The Nets are a team that has under-performed relative to expectations this year (or at least relative to the names on their roster) and seem to have lost some of their focus. This could be because their franchise point guard is asking for a trade six months after they re-upped their star shooting guard for another four years.
Somewhat surprising has been that the problems exist on both sides of the ball. As a result, they have gone 2-10 over their last 12, though that string included a 6 game road trip out west where the Nets lost all 6 games.
Despite the dysfunction, New Jersey still sits in the eight spot in the Eastern Conference, a full game ahead of the Chicago Bulls.
The Lakers and Nets met earlier this year on November 25th in a game that can be considered one of the Lakers worst home losses of the year. LA saw an early lead evaporate during a strong New Jersey 3rd quarter and was unable to recover. Also in that game, the Lakers bench had a subpar performance while Kobe and Vladi had poor shooting nights.
The game will also feature an odd reunion, as Pau and former Memphis teammate Stromile Swift meet up on opposite sides, both having been traded over the last few days.