Preview and Chat: the Portland Trailblazers

Reed —  April 2, 2008

Records: Lakers 50-24 (3 seed), Portland 38-36 (trying to finish above .500)
Offensive Ratings: Lakers 109.6 (3rd), Portland 104.1 (15th)
Defensive Ratings: Lakers 102.9 (6th) Portland 105.3 (18th)
Projected Lineups: Lakers- Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Vlad Rad, Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol
Blazers- Steve Blake, Martell Webster, Travis Outlaw, Lamarcus Aldridge, Joel Pryzbilla
Gasol is Back! (Probably)

The Home Stretch: This is the home stretch for the Lakers, the last 8 games of what has been a great season. We have talked a lot about potential playoff opponents and we peruse the box-scores of other teams to see who is winning and who is losing. The main thing the Lakers need to do going into this home stretch is focus on them. That means improving perimeter defense, not settling for jump shots and most importantly, get healthy.

Next Year is not looking bad in Portland: Not only do the Blazers bring back one of the best young nucleus’ in the league (one that won 13 games in a row), it is adding 2007 #1 pick Greg Oden to the mix…and a lottery pick this year.
Last Time These Two Met: The Trail Blazers: The Lakers took a one point lead into the 4th quarter, but lost by 8, 119-111. That game was in the Thorn Garden (where we play them one more time 4/8) and the Lakers have had a history to forget at the Blazer’s place. The key to the Blazer win was their bench, especially Jarret Jack and Travis Outlaw who combined for 39 pts.

If You See a 7 footer at Venice Beach…It won’t be Greg Oden, he has been told no more pick-up games.

Vin Scully: Got a chance to watch the Dodger game last night, and Vin Scully made me smile at least 5 times. Just like Chick used to do, he seamlessly transitions from talking in-game strategy to the background of a reserve’s nickname, all while providing simulcast quality play-by-play. It made me realize how lucky LA is to have Vin, and was to have Chick.

Keys to the Game: Brandon Roy is not playing tonight, and the Blazers are coming off a home loss to the Bobcats (sound familiar)…which all makes me nervous. The Lakers got outscored by 10 pts last game in the “points off of turnover” category, so taking care of the ball tonight is important. Also, Outlaw is a tough match-up for us and seeing how we signed Ira Newble for the rest of the season, maybe he plays tonight. Last, Aldridge is a Laker-killer in the making, we cannot allow him to take 18 ft jump shots uncontested and on the block, we may have to double him. Offensively the Lakers should (like everyone has been saying) run their offense inside and be patient. One thing Phil doesn’t do as much with Kobe as he did with MJ is post him up.

Where to Watch: FSN West and League Pass, 7:30 pst

–Kwame A.

Reed

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33 responses to Preview and Chat: the Portland Trailblazers

  1. I’ve given up smoking, finally, and one of the by-products of this has been weirdly vivid and detailed dreams (when I’m actually able to sleep, that is). Last night I watched a sort of highlight reel of the rest of the regular season play out in my brain and it had to do with the tremendous energy and fluid offense the Lakers played with after adding Gasol. Whoever was narrating this in my brain kept remarking how that added boost immediately changed the face of this year’s team, and with Gasol back and Bynum on the way, we became nearly unstoppable and unbeatable. I want to see us get back to this tonight. Energy. Team play. Inside and out. Less gambles on defense. Solid play from our bench. Setting one another up. So, sorry for this (dreams are boring to relate, I know), but I hope tonight proves my subconscious more prophetic than crazy.

  2. the other Stephen April 2, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    keep it up, phineas. wow, you must be thinking about basketball alot.

  3. musil.the.muse April 2, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    My prophecy is this: Portland next year will have a Spurs-like rebirth–a *baby* version of the reversals that the Spurs achieved when Robinson was drafted, or when Duncan was drafted the year after Robinson sat out. Next year they’re getting Oden, Rudy Fernandez, and a late lottery pick (Darren Collison? But, knowing their luck, they’re get Rose.) It’s going to be scary for Laker-philes. People talk about how the Lakers are rising as the Suns/Spurs are aging, but the Blazers will be entering their prime as we become geriatrics.

