Mavs vs. Lakers: Why LA Will Win Opener Regardless of Kobe Bryant’s Health

A foot injury injury may hold Kobe Bryant out of the Los Angeles Lakers' season opener against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night, but L.A. has the tools and talent in place to notch a victory even without him.

Mike Trudell has the latest on Bryant's status from Monday's practice:

Neither Kobe Bryant (foot strain) not Jordan Hill (herniated disc) practiced today. Both are "day to day."

— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) October 29, 2012

It is a totally revamped roster in L.A., but last year's team managed to go 5-2 in the future Hall of Famer's absence. Players were willing to rise to the occasion and maintain a playoff-caliber level of basketball then, and now the personnel is even more geared toward doing just that.

Here's the difference: This Lakers squad has the additions of dominant center Dwight Howard and phenomenal point guard Steve Nash. The anticipation of their debuts in the Staples Center alone is going to cause the arena to quake, regardless of the type of games they'll have.

While the Mavs' own Darren Collison will likely neutralize the impact Nash has on the game with his own offensive prowess, it will be Howard who has the biggest advantage on the inside.

According to a report by Tim McMahon of, the Mavs will be without newly acquired starting center Chris Kaman, who has a strained right calf.

Starting in his place? Eddy Curry, who was just picked up off the waiver wire on Thursday because of the ailing Kaman. In nine previous NBA seasons, Kaman has not made it through an entire season as a starter. That streak will continue in 2012-13 right off the bat.

Even worse for Dallas: Superstar power forward Dirk Nowitzki will be out for the first couple of weeks as he recovers from arthroscopic knee surgery. The injury woes for the Lakers' opponent are far worse than their own, even though it's Bryant who's missing.
Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Lakers