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Notes from Playa Vista - Last Full Clippers Practice Before the Season

Well, if you were hoping to hear that all 15 Clippers practiced today, you're going to be disappointed.  Neither Blake Griffin nor Baron Davis participated, although everyone else did including Marcus Camby.

Starting with Camby, coach isn't saying for sure whether or not he'll play tomorrow night - that will depend on how his ankle responds to today's practice.  But as of now, I expect that Marcus will play, though perhaps on limited minutes.

Blake and Baron are both being called game time decisions.  Griffin's injury is essentially the bone bruise from his collision with Craig Smith four weeks ago.  Bone bruises can be tricky, as this situation illustrates.  Basically, everyone thought the knee was fine, and even after he felt something after the dunk Friday night, Blake didn't really seem to think it was anything serious - he didn't receive treatment after the game, he was having fun with the guys at the Yardhouse afterwards.  But the knee started swelling overnight, and here we are.  It's officially a game time decision, but I'll be very surprised if he plays.

As for Baron, I don't even know what to tell you.  It's either a toe, or a heel, or something in between.  For some reason though I think he'll play, although based on the fact that he rushed back from injuries a couple times last season, maybe he shouldn't.

The good news on the injury front is that Pau is not expected to play for the Lakers, although they certainly have plenty of weapons without him.

I asked coach about the importance of the first game.  On the road, against the defending champs and presumptive favorites, it's not really a game anyone expects the Clippers to win.  MDsr said "It's important we play well" and that there aren't any teams he doesn't feel like they can beat.  We all remember the way last season started - with a 38 point loss to the Lakers that set the tone for the entire season.  If the Lakers mop the floor with the Clippers again this year, it could change the entire tone of excitement around the team.  The team needs to come out and be competitive, even if it's in a loss.