- The Washington Times - Monday, April 24, 2006

The Los Angeles Clippers had their first playoff win Saturday night since the Larry Brown-Danny Manning Clippers lost a five-game series to the Houston Rockets in 1993.

The two most recent wins had one thing in common: Billy Crystal had a front-row seat for both.

Crystal, the Clippers’ No.1 fan through thin and thin, starred in 11 films between playoff wins, including “My Giant” with Gheorghe Muresan, who is now a professional greeter with the Wizards:

Deconstructing Harry (1997)

Chris Kaman hasn’t cut his hair in more than two years, and you see the result: He looks like a 7-foot roadie for the Edgar Winter Group.

Kaman’s hair is long and blond, but not like Farrah. It’s stringy and often wet, like neglected spaghetti. It’s difficult to tell whether he’s growing the stuff or losing it.

Hair aside, Kaman seems to be a refreshingly regular guy who grew up in Grand Rapids, Mich., where he spent much of his childhood on a chicken farm.

He also tore the shingles off houses because of his attention deficit disorder. He took Ritalin for his ADD, then didn’t because it killed his appetite.

Kaman went to a small Christian high school and received two scholarship offers: from Division III Hope College and Central Michigan.

He went to Central Michigan and entered the NBA Draft after his junior season in order to fund a chicken farm.

The No. 6 pick of the Clippers in the 2003 draft, Kaman averaged 11.9 points and 9.6 rebounds this season. He is a millionaire with his own posse — three friends from Grand Rapids who don’t drink.

Analyze This (1999)

Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony missed three shots in the final minute of Saturday’s loss to the Clippers, including one as time expired.

But the Nuggets had the ball in the right player’s hands at the right time. Anthony hit a league-leading five game-winning shots this season — shots in which the Nuggets were behind or tied on their final possession.

Denver (44-38) wouldn’t have made the playoffs without those shots.

Jamal Crawford of the Knicks was second with four game-winners. Dirk Nowitzki of the Mavericks, Pau Gasol of the Grizzlies and David West of the Hornets were third with three each.

Analyze That (2002)

Anthony also failed to draw a foul during that final minute, but again, the Nuggets will take their chances with him.

Anthony was 7-for-9 from the free throw line in Game 1. For the season, he averaged 8.9 free throw attempts, making 7.2 of those.

Here are top free throw shooters in the league, determined by number of free throws made minus the number missed a minute:

1. Kobe Bryant; 2. Allen Iverson; 3. Dwyane Wade; 4. Dirk Nowtizki; 5. Gilbert Arenas; 6. Carmelo Anthony; 7. Paul Pierce; 8. Chauncey Billups; 9. Michael Redd; 10. Chris Bosh.

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