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Lakers-Nets Open Thread

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Say hello to Mike D'Antoni.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

At long last Mike D'Antoni takes to the Laker sideline this evening. He'll be coaching the resurgent purple and gold against visitors from the Far East. To be honest I don't know quite what to think of these Brooklyn Nets. Their record (6-2) is splendid, good for second best in the Eastern Conference, but five of their wins have come against teams that would not make the playoffs if they started today. Their only quality win is over Boston, and the one time they played an elite team on the road (against Miami on November 7) they got stomped.

In any case, the battle up front is what to watch in this one. Center Brook Lopez is off to a terrific start, and he's been getting solid help from Andray Blatche and Kris Humphries. Not to mention, occasional Laker nemesis Gerald Wallace is back in the lineup after missing several games because of a sprained left ankle. Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill need to bring their big-boy games tonight.