To the moderately informed, a matchup between the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers might look like a lopsided affair. A star-studded lineup hosting a fringe playoff team from a weak conference? Should be an easy time for the home team.
But all is not well in the City of Angels, where the Lakers currently sit five games below .500 and now have to take on a Milwaukee Bucks squad playing excellent offensive ball in the new year. Despite the presence of Dwight Howard, LA is just 23rd in defensive rating (107.0) and they've been even worse in 2013. And truthfully, the Bucks present a less-than-ideal matchup: The Bucks' two primary scoring options are quick guards, exactly the type of player the Lakers have had trouble defending lately. Then again, they did just "hold" Cleveland's Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters to 30 points on 33 shots, so who knows.
A victory tonight would give interim head coach Jim Boylan his fourth win in five tries, including three on the road. Another strong performance from Brandon Jennings (who may or may not be making a late All-Star push) would go a long way in securing it.