  4. Congrats phineas!!!! Now i need to get on the bandwagon and quit as well. It’s tough….and your right, when you quit (ive tried many times), the dreams are craaaaaazzy!!!

    I hope Pau eases back in tonight and doesnt try to over do it. I’m hoping he gets about 25-30 minutes. We can NOT afford a set-back with his ankle! The Lakers need to jump on this team and they need to get a convincing win!! When was the last game they had where we saw the starters on the bench in the 4th laughing while Son of George and Mbenga get their run?? Those kind of blowout wins against sub-par teams are exactly what we have needed coming down the stretch, but have failed to get.

    It’s kind of scary to think that the team/nucleus we need on the floor together at the same time in order to get to the promise land have not played one game together as a unit yet the entire season!!!

    It’s gonna be tough to gel quick enough…..Kobe will have to be the leader and bring this team together!!

    Prediction:
    Lakers 113
    Blazers 106

  5. Oh….by the way……good job on the post Kwame a!!

  6. It doesn’t make any sense that Dirk is playing in a game right now after spraining his knee and ankle and Laker players sprain something and they need anywhere from 3 to 15 weeks to recover! New trainers/docters please!!!!!

  7. phineas

    Smoking inhibits REM sleep which is when dreams occur. You’ve probably been dreamless for awhile so this might just be your body being newly receptive to it. Good for you though.

  8. http://www.nba.com/lakers/news/080402_gameday_blazers.html

    Looks like Pau is doubtful for tonight….let’s see what happens though.

  9. can’t see the game tonight on FSNHD, for some weird reason, but it is on FSN… too bad, I’m spolied now, love that HD.
    anyone know why? (I’m Charter in Glendale)

  10. Chris – check the channel that airs FSNHD anyway at game time, it might just be that the guide does not list the game …

  11. Career night for Javaris Crittenton tonight. 23/9/4 line.

  12. #3- seriously. This is ridiculous. Kwame had the same injury as Dirk and it took him 6-8 weeks to come back. At this point I think the 24 hour flu would take us 3 weeks to recover from (oh wait- Odom’s just might…)

    #5- Joel Przbylla looks like Archie in his picture on that page.

  13. Does anyone know what happened to raptorsnation.tk and janeironation.tk? Both sites are showing nothing and channelsurfing.net isn’t working for me.

  14. No, having the same problem RH.

  15. Crittenton – 23/9/4 and 1 steal. HAHA! We still got Gasol, and Kwame is warming up the bench over there, so I wouldn’t change anything.

  16. It amazes me how the Lakers can be behind to an average Portland team without Brandon Roy. Are these guys just not hustling or…?

  17. blazers are setting a lot of moving screens to free up their 3pt shooters.

  18. Defensive rotation is slow on help defense.

  19. I smell a German conspiracy…

  20. Gils, you were right, the listing said “off air” but the game/pre-game was on, thanks.
    glad to see Pau able to run the floor as well as he has in the first half.
    now to redevelop our inside out game…

  21. This is what the Lakers should have done from the get go.

    The Lakers have made great switches off of picks on D, hit open shots, and made good decisions with the ball. I haven’t seen Jordan play with this kind of confidence since UCLA.

  22. So, Phil takes Kobe out at the 7 min mark, with us being on the good end of a run and we continue to give up a 3 point shot and a 3 point play. Yet another move I can not comprehend.

  23. Dang I just cursed Jordan. Back-to-back TOs

  24. kobe seems energized enough looking at the box score. gone is his shooting slump, and all of a sudden he’s putting up LeBron like stats.

  25. can we just say that recovery is as dependent as much on the athlete as it is on the trainers? Dirk has been known to heal very very quickly. Kobe is another example of that. Other players don’t. Gil Arenas missed 66 games this year. Does that mean Washington trainers suck? No. It’s just about how their bodies respond. I think it is really silly to keep pointing the finger at them.

  26. I love the Lakers. But if I didn’t, I’d want to live in Portland. Hot damn! That team is set for the next ten years. And that’s without Oden. Tonight, without Roy, they played their guts out. And you have to respect that in an opponent.

  27. Best line from Stu after Kobe’s dagger three:

    “When you’re on life support, he’s not giving you mouth to mouth….he’s just gonna stab you in the heart.”

