Heading into the season opener for these two Western Conference heavyweights, there are a lot of injury issues for both teams as the Mavs will be without superstar Dirk Nowitzki (knee) and the Lakers might have to start the season with Kobe Bryant (foot) in street clothes on the bench.
As if not having the face of the franchise in the starting lineup for the game of the season wasn’t bad enough for Dallas, the Mavs will also be without their starting center in Chris Kaman according to Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com:
“A strained right calf will sideline Dallas Mavericks center Chris Kaman for Tuesday night’s season opener, meaning Eddy Curry will likely start against Dwight Howard and the Los Angeles Lakers.”
The Mavs will be debuting quite a few changes to the roster on Tuesday night with newcomers Elton Brand, O.J. Mayo, Darren Collison, Dahntay Jones and Curry all ready to turn over a new leaf with Dallas.
Although the Mavs didn’t make as big a splash in free agency or via trade in comparison to the Lakers, Dallas may have done a decent job of reloading after losing Jason Kidd and Jason Terry over the summer. Much like the Lakers, the preseason wasn’t kind to the Mavs with four losses in eight games and not exactly high praise for Mayo.
It’ll be interesting to see how these two teams with revamped rosters bounce back after a poor showing in the preseason. There’s no question that the Lakers are heavily favored to come out on top in this matchup in Los Angeles with nothing short of a convincing victory expected with or without Kobe in the lineup.
In case you missed it: Dwight Howard talks about the slow process of putting together a championship team.