The spirited two-team race between the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz for the Western Conference's eighth seed will dominate the headlines over the closing days of the 2012-13 NBA regular season.
And so it should.
Frankly, it's one of the only things left to be decided before season's end.
Fifteen of the 16 playoff spots have already been claimed. Carmelo Anthony's first scoring title of his career seems a mere formality at this point. Ditto for LeBron James' fourth MVP award in the last five seasons and Damian Lillard's Rookie of the Year honors.
But the certainty of the regular-season narratives hasn't shortened the laundry list of questions looming on the basketball horizon. If anything, it's only shifted them to the forefront of the hoops world.