  28. 1st Quarter
    12:00 – Pau tips the ball to the Space Cadet. Kobe misses a jumper from the free throw line. Jack Nicholson’s not in his seat.
    11:23 – Oh snap. Outlaw followed an Aldridge miss with a one handed slam. That was dirty. OOo… Lemme watch that again. Oooo. Still dirty.
    10:31 – Space cadet turnover. Ball right through his hands.
    10:19 – No one touches a terrible blazers pass that goes out of bounds and the refs assume that a pass that bad must have been touched by someone. Blazers retain possession. Should’ve been a turnover. Not a good sign referee wise.
    9:35 – Crafty veteran move by Fish. Curl drive through the key, draws contact and throws in a 12 foot floater. And one.
    9:15 – In my opinion, Pau looks pretty good. Much more steady than the Tall Gerrman looked in his game against the We Believes. Still a little like a baby giraffe though.
    8:57 – Wow. Lamar just swatted Aldridge’s and Outlaw’s dunks in succession. And then he goes down and blows the layup.
    8:06 – Kobe jumps around a screen and pops the ball loose without drawing the foul. That was a phenomenal defensive play. Fisher leads the break, alley-oop to Kobe and the slam. Just kidding. Terrible Alley. No Oop. Kobe spikes the ball at the Space Cadet who let it go through his hands. The Space Cadet has Kwameitis tonight. Portland hits the corner three. Lakers 8, Blazers 10.
    6:38 – Steve Blake hits the straightaway three and it was so good his own eye hurts. Seroiusly. He was rubbing his own eye.
    6:16 – Pau attempts the over the shoulder back door pass to Kobe off the inbounds play. Good to see that. Except “the length of Channing Frye saw that coming.” Yeah, in that sentence, it was his length showing qualities of anticipation. Lakers play crap defense. Outlaw or Webster or someone hits another short corner three after good ball movement. ::sigh:: more of the same.
    5:45 – The Space Cadet takes an ill-advised shot in the lane. I think it’s time for the Son of Bill. Steve Blake is a knife into the Lakers defense right there. He looks as quick as the Answer. Dish out to, you’ll never guess, the short corner three. Blazers miss but the length of Channing Frye gets the offensive board and shows nice touch getting the baby hook to fall.
    5:23 – Hahaha. Around the Cooler segment. Patrick O’Neal has a Gatorade cooler for a head. He says the word “defense” a lot. Lakers down 18-11.
    4:48 – the Lakers believe the best defensive plan is going to be to leave the Blazers open on three pointers. Let’s just say, it’s not been as successful as they thought it was going to be.
    4:09 – The Space Cadet earns another turnover by getting it slapped out of his hands along the sideline, off his forearm. This is a game he’d like to push the reset button on.
    3:35 – Lakers had a pretty awesome possession. Bad pass to fisher in the corner. He saves it from going out of bounds. Throws it to Ronny. Ronny throws it back to him in the other corner. Fisher drives to the bucket throws up a bad shot (surprise!). Kobe gets the rebound. Puts up a shot. gets fouled. Goes up again and throws in a ridiculous layup. Won’t count. But still awesome. Foul happened on the first missed one. After the free throws 23-17 blazers are up.
    2:54 – I wonder if Lamar has a degenerative disorder in his right shoulder. He dribbles up the court with his right arm entirely immobilized. He looked like Candace Parker with a dislocated shoulder or something
    2:44 – Channing Frye is shown furrowing his brow on the bench.
    2;16 – Kobe leaks out on the break after contesting the three ball and the outlet pass finds him. He hits a turn around left handed baby hook over the defender. Color me impressed.
    1:49 – Lamar dunks it strongly against the post non-defense. 25 – 23 blazers still up
    1:22 – blazers hit another three from the corner. Wide open.
    1:19 – Luuuuuuuke. Hits the shot, and one. 28-26 Blazers still up.
    1:02 – Wow. Joel says Aldridge hasn’t scored yet. He’s at the free throw line now so I imagine that won’t last very, yup. Makes the first. And the second.
    0:07 – blazers go too early. #33 (James jones?) goes way too early. Ugly runner in the lane. Ronny grabs the rebound. 5 seconds still Lakers with a chance to get a good shot. Oh poop. Ronny throws it into Outlaws outstretched arms. Unlike a romance novel, that’s not a good thing. Lakers foul him. Blah. My eyes doth protest. Outlaw actually established his position in the frontcourt and stepped into the backcourt. I don’t think that should be called as a violation, but I believe, according the rule book, that should have been.
    0:01 – Luke throws a length of the court pass to Lamar. Lamar almost brings it in, but runs out of basketball court. They should do something about that. Who wouldn’t want to play on a 110 foot court besides Dan Gadzuric? Blazers don’t get a shot off in time. 31-26 blazers.

