Brooklyn Nets (6-2) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (5-5)
This was not supposed to be the first time Dwight Howard and Deron Williams were supposed to share the court together. They were supposed to be in the same uniform, in fact, not opposite colors. That was the plan at least.
It was pretty clear from the moment Dwight Howard asked out of Orlando that he wanted to play with his good friend Deron Williams in New Jersey and help move the franchise to Brooklyn. Howard admitted he was afraid of moving to Los Angeles for fear of being compared too much to Shaquille O'Neal. Instead Howard hoped to set his own path and leave his mark in this new market with this new team.
With the gate clearly open for him to go to Brooklyn at least as a free agent, Howard still shockingly waived his early termination clause. He could no longer force his way to Brooklyn as the team had nothing enticing to offer Orlando. The Magic shipped him to the Lakers and that was that.
Williams and the Nets moved on without Howard and have a pretty good team. Meanwhile, Howard and the Lakers have struggled to grasp a new offense, fired a coach and brought in a new coach, who will make his on-bench debut in tonight's game.
And so Howard and Williams finally get to share the court. Not in the way they perhaps imagined, but both are in positions where they are happy... for now.
Other Storylines to Watch
-Dwight Howard said he was going to knock Brook Lopez in the chest, to which Lopez deadpanned: "At least he said what he was going to do."
-The Lakers apparently expressed some interest in signing Gilbert Arenas after Steve Nash's injury. But Arenas held back wanting to prove himself in the CBA before making an NBA return.
Tonight's Other Games
Toronto Raptors (3-7) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (6-4)
Kyle Lowry has been out for most of the early part of the season. Lowry is expected to make his return to the floor as Toronto plays in his hometown of Philadelphia. The Raptors have had some great play from Jose Calderon so how much Lowry is needed is a bit of a question. But Lowry should provide some nice scoring punch coming off the bench.
New York Knicks (7-1) vs. New Orleans Hornets (3-5)
The league does not appear to be surprised by New York's emergence this season. Jason Kidd said he felt something special brewing when he arrived. And Hornets coach Monty Williams said Tyson Chandler and coach Mike Woodson are still vastly underrated for the job they do for their team.