Clippers Move Walton to Forward

February 28, 1984

Bill Walton, for the moment free of the injuries that limited his appearances with the San Diego Clippers to 47 games over the last four National Basketball Association seasons, is operating out of a new position at the age of 31.

Walton, a premier center at U.C.L.A. and for four seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers before joining the Clippers in 1979, moved into the forward position on Feb. 10 against Atlanta, when Michael Brooks tore cartilage in his right knee.

In the seven games with Walton and Terry Cummings at forward and James Donaldson at center, the Clippers have won four games, including their last three against Boston, Golden State and Seattle.

''The change has worked out for us,'' said Don Chaney, an assistant coach. ''With a big front line, we are rebounding very well and, in turn, our fast break is more effective. We're at our best when we are running. We have lots of guys who know how to put the ball in the hole.''

The front line of Walton (6-11), Donaldson (7-2) and Cummings (6-9) has outrebounded the opposition, 347-270, in San Diego's last seven games.

''Bill is moving smoothly and has his timing back,'' said Chaney. ''Sometimes I see flashes of the old Walton. He seems happy playing forward.''

''Bill still has great passing ability, either on the wing or down around the basket,'' said Coach Jim Lynam. ''We had thought about using Walton and Donaldson together before, but we never had a good chance until Brooks suffered his injury. We were forced into it, but - barring injury - we'll continue through the rest of the season.

''For a guy who was told he'd never play again a couple of seasons ago, Bill is just pleased to be playing. Every game is a plus for him.''

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