Is Baron Davis Giving His All?

The L.A. Times doesn't think much of the Clippers, and with the team's record standing at a dismal 13-43, you can hardly blame them. With the economy being what it is, the paper in the country's second largest media market has scaled back its coverage to, well, zero. It's AP recaps or bust, and if you're one of the (admittedly few) people who want the inside scoop, you're stuck with opinion pieces from local columnists who make their living trying to stir things up.

This is not a criticism of anyone's particular style or shtick; it's simply the way it is. The latest non-AP Clippers piece in the Times wonders if Baron Davis is "dogging it" this season. Hey, at least the person wondering it -- columnist T.J. Simers -- wasn't afraid to pose the question to Davis himself.

"Don't agree," Davis says. "At times I get frustrated and I wear my emotions on my sleeve, so people see it and think I'm dogging it.

"I've always been the aggressor in my career, but this year I'm passive. It's not dogging it, though, and I'm not a dog. But I just haven't been aggressive."

Davis was in a shooting slump for most of the year, even before the tailbone injury that sidelined him for a good three weeks in January. He's starting to come out of it, but is said to be presently playing through a toe injury. It's clear that Baron could be playing better, but honestly, why should he completely bust his hump out there when no matter what he does, the team is too depleted to even compete?

Before you bash Davis for his lack of effort, ask yourself this: what statistical line would you need to see from him for the Clippers to have any chance of winning with DeAndre Jordan as their only big man? 35-plus points and 15 assists? It's just not going to happen. Sure, Davis could go to the basket more instead of settling for jumpers, but again, why kill yourself for a team that truly has no shot?

It's unclear whether Baron Davis is giving maximum effort at this point, or if he's simply doing the best he can while attempting to play through a series of, as Shaq used to call them, "nick-knack injuries." But with the team in such dire straits in the personnel department, you can hardly blame him for not wanting to kill himself on the court night in and night out, especially with absolutely no reward in sight for doing so.

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