Preview & Chat: The Portland Trailblazers

Kurt —  March 8, 2009

Los Angeles Lakers v Portland Trail Blazers
Records: Lakers 50-12 (1st in the West) Trailblazers 39-23 (7th in the West)
Offensive ratings: 114.0 (1st in league) Trailblazers 113.3 (2nd in league)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 105.3 (6th in league) Trailblazers 109.0 (18th in league)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Luke Walton, Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol
Trailblazers Brandon Roy, Steve Blake, Nicolas Batum, Lamarcus Aldridge, Joel Przybilla

Real Women Don’t Wear Green: You asked for it and the shirt is here.

Lakers notes: So do the people here who thought Lamar Odom had turned the corner a few months back still feel that way? He’s had three games that have been down a little. I’ll go back to what I’ve always said about him — you need to accept Odom as Odom, the moments of brilliance and the moments he disappears. It’s all a function of just who he is. He is going to forever be inconsistent. He is going to be up and down in the regular season, but he tends to rise up in the playoffs. And he still provides a versatility that fits what the Lakers do very well. If you live and die with Odom night to night it is a roller coaster, but when you step back you see a picture of quality.

On another note Su Yue had 11 points on 4 of 15 shooting, with seven assists, in his first game for the D-Fenders. The reports are that he played pretty well, but his shot didn’t fall. The next game he had 12 points on 5 of 7 shooting.

What I thought was interesting was the report (couldn’t find the link) saying that the Lakers spent a lot of time debating sending Sun down and negotiating/talking with Chinese officials to make sure that this move was not seen as a demotion or an insult. As is very important in his culture, Sun needed to be able to save face, so a lot of time and effort was put into the timing and the wording of the press release that sent him down. I think everyone involved knew him getting some burn was a good thing, but it was all in the presentation.

The Trailblazers Coming In: I attended the Spurs/Clippers game this week (the infamous “the beatings will continue until morale improves” game) with a number of Pomona College grads. They were there because Greg Popovich used to coach at Pomona, and he recruited his now top assistant Mike Budenholzer to play for him there (but left before Mike arrived).

Budenholzer spoke to the group afterward, and he was asked about Brandon Roy, who the night before had dropped 26 on the Spurs in a Trailblazers win. The first thing he talked about was just how strong Roy is, how he may be the most physical PG in the league and that allows him to get into positions to get the shots he wants. That kind of PG (think D-Will) has really given the Lakers trouble in the past. Blazers Edge had a great line that Roy tends to “lullaby and waltz” his way to the rim, he changes speed beautifully and that with his strength makes it very hard to stop him.

He has led a Portland team playing very well now, they are 7-3 in their last 10 including that big win against the Spurs. Roy is shooting 56.8% (eFG%) in those last 10. Travis Outlaw and Rudy Fernandez have been playing great off the bench.

All that said, they barely beat the Pacers the other night. Every team at this time of year has clunker games. Here is what Nate McMillan said about the Lakers game right after the Pacers game:

“They know that we’ve beaten them up here so they’ll be ready for the game. We go into this game, what I wanted us to do was have a good rhythm going into this game. I wanted us to basically play really sharp to go into that game. We get this game but we gotta play much better than we did tonight to get that game because they are looking forward to it and for us it’s at home and we want to continue to protect home court.”

Keys To The Game: These are the two top offenses in the NBA (per possession, which is what matters). This is going to be a high-scoring game. That said, whichever team plays the best defense is going to get the win.

For the Lakers, that means protecting the rim. The Blazers are good on offense because they have guys that get to and finish at the rim.

The Lakers defense is predicated on stopping penetration, that is the reason for bringing the help line over so far (bringing the big over to essentially zone off the strong side), but that will be put to a real test with Roy. He is going to get past Fisher (and Farmar), Roy will kill you with layups, and while he hits jumpers it is at a lower percentage, so you have to get the ball out of his hands and to the other shooters. Against the Pacers, take Roy out of the equation and the team shot 37%. This is one case where the Nash/CP3 system is not the goal — you want to get the ball out of his hands and make someone else beat you.

Protecting the rim is also the key to Lamarcus Aldridge, who can only score at the rim and the left elbow (I have no idea why there, other than he worked on that spot because it is key to the offense, and he shoots 52% from there.

While the Lakers need to help on defense, you do not leave Steve Blake at the three point line to help.

The other key — and this is where Odom needs to break out of his slump — the Lakers have to crash the defensive glass. The Blazers grab 32.4% of their missed shots, the highest percentage in the league. Aldridge and Przybilla are good on the glass, and this is an athletic and long team. Teams that beat the Lakers tend to do it because they got a lot of easy buckets, often on fast breaks, but another way is offensive rebounds and put backs. The Lakers have to limit those.

Where you can watch: KCAL9 in LA with a 7 pm tip off. Nationally, League Pass and thee other usual suspects.


Kurt

Posts

280 responses to Preview & Chat: The Portland Trailblazers

  1. *shakes head* @ Vujacic.

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  2. Does Sasha understand the fundamentals of defense? I mean I like his energy but c’mon!!!

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  3. Does Sasha actually believe that he is going to steal the ball from Roy? Or even disrupt him? Don’t crowd him and concede the 21 foot jumper.

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  4. “Kobe won’t get his 6th foul unless he brings a knife from the bench”

    LOL, these guys are a treat.

