Trail Blazers/Lakers Pre-Game
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 02/06/2010 12:34 PM

    The Trail Blazers (30-22) look to continue their dominance, in Portland, over the hated Lakers (38-13). Since the middle of the 2004-05 season, Portland has won nine consecutive meetings against Los Angeles in the Rose Garden, many of those wins coming short handed, which is what the Blazers will have to deal with again tonight. Already known out for tonight's game were Outlaw, Przybilla, and Oden, but two players, Bayless and Roy, were listed as questionable. Word has came out this morning that Jerryd Bayless is going to give it a go and will start, yet the hamstring of Brandon Roy just refuses to heal, causing him to miss 12 of the team's last 13 games. One advantage Portland has over L.A. is the fact the Lakers played last night, losing a high-scoring affair to Denver, which forced them to arrive in Portland very early this morning and play on the second night of a back to back.

    With no Roy against arguably the best team in the NBA, others must answer the bell. No player has risen to the challenge better than LaMarcus Aldridge lately. Known for taking his game to a higher level post All-Star break, Aldridge has given Blazer fans a sneak preview of whats to come. In the month of February, LaMarcus has been putting up averages of 24 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, and shooting 52.8% from the field. Talented as they may be, the Laker front-court is soft. If you hit them in the mouth first, they won't hit back, rather seeking the nearest official to cry to. If the L-Tran is in "beast mode" tonight, he could be enough to carry the Blazers to their 31st win on the season. Jumpers are fine once in a while, but work for great post position and take it straight into the chest of the Laker defenders.

    The key to beating the Lakers, on the defensive side of the ball, is to simply let Kobe try and do it all. Teammates have already came out recently, speaking in frustration about the lack of touches they are receiving, because Kobe was trying to score too much in hopes of becoming the Lakers all-time leading scorer. In their 107-98 loss in Portland earlier this year, Kobe got his 32, but on 37 shot attempts. Martell Webster did an admirable job defensively on Kobe, which will earn him a second chance to D him up again, but lets not forget who the Trail Blazers have this time around, Nicolas Batum. The addition of Nico allows another fresh body to swarm Bryant continuously throughout the game. I hope Coach Nate uses both Marty and Nico both to check Kobe, in hopes the different defenders give him a different look each time down the court, so Kobe will not be able to figure either one out.

    Feeling down about Roy being out against the Lakers? Don't, because the team doesn't and they are used to doing this without their franchise. Do not forget, we crushed L.A. last month with really only seven players (Pendergraph played, but only five minutes). There was no Greg, Joel, Travis, Nico, Rudy, Blake, or Mills and Aldridge only scored eight points in that match. All we need in order to secure a win tonight are players to step up. Thankfully for the Blazers Rudy is coming into his own, Martell is coming off of a 5-5 night from I-5, Aldridge is looking like a true 2nd option, and Dante has the mid-range jumper on lock right now. This is the Blazers versus Lakers. If we had to suit up a D-League team against L.A., there is no doubt in my mind they would be up for the challenge; it's just what this franchise does.

    To come away with our 10th straight win over the Lakers in the Rose Garden, Portland must be the aggressors by attacking the soft, Laker big men, playing suffocating defense, and running at every opportunity. As mentioned earlier, Los Angeles is playing on the second night of a back to back and they are not a young squad either. Once the rebound or turnover is secure, go! Without Brandon, running is a strength of nearly every other player on this team and there is nothing an already rabid fan base loves more than seeing the team run and finish strong on the break. Also, it can not be overstated enough, but keep going to the goal! On January 8th, Portland made good with the charity stripe a staggering 39 times. Now, I doubt we reach that number again, but we will need at least 20 attempts to get the job done tonight.

    Do the Lakers have a good shot to win tonight? No, they have a great chance at finally breaking the curse. Although they are tired from playing last night, Pau Gasol is back healthy in the lineup for L.A., who was M.I.A. the last go-round and they don't have to deal with Brandon Roy, who simply was a Laker killer last month, scoring 32 points on 9-11 shooting, handing out 6 assists, and pulling down 5 rebounds. One has to wonder, if L.A. can't get the job done tonight, will they ever be able to win in the Rose Garden? Portland needs to keep the Laker role players in check, mainly Brown and Fisher, as well as limit second-chance opportunities from a very tall Laker front-court. It will be neck and neck the entire way, but watch out for Rudy Fernandez tonight to also come back with big momentum plays to keep the Lakers at bay.
    Game 53 Prediction: Trail Blazers 95 Lakers 92
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  1. Posted 02/06/2010 2:20 PM

    Lets hope Aldridge goes beast! He played the best defense he's played all year late in thursdays game. not to mention that beauty of a jumper down the stretch. GO Blazers! Beat LA.

    I am a fan of anything but the blazers at this point.
  1. BR7_Fan
    Posts: 399

    Posted 02/06/2010 4:04 PM

    L-Train does have to beast tonight for us to be in it. Doesn't matter who you are, if you suit up in black and red you play NBA Jam BIG when the L*kers come to town. No Roy but we do have Rudy and Batum (will be looking for dunk #3 on Gasol) Starters have to play well, and we need some sparks off the bench, Martell and Batum needs to play soild D on Kobe and if all goes well with the help of "The 6th Man" we can make it 10 straight in the Garden. Wish I had tickets to this one.

    I am a fan of RIP CITY > LOB CITY
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