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Clippers rookie Mike Taylor shows he's a fast learner

By Lisa Dillman, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

 There is the transition from the NBA's Development League to the parent league itself.

Then there's the gulf between rental prices in Milwaukee and Los Angeles.

 The latter might be more daunting.

"It's so expensive to live out here," the Clippers' Mike Taylor said Friday. "There's a big difference between [L.A. and] back home in Milwaukee. Rent is extremely low. I mean, $600 a month, that's a reasonable price.

"That would be like a storage space over here."

The speedy 6-foot-2 rookie point guard was talking about transitions, a day after his impressive 20-point performance against the Lakers in his first NBA exhibition game. Of course, it's early, but Taylor has made a significant leap from his summer league performances and his turn last season in the D-League with the Idaho Stampede.

Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy said the team pondered taking him as high as the 35th pick in this year's draft but couldn't pass on DeAndre Jordan when he was there at that spot. The Clippers then acquired the 22-year-old Taylor from Portland in a draft-day deal.

"I fell in love with him," Dunleavy said. "I think a lot of people questioned whether he could play point guard or not. I thought he could do it. He came into summer league and he turned the ball over a lot. Then he came into camp and did a great job.

"As long as you have him understand spacing, he'll get better."

Along with help from a few key mentors: Baron Davis, Jason Hart and Cuttino Mobley.

"With them critiquing me every day, I just take it as a lesson," Taylor said. "They've been through it, and I'm about to go through it. I'm all ears. I'm just a sponge. Trying to soak up every piece of knowledge that they have."

Taylor has a way of making fast players look, well, slow. The odd thing is that he was not a sprinter as a kid but a middle-distance runner.

"I just think I'm quick," he said. "When I got out there and tried to run the 100 meters, I was getting left. My get-out-the-block skills weren't fast enough."

So far, Taylor's not getting "left" anywhere at training camp.

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