The guy's been playing some ball and doesn't seem to resemble the player of past years. But according to coach Mike Dunleavy, nothing at all is up.
"The only difference with him is he's shooting the ball," Dunleavy said before the Clippers dismantled the Warriors, 118-90, on Friday night. "And I mean literally shooting the ball. He's always been able to shoot the ball but always had this kind of mentality of 'I can't take too many shots,' or 'I need to get closer to the basket.' "
Kaman looked more like a go-to guy than a role player against the Warriors. The Clippers constantly fed him in the low post, and he wore out a host of Golden State defenders. Kaman finished with 22 points and nine rebounds, right on his season averages entering the game of 22 and 10.
"Growing up, the way I was taught basketball was that it's a team game," Kaman said. "I was just trying to get my teammates involved and make them feel comfortable playing with me. And the same thing for them now. They try to look for me and so it's a give-and-take type of thing. I'm not going to shoot an off-balance shot unless it's a shot-clock thing and I have to.
"My teammates have done a great job this year of giving me the ball in places where I know I'm capable. I'm trying to do the right thing by taking good shots and taking advantage of the situation."
Kaman started out the game by knocking down an 18-footer, and he wound up scoring in a variety of ways. He had a half-hook or two, a face-up jumper here and there and cashed in on some garbage when the time came.
"He lost a lot of weight, he's in shape and it's the fact that we're out there trying to work," teammate Baron Davis said. "We're working. Last year we didn't play much with each other but we didn't understand, didn't have a good understanding of each other."
This year things appear to be different.
"I'm getting better and trying to feel out his game a little bit and how he likes to play," Kaman said about Davis. "I didn't get to do that a lot last year, not playing all those games (because of injury), and our record. It was just tough last year. I'm just starting to get more comfortable playing with him.
"I'm ready. I'm trying to be ready when he throws the ball because sometimes you don't know it's coming as the guy receiving the pass. He just makes great plays and I just try to put it in the basket."
For much of the third quarter, the Clippers ran their offense exclusively through Kaman. He had 12 of his 22 points in the period and gave L.A. the stability to weather an early run in the quarter by the Warriors.
"If you watched him from the time he came in, he'd go out and shoot left-handed 3-pointers and his stroke looked gorgeous," Dunleavy said. "But forever he'd get the ball and put the ball on the floor, got to pound it, got to get closer to try to score. And we're like: 'Just shoot it." If you get the ball in the post, just go left, go right. If you're outside and get an open look, go shoot it. He's been doing that more."
Dunleavy foresees no trouble when Kaman eventually pairs in the frontcourt with rookie Blake Griffin, who is out with a stress fracture.
"They play great together," Dunleavy said. "There's no issue with them at all. Absolutely (in the preseason) they played really well together."
And right now, Kaman's playing pretty well by himself, too.