After the Celtics and Heat do battle, we will close out the evening with a rematch of the 2011 Western Conference Semifinals, as the (0-0) Dallas Mavericks visit the revamped (0-0) Los Angeles Lakers on this NBA Opening Night 2012.
The Staples Center in “LA LIVE” will be the site for this intraconference matchup, which is scheduled to tipoff tonight at 10:40 p.m. EST (7:40 p.m. PST) on TNT Sports.
Is it a mistake that NBA picks specialists have the Lakers listed as -8½ point favorites despite the fact that Kobe Bryant (sprained right foot) is a game-time decision?
In addition to the Mavs being 8½-point underdogs, NBA odds makers have also set their OVER/UNDER mark at a combined total of 185½ points.
For the Mavericks, outspoken owner Mark Cuban spent a good portion of the offseason discussing some of the possibilities in which the Lakers latest experiment would prove to be a failure.
Among some of the things that were said, Cuban believes that the reason this NBA version of The Avengers will not win a championship is because not everyone “wants” to be in LA (i.e. D-12).
“The Lakers have done this before,” Cuban said referring to the 2003-04 Lakers. “Remember Gary Payton, Karl Malone and Kobe and Shaq were all together, and it didn’t work. It takes great chemistry. It takes guys wanting to be there. I don’t know if all their guys want to be there. It’s going to be interesting.”
Luckily for them, Cuban and the Mavs will get their first chance to prove how much of a failure the Lakers will be in 2012 starting tonight.
For the Purple and Gold, no one could have predicted that the biggest storyline heading into the opener would be the health status of The Black Mamba?
Instead, most Lakers fans were concerned as to whether their newest superstar, Dwight Howard would be able to start after undergoing offseason back surgery. Nevertheless, the man they refer to as D12 is healthy and ready to start tonight.
In the case of KB24, his status remains a game-time decision according to head coach Mike Brown. Bryant suffered a sprained right foot, which caused him to miss the last two NBA Preseason games.
But, for what it’s worth, I have great news for Lakers fans, as various reports indicate that Kobe says he’s 85% positive that he would be suiting up this evening against Dallas. This bit of breaking news comes to us from the Los Angeles Times.
“It’s just a matter of how sore it gets from now until I get to Staples,” Bryant told the newspaper after today’s shoot-around. “Of course I want to play. We’ve put together a great roster here and I worked real hard this summer to get myself in tip-top shape and be ready to go. I’m not going to play with an injury that’s going to get progressively worse and just limp through the season. I worked too hard for that.”
So, it appears that Kobe Bryant will play tonight against the Mavericks after all. Having that said, how do you think LA’s starting five will do against a veteran Mavs squad?
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