[caption id="attachment_11535" align="aligncenter" width="620"] Harry How/Getty Images[/caption] There are lots of great games in opening week of the 2012-13 NBA Season but I have chosen the Mavs v Lakers as my Game Of The Week so lets have a look at the matchup
Game Time & Viewing OptionsTime & Date: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 1:30pm AEDT Location: Staples Centre, Los Angeles. Viewing Info: NBA League Pass (see our TV Guide for full info)
Biggest Story LineThis match up has as many story lines as any game in the opening week of the 2012-2013 NBA season. The biggest storyline is without a doubt how Dwight Howard and Steve Nash will go in their first regular season game with the Lakers. Even with their team full of huge names, the Lakers went 0-8 in the pre-season and they will be desperately hoping to start the season off better than that.
OFF-SEASON MOVESThe Mavericks may not have signed All-Stars as the Lakers did, but their off-season was just as eventful. They started out having an awful trade period after going all out for free agent Deron Williams; we all know how that ended. They also lost Jason Terry and Jason Kidd via free agency. Dallas Owner, Mark Cuban regained some respectability with the key signings of O.J Mayo, Chris Kaman, Elton Brand and Darren Collison.
DIRK WILL BE GREATLY MISSEDThe importance of Dirk Nowitzki to this Mavericks team has been known for years, he has been the backbone of the team and led to the 2011 NBA Championship. With Dirk Nowitzki out for at least the first month of season, the Dallas role players are really going to have to step up if they are to contend with the Lakers star-studded team.Mayo will be just as important as anyone for Dallas. If Mayo can return to his 2008-09 form where he averaged 18.5ppg and 3.8rpg he will keep Kobe Bryant on his toes.
FITNESS QUERIESGoing into the match there are a two key players question marks over fitness: Kobe Bryant and Chris Kaman. Both are valuable members of their respective teams. Kaman becomes even more valuable with Nowitzki sitting on the sidelines, Kaman will really need to assert his authority on the defensive end.
MATCH UP OF THE NIGHTPerhaps the most intriguing match up of the night will be the point guard battle between Nash and Collison. Nash, the proven 2xNBA MVP winner against Collison, the 2010 All-Rookie First Team member. Collison had a solid pre-season and will relish being a starter in Dallas. If Collison can play tight defence and limit Nash’s passes to Bryant and alley-oops to Howard he will have done his part in trying to slow down the Lakers juggernaut.
Predicted starting line-ups:Los Angeles Lakers
- Point guard: Steve Nash
- Shooting guard: Kobe Bryant
- Small forward: Metta World Peace
- Power forward: Pau Gasol
- Centre: Dwight Howard
- Point guard: Darren Collison
- Shooting guard: O.J Mayo
- Small forward: Shawn Marion
- Power forward: Elton Brand
- Centre: Chris Kaman