Game to pay attention to: Lakers vs. Jazz

Kelly Dwyer


Los Angeles Lakers at Utah

Though no game really sticks out, this should be a pretty solid night of basketball. 12 games in all, the NBA wants these guys to earn their money before the All-Star break starts, and it'll be interesting to see just how hard these guys go at it with planes to catch and private dances waiting.

As always, with even the best games, there are caveats. Look at the schedule and tell me what you think.

I like Portland and Oklahoma City, but they played recently, and the Blazers didn't look all that great. So you'd think that a second matchup could prove entertaining, until you remember that the Blazers will probably be full of fire, and win handily at home.

Boston and New Orleans is missing one MVP candidate, and one solid starting center. Houston might be worse than Sacramento at this point, and I'm just not ready to start looking forward to Orlando games (they take on the Nuggets) with Jameer Nelson out.

So I'm going with the Jazz and Lakers. Yes, Carlos Boozer and Andrei Kirilenko are out (for five more days, apparently), but the Lakers played last night, and that could even things out a little bit.

Of course, there's always the chance that the Jazz give up 120 points. But I also trust them to score 121 on some nights, especially with Derek Fisher trying to stay in front of Deron Williams.

Comment away, and we'll see you tomorrow, BtB-time.

Los Angeles Lakers: 42-9, 94.5 possessions per game (4th), 114.3 points scored per 100 possessions (1st), 105.3 points allowed per 100 possessions (6th).

Utah Jazz: 29-23, 92.2 possessions per game (11th), 110.1 points scored per 100 possessions (7th), 107.4 points allowed per 100 possessions (14th).