    2nd Quarter
    Hahaha. Chris McGee is doing his sideline report and in the background, the referee checks out the goods, and by checks out the goods, I mean, carefully examined the rear end of at least two Lakergirls. You think referees have groupies too?
    11:38 – Outlaw gets mugged by Kobe. No call. Ends up being a turnover as Outlaw rolls the ball out of bounds. Mr. \Supersonic looks on in dismay. Huge dismay. Too bad he doesn’t have channing Frye’s talent for the brow furrow. He could use it to alternate with his dismay face. Contrast is a good way to make one’s point.
    10:28 – the Machine hits his short corner three. Good way to break the seal for him.
    10:12 – Oh nice dish to pryzbilla by Jarrett Jack. And the big dope is standing out of bounds under the basket. What a moron. He looks like a guppy afterwards.
    9:39 – Jarrett jack takes no dribbles from the three point line around some defenders and into the lane to get a layup. None. He took zero dribbles. He did take at least three steps. That was the most obvious example of traveling that I have ever seen. No one seems to notice. Kobe takes the miss the other way and gets fouled in the act of shooting on the fast break. Another brain fart by the Blazers. Stu says they need to give that foul earlier.
    8:50 – Gasol hits a jumper from above the free throw line. No one near him. Timeout. An Ira Newble sighting! Lakers up by 2. 35-33. I am trying not to enjoy a skinny chick riding a mechanical bull while eating a burger. Trying. Okay phew. Commercial over. I try not to objectify women, but what am I supposed to do in the face of such imagery?
    8:08 – If you had to pick the ideal shot for Sasha you would definitely go with back to the basket, turn around fade away on the block right? No? I’m shocked. Really. Just shocked. He missed, btw.
    8:00 – sasha and james jones go after a loose ball. James Jones runs into sasha but sasha gets the foul. Stu says it’s because sasha pulled up in anticipation of the contact. I call bs.
    Lakers being out rebounded 18-12. That’s not a good sign.
    7:20 – Sergio Rodriguez travels and again, no whistle. Makes the layup. The Blazers’ suitcases must already be packed because they are traveling all over the place.
    6:50 – Luke hits the 15 footer from the side. The Luke haters, all together now, “oww, my eye.”
    6:24 – Sahsa does his running through wet concrete impression again on a slow break. And op, there it is. He throws it away. That’s 8 turnovers. “He just threw it to a moving body.”
    6:00 – Sasha tries to redeem himself with a three. Lakers down 41-40. TV timeout. I hate commercials. We should do it like soccer. 45 minutes of uninterrupted flopping. The Space cadet is coming back into the game. Along with pau and fish.
    5:44 – The space cadet is so lost. His head swivels side to side as he looks for his man who has somehow wandered away. Maybe Phil was asking him if he was playing good defense and he was giving his answer. “Nope.”
    5:07 Sergio Rodriguez throws the ball to pau Gasol. Maybe he was trying to build good will with the Spaniard.
    4:54 – Stu and Joel make the point that the zone is much more vulnerable when pau is in there. They’re right. He is a threat from that high post area to shoot, drive, and pass.
    4:50 – Lamar drives the lane and earns himself his signature swooping layup. You should note that Pau’s hands are up the whole time. Lamar doesn’t pass to him but if Pau’s man had committed a moment earlier, Lamar would’ve given the ball up and Pau would’ve had a layup or dunk. Fundamental readiness by the scruffy Spaniard. Impressive. Lakers up 42-41.
    3:52 – Rodriguez dribbling outside the three point line. Fisher gets picked by outlaw but he separates. Dares Rodriguez to shoot. Outlaw then just starts walking into Fisher, dislodging him. Rodriquez, comfortable with his newfound space, nails a three ball. I’m pretty sure that’s an illegal screen. I’m tired of typing Rodriguez. I need to think of a nickname for him. He kind of looks like a rabbit.
    3:40 – Ariza is shown on the bench. He’s got this ugly reverse Candy cane patterned shirt on.
    2:57 – 44 – 44. I just wanted to type out that nice score.
    2:41 – Steve Blake ruins my fun. He hits the short corner three. That’s like a million wide open outside shots for the blazers in this game.
    2:28 – Gasol with a no look bounce past to the space cadet under the basket! Layup and in! Gasol has “a certain feel for the game.” Much like pacman Jones has a feel for how to make it rain. Oof, Aldridge gets a nice feed for an uncontested dunk.
    1:40 – The Lakers play excellent defense on this possession. Sort of. Fisher gets faked out of his shoes and is into the lane before he is able to change direction while steve blake was outside the three point line the whole time. But gasol comes over to help. His length bothers blake. Fisher has time to recover. Lakers rotate to perfection. Kobe shades down towards gasol’s man. The pass goes to kobe’s man on the wing. Lamar comes over to get Pau’s man. Kobe gets back to his man. Ball goes into alridge in the post as lamar guards him. The weakside blazers cycle. Pau and the Space cadet play a little bit of zone until a man comes into their area. The space cadet starts to double Aldridge in the post from the weakside and Aldridge tries a turn around over lamar. Lamar blocks the shot or gets all wrist, not sure. The Space Cadet is in great position to get the airball. No blazers within 15 feet of him. They got lucky that the Blazers didn’t go inside out, but they helped when they needed to and stayed at home when they needed. They forced the young blazers into a bad shot.
    0:56 – Sasha gets outhustled by Aldridge for a rebound. blazers take a short corner that’s weakly contested. Luckily it misses.
    0:27 – blazers take a time out leading by 1. 49-48. 19 seconds on the shot clock. Let’s see what Mr. supersonic draws up. How much you want to bet it ends with a short corner three? Well they did pass it out to the corner three, but the space cadet closed well. Outlaw tries to blow by him. VladRad fouls him.
    0:07 – 12 seconds were left in the half, kobe got the rebound off the missed free throw and runs down the court. Pau sets a vicious screen up high. Kobe continues to the rack. Fouled in the act of shooting. Kobe saw a wide open path to the basket (well it wasn’t wide open to you or me, cuz we are mere mortals). I’m okay with that. Stu starts blathering about how much of a travesty this was cuz the blazers will get the last shot.
    Lakers full court press off Kobe’s made free throw. Blazers pretend that they are german and the lakers are the French army. The rabbit finds James Jones for the short corner three and good lord. I think Jones just called wind interference. He missed to the right by about a foot. Kobe grabs it pump fakes, and throws it length of the court. No good. I was going to just give up this whole live blogging thing if that went in.
    So far, I’d say this game is not playoff intensity nor is it playoff execution. Both teams are off and on. A boneheaded play followed by a great play followed by another mediocre play. Pau has played well he has made the game easier for everyone else. He’s not the magic cure though. And, we’re tied at 50. That was not a euphemism for my father’s vasectomy. Honestly.

