Both the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers will be looking to make a statement on Christmas Day when the two face off at the Staples Center. The Lakers, who have had a tumultuous off season, will be trying to prove early that they're still one of the elite teams in the Western Conference, despite the loss of Lamar Odom and the improvement of several other teams in the conference. The Bulls, meanwhile, surely want to get rid of the sour taste left in their mouths after the Miami Heat vanquished them in last year's Eastern Conference Finals. Of course, neither team can right all wrongs in one day, but a nationally televised marquee game is a good place to start.
For the Lakers, Kobe Bryant, who hurt his right wrist in the team's opening preseason game, will play, though the overall status of his injury is still unknown. The Bulls are fully healthy, and will also be integrating new acquisition Richard Hamilton into the line up, and they expect him to give MVP Derrick Rose some much needed scoring help in the backcourt.
Game date/time: Sunday, Dec. 25, 4 p.m. CT
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, Calif.
TV coverage: ABC
Bulls: ESPN 1000 AM
Lakers: ESPN 710 AM
Odds: Lakers favored by 2.5
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