The L*kers Are In Town
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  1. Dan Harbison
    Dan Harbison
    Posts: 219

    Posted 01/06/2010 4:33 PM

    Huge game on Friday night. Are you going? Are you watching on TV? Jumping on here to chat with everyone from the Rose Garden?

    Here are some questions I'll throw out to the group, and I'm sure there will be other questions out there as well.

    How will we stop Andrew Bynum? Can Howard and Pendergraph lean on him enough? Will LaMarcus get the assignment?

    Will Martell draw the Kobe assignment, or Brandon? If Brandon does, will it effect his offensive production, or will he be able to power through?

    Who matches up with Bayless and Patty Mills on the L*kers? Famar? D-Fisher? I think both of our guys are much quicker, but we'll see if that translates into points and opportunities for our other guys when the defense collapses.

    I would love to hear what you guys think we need to do to get a W on Friday.

    I am a fan of
  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 01/08/2010 1:00 PM

    Portland (22-15) comes into this game losers of two straight, which has dropped them from 3rd in the West, all the way down to 6th. On the other hand, Los Angeles (28-7) heads into the Rose City owners of the NBA' best record but also riding an eight-game losing streak in the Rose Garden. If there ever was a time for the Lakers to get the Rose City monkey off of their backs, it would be tonight with Portland still most likely without Blake and really using just a 7 man rotation. On paper, this game looks like it should be LA all day, but a different beast brews inside the Trail Blazers when the purple and gold show up to battle.

    There's no point in bringing up stats in a rivalry game like this, so I'm just throwing them out of the window. The status of Lakers forward Pau Gasol is still up in the air for tonight's game, and needless to say, it would be a big boost for Portland if he was unable to go. Andre Bynum is taller, but is flat out soft and doesn't worry me at all. Unlike Gasol, Bynum can't hit the mid-range jumper or pass as well out of double teams. Likely to play is Ron Artest, who has seen action in the past two games after recovering from a pretty major concussion suffered right after Christmas which saw him miss approximately two weeks of game time. Although Artest is averaging a miniscule 12 points, on 41.9% shooting, and 4.8 rebounds, tonight he will earn his paycheck by focusing 110% of his energy on defending Brandon Roy. Roy got 26.7 ppg last playoffs against an onslaught which included Artest and Battier, but it seemed like Brandon had much more success when Artest was guarding him.

    The key player to the game tonight will be Martell Webster. Not only does he draw the unenviable task of trying to defend the league's leading scorer in Kobe Bryant, but now the team is starting to rely on him scoring as well as he has been these past 3 games. During this stretch, Martell has averaged 22.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, and shooting a blistering 14-28 from downtown. The three straight 20+ point games is a career-best for Webster, and without Rudy and Steve, he is now our lone 3-point threat. In my opinion, Marty needs to net at least 15 points tonight and hold Kobe to under his scoring average of 30 for Portland to win.

    Hopefully for Portland, LaMarcus' ankle is closer to 100% than the 80% it looked like against Memphis. I respect him a lot for going on a body part that is not 100%, but to beat LA, he's got to be more of an offensive threat in the post. Not only on the offensive end of the court, but on defense as well. Too many times did I see the much shorter Randolph bully his way into Aldridge's chest and get easy buckets at will. L-Train needs to find his mean streak that seemingly comes to him after the All-Star break and take it out on the Lakers tonight. Pau is about as soft on D as any big in the league and Bynum shouldn't be quick enough to handle him either, so LaMarcus needs to have a 25-12 type of game tonight to help lead Portland to victory.

    Immediately after the Memphis game, I felt like this game would be a loss, but after coming to my senses, I feel a little differently. Just like their fans, the players of the Lakers don't view this rivalry as intense as the Portland players and fan base here. A few players are going to get their first taste of the rivalry tonight, including Pendergraph, Miller, Cunningham, and Bayless (don't think he really played at all last year). Out of those 4, I believe Bayless and Pendergraph will rise to the occasion and relish in these types of environments most. Both are fiery and intense players who don't back down from anyone. Look for JP to rebound the hell out of the ball, possibly get under the Lakers skin (Lamar Odom I'm looking at you!), and maybe a crowd energizing put-back dunk. Bayless is the exact player who thrives for these moments. With no Blake tonight, he should be expecting big minutes tonight and if he can get his jumper going, that will jump-start his attacking of the rim and possibly getting the Laker bigs in foul trouble. Portland just wants this game more tonight and scraps out a big victory tonight to revive their season during this upcoming difficult stretch.
    Game 38 Prediction: Trail Blazers 94 Lakers 91
    I am a fan of
  1. ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 01/08/2010 4:26 PM

    I think I'll cry if we lose to the Lakers at home..I know the streak has to end sometime, but not in my lifetime please! The Laker fans at the Rose Garden are the absolute WORST!
    We need LMA and Roy to play like the dynamic duo we know they are tonight if we want to get a W!
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
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