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Lakers vs. Mavericks preview: Things done changed

The Lakers try to shake of an ugly end to their game against the Bulls against the new-look Mavericks.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers don't get a chance to rest after a Christmas day loss to the Chicago Bulls, heading into Dallas to face the Mavericks. It was just a few weeks ago Kobe Bryant was in Boston eating breakfast with Rajon Rondo. Things done changed since then, folks. Rondo is no longer in a Boston Celtics uniform, and Kobe is resting games, admitting a small defeat to father time and general soreness in his knees.

The Mavericks are going to have a long feeling-out phase with Rondo. He's a highly-skilled point guard who also has severe limitations on offense. He can't hit free-throws, is a mess when shooting outside the paint and has been known to "pad" his assists stats. He's a piece Rick Carlisle will have to fit into the Mavericks' schemes, but that's what makes him one of the best coaches in the NBA.

The Lakers are also in a bit of an "adjustment" phase, learning to play without Kobe on a nightly basis. He's officially listed as "questionable" against the Mavericks, though he said there was a "slim" chance he'd suit up against Dallas. Los Angeles could certainly use Kobe on the second half of this back-to-back, especially considering he's taken the last two games off, but a third night off to make up for the high workload wouldn't be the worst thing for him either. The Lakers' next game is at home against the Phoenix Suns on Dec. 28.

Enjoy the game as the holiday weekend rolls on.

Time: 5:30 p.m. PT

Station: TWCSN

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