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CLIPPERS NOTEBOOK: PLENTY OF TIME TO FILL.

Byline: RAMONA SHELBURNE Staff Writer

EL SEGUNDO -- Donald Easley was hoping to spend some quality time with his son, Clippers guard Cuttino Mobley, when he came out from Philadelphia to Los Angeles last week.

With the Clippers in the NBA playoffs for the first time in nine years, he knew quality time might be hard to come by, so he was ready to take whatever time his son could spare.

That hasn't been a problem.

By the time the Clippers open the Western Conference semifinals Monday, they will have had an entire week off because the Lakers and Suns took seven games to decide their first-round series.

In that time, Mobley and his father have been able to watch all of Season One and most of Season Two of the hit television series ``24''.

``I'd never watched it before, but he's got me going on it now,'' Easley said Saturday afternoon, as he waited for Mobley after the Clippers held a short practice at the Spectrum Club in El Segundo.

``He's got the whole set on DVD. We've watched a bunch of them. I didn't know they were so long. Twenty-four hours feels like a whole week.''

Mobley and his teammates have had to find the right balance of resting and relaxing in their time off and staying sharp for the next round.

The Clippers took Tuesday off, then went hard at practice Wednesday and Thursday and a bit lighter Friday and Saturday.

Veteran point guard Sam Cassell is the only Clipper used to such a long layoff in between playoff series. Cassell learned how to deal with the waiting game when he won two NBA titles with the Houston Rockets between 1993 and '95.

Cassell said he's been using the downtime to relax and prepare.

Prepare for his next career, that is.

``I'm going to be a coach when I retire,'' he said. ``You got to put the work in. I don't watch basketball like a fan, I watch basketball. I get a little notepad, jot things down that I notice.''

Rebraca returns: Clippers center Zeljko Rebraca was able to participate in all drills for the first time since complaining of shortness of breath before Monday's Game 5 victory over Denver.

Rebraca had surgery during the season to alleviate an irregular heartbeat and the recent shortness of breath is considered normal after the surgery.

ramona.shelburne@dailynews.com

(818) 713-3617

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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 7, 2006
Words:407
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