    3rd Quarter
    Brian shaw looking sharp in the lavender shirt/tie combo. He says the lakers have to do a better job contesting the three point shot and getting the defensive rebounds.
    11:17 – A RARE RIGHT-HANDED LAYUP BY LAMAR. Amazing. Earlier reports of paralysis were mistaken.
    10:27 – Kobe takes Mr. Travis Outlaw to school. Twice on the same possession. He broke him down but Pau went towards the basket which clogged Kobe’s lane. So kobe backed up, and then just waltzed around Outlaw. Fairly easy layup.
    9:14 – kobe educates Outlaw again. Finger roll. Lakers up by 5. I am not seeing The Ruins. I don’t care if Jessica Alba wanted to hold my arm during it. That movie would make me suffer incontinence. We are “treated” to The Lantz Lens. Cheesy graphics and sound effects.
    8:48 – Wow, fisher doesn’t force up a bad layup against Outlaw. Stu and Joel both breathe a sigh of relief. “GOOD Decision”
    7:23 – The Space Cadet has blake on him in the post. Mismatch city. “Yeah, but he doesn’t have the back to the basket game.” Stop hating stu. Vlad man throws up a right handed baby hook that was a brick from the get go. Pau gets the offensive board and Alridge gets a clean block that is called a foul.
    6:51 – fisher is being hounded by Webster on the perimeter and Fisher elbows him right in the jaw. No flop. No call either. Maybe he should have flopped. That was sincere.
    6:21 – Webster gets an uncontested dunk and that was a pretty good LeBron impression. Not as good as that Outlaw follow early in the game, but pretty good nonetheless.
    6:03 – The Space cadet hits a spot up three on the wing. Gasol found him from the pinch post.
    5:32 – The Space Cadet returns the favor and finds gasol on the free throw line. 67-59 Lakers.
    4:39 – Lakers are up by 10 after a rainbow shot by Fisher and a turnover by the Blazers. Blake pretty much threw it into the 200 seats. Unfortunately for those in the 200 seats, this isn’t the AFL and they do not get to keep the ball. Let’s see if the Lakers can put their foot on the neck or if they suffer a lapse in effort.
    3:27 – Fisher tries to find the space cadet under the basket. But he threw it around VladRad’s ankle. Turnover.
    3:12 – Oh my. Pau is going to be on a poster. Travis outlaw drove around LO, and Outlaws elevator goes WAY WAY WAY higher than Pau’s. One handed slam. the replay shows that Outlaw used his off arm to clear out, but I ain’t mad at him. That was sick nasty.
    3:03 – Jump ball situation. Stu and Joel start talking about the shot clock being reset when it shouldn’t have been. This takes some time to sort out. Shot clock is set to 15. Kobe, Pau, and one of the refs are talking at the free throw line before the jump ball. The following nonsensical words are then said:
    Stu: What’s the discussion now– Who’s buying dinner? Come on guys, I gotta paint the fence tonight.
    Joel: Crowd’s comfortable, though.
    I am cracking up right now. “Oh shortbus.” Lakers up 69-63.
    2:08 – Jarrett Jack misses the runner in the lane. He says words that his mother would not approve of. It’s another word for poop.
    0:31 – Kobe does a little break dancing while scrambling on defense. He should’ve transitioned into a flare or a windmill from there.
    Nothing noteworthy happened in the last two minutes of the quarter. Lakers are cruising. Winning 73-63. If the Blazers make a run, the Lakers have another gear to match it. You can just feel the Blazers are already defeated. Kind of like your mom. SICK BURN!

