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Get out of Craig Smith's way

October 16, 2009 |  4:40 pm

Smith He is the guy you always wanted on your team on the playground. Failing that, you hoped to simply avoid serious injury against him.

Consider big-bodied Craig Smith's impact, thus far: One of the newest Clippers has already taken out rookie Blake Griffin (four days before training camp) and, on Friday, Marcus Camby, though that was more of a fluke when Camby sprained his left ankle near the end of practice.

No wonder they call this guy Rhino. He is 6 foot 7, 250 pounds and generally, only one guy gets up after a Smith collision ... and it's usually Smith.

"He's solid. He's a (Charles) Barkley type," teammate Al Thornton said. "He knows how to use his body."

Thornton laughed, adding: "I try not to get in his way. Once he gets a head of steam, it's a wrap."

-- Lisa Dillman

Photo: Clippers' Craig Smith, right, drives to the basket as Golden State's Kelenna Azubuike, left,  and Corey Maggette, center, defend during a preseason game on Oct. 4. Credit: George Nikitin / Associated Press