When the New Jersey Nets (6-6) traded Jason Kidd to Dallas in exchange for Devin Harris last February, the chorus resonating through the world of NBA prognosticators was: “Why?”

Despite losing one of the most accomplished guards in league history, a player who led them to two consecutive NBA Finals, the Nets have rebounded quite well.

It so happens that Devin Harris is a STAR. He is a multi-talented player with skills just shy of the league’s new elite guards Chris Paul and Deron Williams.

Chinese forward Yi Jianlian, is beginning to blossom into a weird version of Andrei Kirilenko, Vince Carter continues to disinterestedly average nearly 25 points a game and Pac-10 rookies Brook Lopez and Ryan Anderson are settling in nicely (Chris Douglas-Roberts is nowhere to be found, sadly). Suffice it to say, the Nets are the model 5-8 seed Eastern Conference team.

Will they win a Championship? Not likely.

Will they give the Celtics or the Pistons or the Cavs a minor scare in the first round? You bet.

The New Jersey Nets are exactly the type of team that can sneak up and beat the Lakers (11-1) on a nondescript evening in late November.

They did it exactly one year ago.

Yet, November 2007 is not November 2008 and the Lakers are an entirely different team without being remarkably different. The pep and loveable misfit style has disappeared, replaced by scowls and the bitterness of a disenfranchised teenager.

The 2008 Lakers, unlike their counterparts from a year ago, when they lost to the New Jersey Nets by two points, know that they are ready to contend for a championship. They know that their time is coming… and it’s coming soon. They are right on schedule.

Tipoff: 7:30 PM PST

Television

  • National: NBATV
  • Los Angeles: FS West (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
  • New Jersey: YES HD (Marv Albert, Ian Eagle & Jim Spanarkel)

Radio

  • Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
  • New Jersey: WFAN 660 AM (Chris Carrino & Tim Capstraw)

Injuries

Lakers:

  • Probable: Vladi Radmanovic (crazy ass bloody eye that gives me the chills. *shudder*)

Nets:

  • Questionable: Eddie “Yucateco” Najera (neck, back) & Josh BOONE! (ankle)

Storylines

Sunglasses at Night: The Lakers have a veritable basketball eyewear museum coursing through the veins of their franchise history.

George Mikan’s professorial oval rims, Kareem & Worthy’s round goggles, Kurt Rambis’ horn-rimmed specs, Horace Grant’s Oakley-style shades and now, Vladi Radmanovic’s orange-tinted superpower three-pointer eye shields!

After being poked in the right eye on Friday night by Denver’s Carmelo Anthony (who seems to have a vendetta against Laker Euros. Remember when he choked out Sash?), Vladi donned perhaps the greatest Laker eyewear since the days when Mikan and Vern Mikkelsen were blowing out the Ft. Wayne Zollner Pistons.

For the love of Bo Outlaw, lets hope that Vladi keeps the specs until the end of time.

Varsity Challenge
(Prize: You guessed it: Vlad’s specs.)

List some NBA dudes that wore goggles. It will be fun!

  • DCLAKER

    Lakers 115-Nets 93

    DON’T GET KANYE’S ALBUM…THINKS HE T-PAIN,BEST ALBUM OF THE YEAR (hip hop) IS THIS,

    http://www.b-moore.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/elzhi-preface.jpg

  • kb2408

    im still gonna get the album either way

  • IrieVibes

    kanye new album isn’t that great. there is no rap.

  • DCLAKER

    kb2408,I CAN’T allow you to spend your money on that album…THERE IS NO HIP HOP ON IT…here a list of albums YOU NEED TO GET,

    Elzhi-The Preface

    Black Milk – Tronic

    q-tip – the renaissance

    madlib – wlib:king of the wig flip

    heltah skeltah – d.i.r.t.(da incredible rap team)

    REAL HIP HOP…y’all gotta stop spending your money on crap,even Mitch relizes he SHOULD’VE never given Luke that much money…get my drift.

  • imfasterthanur

    Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Kurt Rhambis, and Horace Grant come off the top of my head.

  • Yohan

    Kurt Rambis, Kareem Abdul Jabar, James Worthy, Horace Grant, Bo Outlaw, Ben Wallace, and the late great Mr. Basketball George Mikan. Those are the names I can think of.

  • K0be08-09

    “The New Jersey Nets are exactly the type of team that can sneak up and beat the Lakers (11-1) on a nondescript evening in late November.”

    100% true, I see this game being close, we have to play defence but i see this game close game

  • imfasterthanur

    In my honest opinion, the only teams that will sneak up on the Lakers are the teams who AREN’T acknowledged as a team that will sneak up on the Lakers. haha

    What I mean is, it seems like we are focused against teams that are perceived as threats (explaining the dominant performances against teams like the Hornets, Rockets, Suns, and so on)

    Now I am not saying that the Nets are in the elite, relatively speaking, category of a Pheonix or Dallas team, but they can be a perceived as a threat,a and well know that. I am confident that Phil, Kobe and company are also aware of that.

    In my opinion, this game isn’t even close. Any form of life from the Nets will be extinguished in the first half. Expect another 4th quarter vacation from our starters.

  • Gary in Big D

    It’s not on NBA TV, only League Pass which will be carrying the Laker feed. NBA TV has the LeBron in NY media extravaganza.

  • nabil

    I’d like to see the lakers play with some real attitude tonight, especially the bench mob.

  • LakersFirst

    What happened to those that wanted to trade Bynum for Jason Kidd?

  • Lakers 24 7

    [Comment ID #55514 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Amen. Kanye is a cocky bastard.

    Keep that REAL Hip Hop Alive.
    Heres few more recent/old hip hop albums:

    ILL Bill – House of Reprisal
    Kool G Rap – Roots of Evil (Classic)
    Nas – Untitled

  • sketch

    is kanye a black version of vanila ice? frontin like he’s down when he’s been livin in the burbs all his life? guess i’d throw grammar out the door in exchange for a rhyme or two to make millions too.

  • DCLAKER

    Sketch,take a look at the list Laker 24/7 and myself made,especially “Elzhi – The Preface(best hiphop album this year) and Ill Bill – Hour of Reprisal(definately cop this one…RIGHT NOW)”,GOOD LOOKIN’ 24/7!!!

    REAL Fans…REAL talk…REAL recognize REAL,sorry NJ(VC still got it though..just not tonight).

    5 more albums to get,

    Ludacris – theater of the mind(out today)

    jean grae – jeanius

    vintage & theory hazit – lord fire

    evidence (dilated peoples)- the layover

    PLEASE SUPPORT BLACK MILK’S “TRONIC”!!It’s the album Kanye West should’ve made.

  • megaloco10

    jaja yuyateco najera

    thats how my mexican friend call me..although i look white but i’m latin

  • DCLAKER

    Doesn’t matter homie,we all BROTHERS ON THIS SITE..one big LAKER LOVIN’,HATIN’ ON THE SMELL-$#@& ALL DAY,family,welcome.

    For you and the rest of LAKERNATION……NEW “LAKERS GONNA SMACK THE @#$@ OUTTA NJ”THEME MUSIK!!! LIVE FROM DC(this what we rock to here)…

  • aggressive expansion

    man the nets got owned

  • Lakers 24 7

    [Comment ID #55536 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Word. Here’s a few more.

    Domingo – The Most Underrated
    GZA – Legend of the Liquid Sword
    Ras Kass – Soul On Ice
    Vakill – Worst Fears Confirmed