    4th Quarter
    11:27 – Channing Frye laments being tall. He laments so much his face-up 10 footer is a brick. It’s such a burden to be so tall and make so much money playing basketball Channing? Really?
    10:03 – Outlaw runs by the traffic cone known as Luke Walton and Ronny challenges his shot. Outlaw jumps at least 14 feet in the air and throws in a ridiculous scoop shot. And one.
    9:35 – Jordan Farmar! Runner to beat the shot clock, gets tipped. But it’s right to Farmar who jumps and throws it up again. Bingo. He was almost under the backboard for the second attempt. It was like a self alley-oop.
    Kobe is threatening to get a triple dub. 24 pts, 11 boards, and 7 assists so far. Ho hum, just another day at the office for Black Mamba.
    8:18 – wow, I thought we were going to see a referee die. Luke had it on the break and the back ref got caught up in the shuffle. If that was Dwight howard instead of luke Walton, we would need an obituary. Referees should wear helmets.
    7:37 – Stu has taken crazy pills. He closes the quarter repeating some nonsense about how #24 won’t give you mouth to mouth if you’re on life support. He pulls the plug apparently. Or he stabs you in the heart. “I’ve created the piano key necktie! What did you create?!” (zoolander anyone?) back from break, the telecast highlights Farmar. And rightly so. He’s had a good game penetrating to the basket like Tony Parker ver. 1.1.
    6:31 – Farmar has had back to back turnovers. He forced a pass into the middle that was broken up and then he threw the ball over Ronny’s head. Aldridge gets a three point play. “the old way.” 74-86.
    6:00 – ANOTHER RIGHT HANDED LAYUP by LO. Now I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.
    5:25 – Lamar misses the layup and thinks he’s fouled. I love technology. Lamar shouts to the referee, “Come on man! That was a f***ing foul!” Now Lamar, that’s not very Christian-like of you. But I understand, “fudging foul” just doesn’t have the same effect. 78-88 Lakers
    5:03 – Pau has a wide open look. Short. The Space Cadet has a great chance at the offensive rebound and an uncontested layup but kicks it out of bounds. Space Cadet ftw!
    4:50 – Blazers hit a three pointer. 81-88. Webster and Outlaw both have 19. We love making opposing guards look like all-stars don’t we? Kobe answers with a three of his own.
    4:03 – Dismay dismay! Brow furrow. Kobe nails a three. Webster fouls him. And one. Raef LaFrentz is shown on the reply looking like he was in the middle of a prostrate exam. That’s how painful that shot was. Rattles home the free throw. Webster does answer with a three of his own.
    3:27 – gasol = steve nash. Assist to a cutting Kobe. Layup and in. Something a previous commenter has said doesn’t usually happen. 97-84 Lakers.
    2:01 – the Space cadet shoots a three early in the shot clock but it’s wet. You got lucky this time comrade.
    1:45 – Outlaw busts a jumper in the Space Cadet’s eye. 100-89 Lakers. Too late though.
    1:18 – Fisher has two seconds to shoot. Blake forces him off the three point line. Fisher takes one dribble pull up and swish. Steve Blake submits his resignation. Derek Fisher is buff. But seriously, Azibuke of the We Believes. That man has bowling balls for biceps. His arms are comically swole.
    1:01 – Kobe receives the ball on the dive to the basket. He was in the air and before he came down, he whipped the ball around his back to pau on the other side of the lane. It was slightly off the mark. Had the pass been straight to pau’s hands, it’s an easy dunk. That split second Pau needed to gather the ball gave the blazers a chance to recover and give the foul. Pau will shoot the free throws. The length of Channing frye was completely lost on that play. 104-89 Lakers after the charity stripe trip.
    We want tacos chants rain down from the rafters. 104-91 is your final count. Local time is 10:32 and the outside temperature is 52 degrees with clear skies. We hope you’ve enjoyed your trip on the friendly skies and from your flight crew of one, thanks for flying on Forum Blue and Gold Airlines. I’d also like to apologize for any capitalization errors. The shift key is FUBAR.

