There are a number of NBA games on tap for tonight, but only two will make it to viewers across the country.  ESPN is carrying both and the contests are going to determine who develops a winning record and who starts to fall further behind.  Let the good times roll in New Orleans.

The New Orleans Pelicans are hosting the Dallas Mavericks and they seriously want to win this game.  Both teams have only played a single game so far this season, and the Pelicans didn’t have a good time.  They lost to the Toronto Raptors this week, 130-122, and are hoping they can even out their record against the Mavs.

The Pelicans have a lot of strength and the fact that they pushed the Raptors into overtime, despite the loss, shows that they’re not playing all that sloppy.  JJ Redick, Nicolo Melli and Josh Hart turned up the heat to give a combined 45 points and Brandon Ingram held up his end of the bargain, contributing 22 alone.  Unfortunately, 19 team turnovers pushed New Orleans back and was a big reason for the loss.  They will need to get that under control tonight if they want to move to 1-1 on the year.

The Mavs are already 1-0, having defeated the Washington Wizards 108-100 in their season opener.  The team has some serious talent with Kristaps Porzingis and Luka Doncic.  Doncic racked up 34 points against the Wizards while Porzingis added 23.  There’s no doubt that the Dallas team has some skills on the court, but they, like the Pelicans, also gave away the ball 19 times in their opening game.  Looking at the overall picture, though, the Mavs are in a better position to win tonight – and they will.

The LA Lakers need to pull themselves together.  They were a definite to win against the LA Clippers to get the season started, but failed miserably, taking a 112-102 loss in a surprise defeat.  Making matters worse, the Clippers have been seen as an inferior team.  As the Lakers get ready to take on the Utah Jazz tonight, they better be ready to bring their A game or they’ll end up being this week’s NBA disgrace.

The Lakers showed now depth when they went up against the Clippers and LeBron James and Anthony Davis were never able to develop the way they were needed.  The duo was held to just 43 points between them, which is not even more than what two rookies would have been expected to produce.  It’s a guarantee that the Jazz will be putting the pressure on the two tonight, hurting the Lakers’ chances even more.  However, if nothing else, James and Davis are true professionals and know how to make adjustments where needed.

When the Jazz took on – and defeated – the Oklahoma City Thunder this week, it was no fluke.  They are more than ready for the season and are ready to keep control of their games.  Donovan Mitchell scored 32 points against the Thunder and saw some great help from Bojdan Bogdanovic, who added another 16 in his first game with the team.  The Jazz has one of the best defenses in the league, so far, and this is going to help against a shaky Lakers squad.  The spread is at +3.5 to the Jazz and the Lakers are expected to be handed their second loss on the season in what should be a relatively close game.