The Latest on the Lakers & NBA Game Previews

The Latest on the Lakers

Matt Barnes is studying the guard position in the Triangle Offense. [HoopsWorld.com: Alex Kennedy]

The Latest on the NBA

David Stern named Kevin Love to the 2011 Western Conference all-star team. [ESPN.com]

The New York Knick have hired Mark Warkentien to the front office. [Hoopsnotes: Dimitri Kucharczyk]

The Miami Heat will target Kendrick Perkins in the off-season. [Slam Magazine]

The Detroit Pistons inactivated Ricard Hamilton. [Slam Magazine]

NBA Game Previews for February 5th, 2011

Dallas Mavericks at Charlotte Bobcats- 7:00 P.M. EST/ 4:00 P.M. PST- NBA League Pass

The Dallas Mavericks are coming off a big win vs. the Celtics, and they hope to carry their momentum into this game. The Mavs are currently the second seed in the Western Conference and they have won seven consecutive games.

The Charlotte Bobcats have risen in the rankings after hiring coach Paul Silas and they are a much improved team. The Bobcats have a nice mixture of young and experienced players, and they are fully capable of upsetting Dallas. However, the Mavs are the hottest team in the NBA, and they are a much more talented team than the ‘Cats.

Prediction: Mavs win

Atlanta Hawks at Washington Wizards- NBA TV- 7:00 P.M. EST/ 4:00 P.M. PST

The Atlanta Hawks are coming into the game as the fourth team in the Eastern Conference and winners of their previous two games. The Hawks, however, have struggled on the road and are not meeting expectations. At this point of the season, the Hawks are a mediocre 15-11 away from the Phillips Arena.

Luckily for the Hawks, they will play the lowly Washington Wizards, the second worst team in the Eastern Conference.

Prediction: Hawks win

Portland Trail Blazers at Cleveland Cavaliers- 7:30 P.M. EST/ 4:30 P.M. PST- NBA League Pass

The Portland Trail Blazers, despite being plagued with injuries, are in the race for the eight seed in the Western Conference. LaMarcus Aldridge has been putting up all-star numbers, and he has carried the Blazers on his shoulders. Tonight, the Blazers will play the worst team in the entire NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers have lost their previous 23 games, and expect that number to rise at day’s end.

Prediction: Blazers win

Los Angeles Lakers at New Orleans Hornets- 8:00 P.M. EST/ 5:00 P.M. PST- NBA League Pass

The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off a heart-breaking loss to the San Antonio Spurs after Antonio McDyess hit a game-winning shot. The Lakers are struggling as of late, and they need a convincing win to restore order in Los Angeles.

The Hornets have won seven of their last ten games, and they play extremely at home. However, expect to see the Lakers come out strong as they will try to get back on the winning side. The game will be close throughout, but Los Angeles should prevail.

Prediction: Lakers win

Memphis Grizzlies at Houston Rockets- 8:30 P.M. EST/ 5:30 P.M. PST- NBA League Pass

Both of these teams are battling for the eight and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, so expect to see a intense game. The Grizzlies are led by Rudy Gay, and he is emerging as one of the best young players in the game today. However, O.J. Mayo will not play due a suspension, and the Grizzlies will surely miss their best bench player. The Rockets are a hard working team and they play well on their home-court; the Toyota Center will propel their team to a victory.

Prediction: Rockets win

Detroit Pistons at Milwaukee Bucks- 8:30 P.M. EST/ 5:30 P.M. PST- NBA League Pass

The Bucks and Pistons and  are they 10th and 11th seeds in the Eastern Conference, respectively. The Pistons are playing great basketball thanks to the play of Tracy McGrady, and the Bucks are improving steadily due to the return of Brandon Jennings. These inter-division rivals have not love for each other so expect to see an intense, feisty game. However, the Bucks have they advantage since they will be playing on their home-court.

Prediction: Bucks win

Denver Nuggets at Minnesota Timberwolves- 8:30 P.M. EST/ 5:30 P.M. PST- NBA League Pass

The Denver Nuggets will waltz through the Minnesota Timberwolves due to their size and overall talent. The ‘Wolves do not match-up well with the Nuggets, and they have not won a game when playing a divisional opponent. The Nuggets should open up a double-digit lead in the opening quarter, and expect them to maintain it throughout the game.

Prediction: Nuggets win

Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz- 9:00 P.M. EST/ 6:00 P.M. PST- NBA League Pass

The Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz will square for an inter-division showdown at the Energy Solutions Arena. The Thunder is coming off a big win vs. the Suns, and it will be looking to extend its winning streak to three by the end of tonight.

The Jazz has one of the best home-crowds in the NBA, and it will also have the services of point guard Deron Williams. Williams had been fighting with a wrist injury, and the Jazz was struggling mightily without him. Since Utah has its players back, it should escape with a victory

Prediction: Jazz win

Chicago Bulls are Golden State Warriors- 10:30 P.M. EST/ 8:30 P.M. PST- NBA League Pass

The Chicago Bulls have won their previous six games and they are currently on their Circus Road trip. Derrick Rose is playing the best basketball of his career, and he is making a case for MVP.

The Warriors are one of the youngest teams in the NBA, and they will push the Bulls to the limit. Although Golden State plays well at home, expect the team to falter to the Bulls in the fourth quarter. The game will be close, but the Chicago Bulls will prevail.

Prediction: Bulls win