  29. Didn’t get to watch much of the first half but from what I saw, I’m assuming lots of help defense by the Lakers that gave Portland lots of easy 3′s.

    Did watch the second half and take the win aside, I’m looking at Jordan Farmar. When the starters went to rest, Farmar made 2 consecutive turnovers that helped cut the lead down to 10 after being up from 18. Has he run out of gas or something? This has been a glaring problem for awhile now.

    And odd how there’s only a few comments after the game threads were going 100+.

  30. 30 – Jordan played pretty well over the majority of the game. He had a brief bad stretch, but he was generally active offensively (his defense was, as usual, pretty suspect).

  31. One thing I didn’t put in my live blog. Stu kept harping on the fact that we were doubling Aldridge in the post. He disagreed with that strategy, especially since it was leaving their shooters open. I’m pretty sure that was the game plan since the last time we played the blazers, Aldridge was killing us from the post. Get the ball out of his hands, make someone else beat us. And the strategy worked. Aldridge didn’t really get a good rhythm going. While Stu was critical of the strategy because it didn’t seem like Aldridge really had the hot hand, maybe it was all those double teams causing Aldridge to have a sub-par game.

  32. nomuskles – thanks for the liveblog – good stuff.

    We needed this win, but I’m worried about the Dallas game now with Dirk bein’ all drama-queen and what-not. I was really hoping for a collapse of epic proportions from them last night, but then that big, ugly German had to show up and change everything. S’Ok, though, I think Pau will school him a bit. We just need to make sure and play some…what’s the word?…Defense…yeah, something like that.