative
powers I don't know about."
Kaman emerged after treatment with a different take.
"It's my injury," he said. "I haven't tried to shoot. I have
24 hours-plus to get ready."
Dunleavy said before Sunday's shootaround, he was under the
impression that Kaman's shoulder was sore but that he'd be able to
play in Game 4. The coach left Kaman on the active roster before
finding out he wouldn't be able to go.
Vladimir Radmanovic started in Kaman's place, and scored 13
"We saw last night where the versatility of our team kicked
in," Dunleavy said, adding if Kaman couldn't go, he would probably
go with the same starting lineup in Game 5 as in Game 4.
Despite the absence of Kaman, the Clippers outrebounded the Suns
55-37 Sunday night.
"He brings a lot -- his size, rebounding ability, moves around
the post," teammate Elton Brand said about Kaman.
And if Kaman can't play?
"We'll be prepared," Brand said.
"If he's out, we'll have to take up the slack," teammate
Corey Maggette said.