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We can't even win at booing: Rockets at Lakers Preview

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Even this small, small joy has been taken from us, Lakers fans.

Stephen Dunn

Showtime: 7:30pm PT

Plot: As this miserable season hits the final few days of awfulness, it seems as though Lakers fans won't even be able to enjoy indulging and a good, old-fashioned booing.

Dwight Howard is out for tonight's contest against the Lakers, which may not have much of an effect on the outcome of the game itself, but will certainly take the fun out of an otherwise boring affair. The Rockets are rolling towards the playoffs, dangerously close to securing home court advantage as the 4-seed in the Western Conference. Howard has been a large part of that success, helping to raise the team's status from a fringe playoff team into a dark horse contender for the NBA title. Dwight is still the defensive terror that he's almost always been, thought his numbers have been relatively lacking on a team with so many scoring threats. The Lakers will have to keep a watchful eye out for three-point shooting from all corners of the floor, as Chandler Parsons and James Harden seem to take a special liking to destroying LA whenever facing the purple and gold.

The Show meanders towards the end of a horrible year, with the lineup more bereft of winning talent than ever before. Pau Gasol, Xavier Henry, Kent Bazemore, Chris Kaman and of course Kobe Bryant presumably won't see the floor for the rest of the year, with Steve Nash and Jordan Farmar questionable to see action. This will leave the team with perhaps just eight active players, a situation scarily reminiscent of a couple months ago when they were running 6 to 7 healthy bodies per night.

It's not even that the Lakers aren't healthy--they also just don't have the talent on the floor. With Bazemore missing the contest tonight, the Lakers will run MarShon Brooks at back-up point guard, a situation which shouldn't bear much fruit. Even with Howard out tonight, it's hard to envision anything besides a massive drubbing at the hands of a Rockets team that seems to have every attack that ails the Lakers.

The tank motors on, my friends. Let's hope that the Lakers keep it respectable, right?

--MAMBINO

--Follow this author @TheGreatMambino