by Marcel Mutoni

The Playoffs are right around the corner. In fact there is only one more weekend after this one in the NBA’s regular season. And as great as this season has been, it’s about time the “real” one started. Kobe and Shaq are certainly ready.

There are a bunch of great matchups this weekend, starting with the Mavs/Lakers tilt in L.A. tonight. The last time these two teams met in Los Angeles, Dirk and Kobe had a shootout, and the Lakers eventually pulled out an overtime win. Dallas is playing well of late, and a win tonight would do wonders for their confidence.

The Spurs are in Utah tonight in a game that could have major implications on their Playoff seeding, especially considering the fact that the West-leading New Orleans Hornets are hosting the Knicks.

(The Jazz might be the most under-appreciated 50-win team ever; here’s a chance for them to earn a little more respect.)

ABC lucked out on Sunday, as it’ll broadcast the two best games of the day: Warriors/Hornets, Mavs/Suns.

Shockingly, this will only be Chris Paul’s second nationally-televised game of the season. This is obviously a good thing for the Hornets franchise, but even more importantly, for the casual fan. It would have been kind of weird if the average fan had only seen the guy that might very well be the MVP of the League on the SportsCenter highlights.