Ron Artest – Shawn Marion
Pau Gasol – Dirk Nowitzki
Andrew Bynum – Tyson Chandler
The Mavericks are on a 6 game skid, three of those losses coming against teams that are under .500. Dirk recently came back after missing 9 straight games due to knee injury. Dallas hasn’t been the same since they lost Caron Butler on New Years day. Butler is expected to miss the regular season but might come back for the playoffs. In the meantime, Dallas is trying to push for a trade before they head into the second half of the season.
The Lakers bounced back from a loss against the Clippers with a win over Oklahoma City. Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant put up 21 points each. The Lakers also shot 50% from downtown, which probably gave L.A. the little push over OKC. On the other hand, Pau played a whopping 41 minutes. All season long, he’s been questioned on whether or not he can be a 40 plus minute player on the floor each night. If his fatigue starts kicking in tonight, he’ll have a tough time guarding Dirk Nowitzki.
Center Andrew Bynum has been the game changer for the Lakers. His presence has made a significant change in the paint. In the 19 games he has played this season, he is averaging 1.8 blocks per game. In a recent report, Bynum’s task is to block more shots when opponents are cutting through lanes. Hopefully, this objective works and he doesn’t get into foul trouble along the way.
Lamar Odom has been having his best season off the bench this year. Many fans feel he deserves he an All-Star nod for next month’s All-Star Game.