Wednesday's NBA Guide: Lakers-Spurs and the Pacific Dysfunction Showcase

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HEADLINER
L.A. Lakers at San Antonio, 9PM EST, ESPN

The Lakers squeaked by a short-handed Houston Tuesday, and face the Spurs on equal rest. Kobe Bryant expended a lot of energy to get his 33 points on Tuesday, but his cavalry can carry the team if needed. Pau Gasol has been a great personal foil for Tim Duncan over the years, as well.

Point guard outbursts have hurt the Lakers this year, and Tony Parker is among the league's best scorers at the 1. But how well Manu Ginobili does against whomever marks him (Trevor Ariza? Luke Walton? Kobe?) should tell the game's tale.

UNDERCARD
New Orleans at Dallas, 8:30PM EST

The Hornets followed their huge win in L.A. with utter dudders against Utah and New York (wrapped around an easy win over the Clippers). Dallas is obviously a more formidable match than the Knicks, and about even with Utah ... depending on whether Jason Kidd wears his contacts. Kidd's shot 2-for-18 over the past two games, and surprise! the Mavs have lost both.

Don't forget the slappy battle between Dirk Nowitzki and David West last spring. Always fun to watch two guys who don't like one another face off, especially when both are so talented.

Miami at Milwaukee, 8PM EST

The Heat had hands full of Timberwolf last night, just edging the miracle Minnesotans. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute has defended beautifully thus far; I imagine he'll learn a few lessons if he gets to opportunity to guard Dwyane Wade for a few minutes.

Andrew Bogut should have an absolute field day here.

Portland at Philadelphia, 7PM EST

This is a good test for each team, though neither could really wrench hands or clutch hearts in the event of a loss. A win gets Portland to .500 on the road; a loss gets Philadelphia to .500 at home.

Sacramento at Golden State, 10:30PM EST

Would you cry if I told you that this game is essentially a battle for third place in the Pacific Division?

Chicago at Toronto, 7PM EST
Detroit at Indiana, 7PM EST
New Jersey at Boston, 7:30PM
Washington at New York, 7:30PM EST
Utah at Oklahoma City, 8PM EST
Atlanta at L.A. Clippers, 10:30PM EST

Wednesday's NBA Guide: Lakers-Spurs and the Pacific Dysfunction Showcase originally appeared on NBA FanHouse on Wed, 14 Jan 2009 15:15:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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