by Marcel Mutoni

I had a great Christmas, thanks for asking. I flew out from Ottawa to see my folks in London (Ontario), and despite leaving on Christmas Eve, the plane was nearly empty and the entire ride took less than an hour. Things only got better as the Lakers took care of the Suns last night for the second time this season; the flowing wine, abundant turkey, house full of family that I hadn’t seen in ages, and taunting text messages to my friends who are Phoenix fans only made things better.

Though most of us aren’t prepared to do so in our own lives, the NBA resumes its regular schedule tonight, and there is a fairly decent matchup on tap. I’m looking forward to getting my first glimpse of Eazy Yi this season as his Bucks travel into Denver.

At 11-15, the Bucks have been disappointing, but their rookie big man has been playing out his mind. Yi Jianlian is dropping in 11 points per night and snatching 6 boards, and by all accounts, he’s getting the hang of this NBA thing.

On the other side of the fence, we have a confusing Denver team. Are they an elite team or just setting themselves up for yet another Playoff meltdown? At 16-11 and coming off a last-second win over the Kings, the Nuggets sit atop their division but one can’t help but feel that something is amiss in the Rocky Mountains. While A.I. and Melo take care of the scoring with everyone else picking up the remaining crumbs, Denver remains deathly allergic to defense. So, that’s why they’re reportedly thinking of shipping out Marcus Camby, only the reigning defensive player of the year? Logic!

Anyhow, tonight’s contest should be a good one, and it will serve to let us know a bit better just where each team is headed as the new year approaches.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a heaping bowl of soup and a bottle of red wine with my name written all over it.