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Understudies appear to be needed for opening night

October 24, 2008|Lisa Dillman | Dillman is a Times staff writer.

They are racing the calendar, and it looks as if it could be a photo finish for Baron Davis and Marcus Camby.

It's all about getting ready in time for the Clippers' season opener, on Wednesday against the Lakers. There are elements of luck involved, pain management and even desperate measures.

Camby, sidelined by a bruised right heel, was saying Thursday after his teammates practiced that he planned to get a cortisone shot today to alleviate the pain.

"I'll probably still need a couple of weeks of healing," he said. "But time, right now, is not on my side with the season approaching in the next five or six days."

He clearly does not want to be a mere spectator Wednesday.

"I'm long overdue," Camby said. "I've wanted to get on that court for some time. I definitely want to be out there on the court for opening night."

Davis is wearing a splint on his sprained left ring finger. He said he was "very relieved" when the hand specialist told him Monday that surgery would not be required, and Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy was hoping he could resume practicing Sunday.

"The way it is now, if it gets hit or if something happened to it, it can only get worse before it gets better now that the season is starting," Davis said. "It's just a matter of maintaining it and taking that pain when it comes when people hit it."

Of the three injured Clippers, Tim Thomas (strained groin) appears most likely to play in the season opener. He ruled himself out of tonight's final exhibition game against Denver.

Camby had circled this game but will have to wait. What are the chances of his playing against his former Denver teammates Oct. 31?

"Great chance," he said, laughing. "A lot of people are going to hype that game up to be a revenge game or something like that, but honestly, I'm just looking forward to seeing the guys again. There were guys I've been with the last six years and we developed lifelong bonds."

To that end, he planned to have dinner with them Thursday. But they are buying. "They have the high salaries over there, so I'll let those guys," Camby said.

McCoy waived

Dunleavy said he was going to make the move after Wednesday's game, and the team made it official Thursday, waiving former UCLA standout Jelani McCoy. This puts their roster at 14 players.

"We'll stay where we are right now, unless we think we need to add something," Dunleavy said.

Replay reaction

Dunleavy was all for the NBA's decision to expand the scope of instant replay. It will now be used to determine whether a shot was a two-point or three-point attempt or in determining whether a shooter was fouled while attempting a two- or three-point shot, to award the right number of free throws.

"I think anything the league does to insure the right call is made is welcomed," he said.


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