Coming off of a 40 point performance against the Golden State Warriors, Kobe Bryant feels that his team is much improved with the addition of Ramon Sessions in the backcourt. Can they cover the number against the New Jersey Nets?
The Lakers (33-20) lead the Pacific West Division standings and must not let their guard down as any team can lose on any given day. Deron Williams and the New Jersey Nets (19-35) come to town and this should be a good one as the boo birds will be raining down on Kris Humphries.

Tip-off for this matchup is scheduled for Tuesday at 10:30 pm ET at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

NBA odds makers opened the spread with the Lakers favored by 10 and that number has dropped to 9.5 with the total holding at 195.


Bynum note:

He didn't need an MRI on his moderately sprained ankle and that's a positive but there's no assurance that he'll step onto the court.

Brook Lopez"Hump"

Jokingly referred to as "Hump", forward Kris Humphries has silenced the critics for his off the court behavior and has come to work with his hard hat and lunch pale everyday as has averaged a double-double on the season at 13.4 points and 10.9 rebounds.

Humphries has also destroyed Lamar Odom in the battle of the former brother-in-laws and that has to make him feel somewhat good. He's faced a lot of booing and he'll definitely face a lot of boos tonight in the scene of the crime, Los Angeles. This could be a shaky game for Hump as I remember him having a tough time earlier in the season as the boos came smattering down from a critical L.A. Clippers' crowd. I think that Humphries has played well under the adversity and I look for a solid performance here. if Bynum doesn't play, Humphries could have a huge game.

Solid veteran pickup

The Nets have the flash in Deron Williams and the veteran blue collar type of player in Humphries and Gerald Wallace. Wallace has been a great addition to this team as he's averaged 15.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game. This is a cool customer that knows how to handle the likes of L.A. In his last two games against the Lakers, Wallace has raised his level of play, averaging 19.0 points and 57.7% from the field.

Steal of a deal

Kobe Bryant is certainly elated with the addition of Ramon Sessions to the Lakers squad. The Lakers love Derek Fisher but let's face it, he's about to retire fairly soon and doesn't have nearly the offensive game that Sessions has. This put's L.A. back into the Championship hunt, a place that people thought that they would never be.

Steve Blake was more of a shooter but Sessions can score and do the number one thing that L.A. need's him to do and that's setup Kobe Bryant. 

In his last 5 games, Ramon Sessions played somewhat inconsistently but still managed to average 13 points, 6.6 assists, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal per game. Sessions doesn't shoot the 3 ball often but he's 5 for 8 in his last 5 games and can make the big shot. Expect him to be a major part of the offense of in this game.

Pau Gasol

The Lakers can go to a team with 3 men nearing the 7 foot mark from last year to 1 player, Pau Gasol, in this game. That's all speculation as you should stay tuned by tweets and fantasy league sites that update a players injury status each hour. If you really like LA in this spot and want to bet them, put in the work and stay tuned to these updates as Bynum's status is key.

Saying all that, Pau Gasol has been playing very well as of late. People were thinking that he was upset about trade talks and his skills were diminishing but Gasol quietly keep's putting up the numbers and is there for this team when they need him.

In his last 10 games, Gasol is averaging 18.8 points, 10.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.4 blocks. he's also coming off of a 26 point, 11 rebound, 6 assist and 3 block performance in a victory over Golden State.

Fantasy leaguers and bettors alike, look for the Spainiard to go huge in this game whether Bynum play's or not. Bynum shouldn't be at full force if he play's but the veteran Gasol has plenty of gas in the tank.

LA or NJ?

The Lakers have never been good at covering the spread when they're a big favorite. In a situation like this, we just don't know due to Bynum. If Bynum play's and the spread is large, I like New Jersey. The Nets are improving talent-wise and the points will be enough. If Bynum doesn't play, bet slightly less and still take the Nets to cover a spread that will be significantly smaller.

NBA picks: New Jersey Nets to cover