Mavericks vs. Lakers: Latest Injury News Before Season-Opener

The NBA season tips off tonight with the Los Angeles Lakers playing host to the Dallas Mavericks in a Western Conference showdown.

You may recall the Mavs sweeping the Lakers en route to the 2011 NBA title. Last season, both teams lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the playoffs.

Now it seems each team is headed in opposite directions. While neither has young talent to spare, the Lakers added veteran All-Star Steve Nash and premier big-man Dwight Howard in the offseason. Dallas gained a valuable center in Chris Kaman, but the L.A. clearly made the biggest splashes of the summer.

The key to any NBA game is matchups, and unfortunately, injuries will limit the star talent that a Mavs vs. Lakers game typically provides.

Here is the latest news on injuries that will affect tonight's contest.

Chris Kaman, Dallas: Out

The Dallas Morning News reported yesterday that Chris Kaman will not participate in tonight's game with the Lakers, leaving journeyman Eddy Curry with the tough task of going up against Dwight Howard.

This is significant for several reasons, but chief among them is that Kaman, a former All-Star himself, provides experience and toughness that cannot be replicated easily.

You also have to expect Dwight Howard to come out hoping to make a statement. For him, it's been an offseason filled with turmoil, and nothing shuts up the doubters like a big game on opening night at the Staples Center.

This is a huge loss for the Mavericks, who could be in for a long night in the paint.


Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles: Questionable

Earlier today, ESPN LA reported that Kobe would be a game-time decision.

Obviously not having Bryant on the floor takes away the Lakers' main offensive option and a guy that can score from anywhere. But does anybody really think he'll sit this one out?

Kobe has long ...

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