From J.A. Adande at ESPN.com:
Los Angeles Clippers point guard Baron Davis will visit a specialist Monday to examine his injured left ring finger. One possible recommendation could be surgery that would sideline Davis for four to six weeks, an NBA source said.
Davis injured the finger in practice Friday. The initial diagnosis was a sprained ligament; X-rays revealed there was not a broken bone. However, there is a possibility that there could be a ruptured tendon in the finger, which would require surgical repair. If surgery is not necessary, it still could take up to three weeks for Davis to recuperate and return to action.
"It doesn't feel good," Davis said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "It's not comfortable, not a comfortable feeling. ... The good thing is that it is the preseason, so you can deal with all your bumps and bruises early."The Clippers open the regular season on Oct. 29 against the Lakers. A three-week absence would keep Davis out of action for the first six games.
Lisa Dillman reported on the story in Saturday's LAT. Meanwhile, in the frontcourt...
The wait to see the Clippers' Marcus Camby -- in a real-time game, that is -- will apparently be longer than previously expected.
Camby, plagued by a bruised right heel, on Sunday effectively ruled himself out for the remainder of the exhibition season. He was speaking at Staples Center after the Clippers defeated FC Barcelona, 114-109, their fourth victory in five exhibition games.
"They're shutting me down, resting me," Camby said. "Double treatments a day. . . . Hopefully, I can be all right opening night. That's my goal."
Clearly, Davis is the more valuable player. But, in some sense, Camby's absence presents more of a challenge for the Clippers -- in that the depth chart at PG is pretty cut-and-dry. Hart will start in Baron's place, and Taylor will log more minutes as sole backup.
But the hole Camby leaves up front if he were to be out for an extended period of time is far more daunting. Tim Thomas would be the obvious insert for Camby in the Clippers' starting lineup...except that he's suffering from a groin strain. That would leave the Clippers with a couple of possible options.  They could slide Al Thornton back to the 4, where he played out of position for much of last season. Dunleavy could then put Ricky Davis at the 3. This would actually be the most potent offensive option for the Clippers up front, but they'd be sacrificing a lot of size and -- let's face it -- wherewithal defensively. Davis isn't a bad ball defender in isolation, but he's an unrepentant space cadet on team defense.  If this bothered Dunleavy, he could go with Cuttino Mobley and Eric Gordon at the wings. That's not a horrible short-term option against smaller teams because Mobley does solid work defensively against opposing SFs. But Cat is starting to appear creaky, and playing him at the 3 should be regarded merely as a stopgap measure.  Dunleavy could play either Paul Davis or Brian Skinner up front. This wouldn't be a terrible option -- provided Baron Davis were healthy. But given what the Clips are already giving up offensively with Baron out, it's an impossibility. Fielding a Hart-Mobley-R.Davis-P.Davis-Kaman lineup would be disastrous. So the combined absence of Baron Davis-Marcus Camby will force Dunleavy to go with either option  or , which means the Clippers will forfeit one of their notable strengths -- size up front. The result could be very ugly on both ends.