Clippers-Lakers: A Staples Center Battle

Michael KarapetianContributor IIJanuary 20, 2009

The Los Angeles Lakers look forward to winning their seventh straight game over cross-hallway rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers, and may have to do so without having Kobe Bryant on the active roster.

Bryant or no Bryant, it's clear that the advantage is in favor of the Lakers, as the Clippers will be without Marcus Camby for the second straight game. He joins Baron Davis, Jason Hart, Mike Taylor, Zach Randolph, and Chris Kaman in civilian clothing. 

Coming off an eight point loss to the Timberwolves, coach Mike Dunleavy only had nine players at his disposal, and only used eight of them during the game. Injuries are obviously hindering the 9-31 Clippers team.

“It’s tough because we do not have all of our players on the court,” Dunleavy said. “When you do, you know exactly who you are going to. Some of the guys we have out there have not been in that position, but I was pleased with our effort.”

Bryant suffered a dislocated finger during the Cleveland Cavaliers game, which the Lakers won by an impressive 17 points.

“I just dove for the ball, and the finger just popped out,” Bryant recalled afterward. “I was scared, I thought I was done. It felt like I had two fingers on one, it was just disgusting. (Trainer) Gary (Vitti) just popped it back into place. Not fun."

With all of those said, expect the Lakers to rout the Clippers once more this season.  There is no way a team missing three point guards and big men have a chance against one of the elite NBA teams.