The new look Los Angeles Lakers will take on the new look Dallas Mavericks tonight from the Staples Center.
The Los Angeles Lakers were the most active team in the offseason and have instantly vaulted themselves to a legit title contender in the process. They signed Steve Nash via free agency and added Dwight Howard via trade, both of which were blockbuster moves. When you combine them with Gasol and Kobe Bryant you have a formidable team to say the least. The only question is how quick this team will mesh. We do not think it will take as long as the Heat because Nash and Howard have never been shoot first players.
The Mavericks have also undergone a bit of an overhaul, one that is not being met with as much optimism. It really hurt the Mavs when they lost out on Deron Williams, who ended up in Brooklyn. Instead the Mavs brought in the likes of OJ Mayo, Elton Brand, and Chris Kaman. Making things worse for the Mavs is the fact that their superstar Dirk Nowitzki will miss the first 2 weeks of the season after undergoing knee surgery.
The contrarian in us wants to find some way to take the Mavs. Without Kaman and Dirk for this game we do not see how they even compete inside with the likes of Howard and Gasol. Give us the Lakers as a point spread favorite at home at the online sportsbooks.