Nash and the Suns v Kobe and the Lakers

It's all smiles with these guys, til they tip it off.

The show must go on. Expectations wise, each of these teams have fallen far since their 2010 Western Conference match-up. The Lakers aren't even the hottest show in LA right now. That title belongs to the Clippers. The Suns and Lakers are aging ball clubs, struggling to get out of their own way due to poor front office decisions. Still, they feature two players who light up the stage and make you tune in every night. Nash and Kobe. 

The last time the Suns and Lakers played, LA won, although it took triple overtime to do so. In that game, Phoenix rallied from a 21 point deficit, only to lose 139-137. Channing Frye led the Suns in scoring with 32, although Nash chipped in with 19 points and 20 assists. Bryant had 42 in the win. Ho hum. Just Kobe being Kobe.

This season, Nash is just plain Nash-ty. So far in the month of January, he is shooting nearly 70% from the field. Nope, not a misprint. And we're talking about a guard here who loves to shoot threes, not some 7-foot center who only dunks. 

Statistically, the Lakers and Suns are nearly dead even. Phoenix is 4-4 and starting to play well. The Lakers too, have recently turned it on and hold a 6-2 record. They are both averaging 95 points per game, while the Suns give up 91 ppg and the Lakers 90 ppg. Expect a close one, with the Lakers pulling it out in the end, just as they usually do against Phoenix, with Kobe leading the way.

Shannon Brown makes his return to tinsel town, only this time the purple on his uniform will be trimmed with orange rather than Laker yellow. Throw it down, Shannon Brown!