LA, at 28-18, is in the No. 3 position in the West, with Dallas 1.5 games behind them at 27-20. Both teams want to avoid the 4 and 5 positions and a second-round date with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Dallas will be without Brendan Haywood, which could be a huge loss against the Lakers, one of the biggest teams in the NBA with the 7'0 tandem of Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.
LA is bringing in a radically new team, as they made a series of intriguing moves at the NBA's trade deadline. Ramon Sessions, a 25-year old PG from the Cleveland Cavaliers, has replaced Derek Fisher in the starting line-up while Jordan Hill, an athletic 6'10 235 24-year old from the Houston Rockets, is in line to be the primary backup at the center position.
The Mavericks are hoping that Shawn Marion will be back for the game Wednesday, as he's been Dallas primary defender on Kobe Bryant over the last few seasons.
The 8:30 PM game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.