Golden St. vs. Houston
The Golden St. Warriors have won 7 of their last 10 games behind the sharp shooting of Klay Thompson and the gritty play of David Lee. Although the Clippers and the Lakers get all the headlines in California the Warriors deserve some attention for their stellar play in the first half of the season. Houston on the other hand is just trying to hold off Portland for the 8th and final playoff spot. James Harden is doing his part, but without a lot of help from Jeremy Lin and no other scorers to take some of the pressure off the success of the team falls squarely on his shoulders. Where would the rockets be without that trade? The Warriors will win, but Harden will get his.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Brooklyn
The Brooklyn Nets started out hot after the firing of Avery Johnson, but since then they have come back down to earth playing .500 ball over their last 10 games. The Lakers have re-invented themselves with Kobe Bryant as the primary facilitator of the offense. It's a strange role for Kobe and although he's embraced it for the moment deep down he doesn't trust those guys enough to keep this up. As the games become more critical we will see him revert back to his old ways. This is not a bad thing if the Lakers win more games, but it's not a good thing if Dwight Howard isn't the factor he was supposed to be. Hard to tell what's the best direction for the Lakers going forward. Brooklyn will win tonight and Kobe will most likely abandon his pass first mentality under the bright lights of NYC.