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  5. Homerism is how it goes with Mike Rice/Mike Barrett. They are on the Blazer payroll and travel with the team after all . . . You guys are just too used to all your national tv games I’d say 😉

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  6. I know Sasha has this “pesky defender” reputation, but this kind of defense is going to be abused by players on Roy’s caliber each and every time.

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  7. Steve – plenty of local announcers are unbiased, unlike these clowns

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  8. If the Lakers play Portland in the playoffs I think were gonna have to put Kobe on Roy, which might effect Kobe’s offense.

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  9. Wow, the box score is really misleading. It says that Pau has a line of 7-12, 18 points, 13 rebounds, but it really seemed like he was getting worked by Przybilla on the glass.

    And I think I speak for everyone when I say we could’ve used a triple serving of some Mbenga instead of the standard serving of Gasol and Odom.

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  10. Steve,

    Our local announcers, Stu Lantz and Joel Meyers, are very much on the unbiased side, as are a bunch of other local announcers. These guys are incredible homers in comparison to them.

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  11. these guys are aweful. If they could call this game, they would probably throw everything at the Lakers, suspensions, technicals, fouls, delay of game, etc…

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  12. I’m not as big of a fan of Kobe as most Laker fans, but Kobe does not quit!

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  13. If only jeff van gundy could join these Portland guys.

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  14. a) that was one weak dunk by Roy, and

    b) would have liked to see a better contest by farmar there

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  15. 201

    I have watched every local broadcast in the NBA more than once, and Portland’s are rivalled only by Denver’s and Boston’s for sheer homerism. (If I had to rank them I’d list Boston first, with Portland and Denver interchangeable at second and third.)

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  16. Farmar didn’t contest because he didn’t want to set off a riot in Portland. Smart, non-play by Farmar.

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  17. It appears I missed the only exciting part of tonight’s game. Apparently Trevor fouled Roy pretty bad, and Lamar left the bench area…?

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  18. Zephid – you’re right, no question that was the reason.

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  19. I just want to say thank you for this space and all the posters here for your contributions. I am just reading the postings on the game streaming site and I am thankful for fb&g. They are just as bad as these announcers and that’s pretty bad.

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  20. Wow, that dunk by Brown was sick

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  21. Well, as thinking about this game is just dreary, let’s move onto the Houston game. Assuming Ariza and Odom are out, Powell starts at the four and we’re either going to see spot minutes from Morrison or lots of Kobe and Sasha on the floor the same time at the wings. Pau might see some time at the four to play with Mbenga, as we have a three-man rotation for the frontcourt. Considering that Houston has the two best wing defenders in the game to frustrate Kobe, and that we won’t have Odom, it’s going to fall to Gasol and someone off the bench to generate offense. Granted, Houston often has trouble generating offense itself, but not to the degree we’re going to have.

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  22. There’s the memphis curse and there’s the garden curse.

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  23. Denver game…Phoenix game…Now Portland.

    I much rather watch a team with less talent compete, then watch this team sleep walk through games.

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  24. Im glad I missed the game tonight. No Bynum is now hurting us big time, its caught up to this team

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  25. Blazer fan here… Came over here to check out your guys’ reaction to the game and must say I am very pleased. You guys are a shining example of Laker fans. Until next game

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  26. It’s kind of sad to see this team unravel against stiff competition as it has done the last couple of weeks.

    I think that unrealistic 10-game stretch after Bynum got injured where we played out of our minds and over exhausting our players by mid-March is starting to catch up with us.

    Stupid, reckless play by Ariza and a foolish decision from Lamar. This team will most likely have a 3-game losing streak heading into the DAL game on Sunday.

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  27. at least ariza showed passion.

    our bench is NOT playing well on the road.

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  28. Well, the Lakers did a pretty good job limiting Steve Blake, a terrible job stopping Brandon Roy, and Lamarcus Aldridge had a fantastic game. The Lakers couldn’t take away enough of their weapons and Pryzbilla and Aldridge gobbled up a ton of rebounds. Nothing going on here, move along.

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  29. @Zephid: Horry has played more playoff games than Russell. Horry has 244, Russell has 165.

    Wow, Mike Rice knows so little about basketball.

    “How can Horry have more playoff games than Russell when Horry has 5 less rings?!”

    sigh…

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  30. Dwyane Wade is the f’n Truth. Or whatever’s truthier than the Truth. That guy never fails to amaze me.

    I hope someone uploads that game onto Youtube.

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  31. 229, I was actually quoting Mike Rice. I knew the answer to the question when it was posed during the game, it was Rice who didn’t know the answer and then acted as if it was ridiculous that Russell with 11 rings could have played less playoff games than Horry.

    It will be interesting to see how the suspensions play out. I think the league will give Trevor a one-game suspension, as they’ve already handed us a freebie when Bynum didn’t get suspended on a similar play against Gerald Wallace. Couple this with Lamar likely being suspended for a game for leaving the bench, it will be interesting to see who gets their minutes. My guess is that Powell and Mbenga will divy up Odom’s minutes between them, supplemented by some extra Gasol time. What’s more interesting is who will fill in for Trevor. I have a feeling that Phil is going to give Kobe and Sasha more minutes to compensate for Trevor’s absence. This is probably the safest bet, very Phil-like with his rotations.

    However, I would love, repeat, love to see Shannon Brown take some of Sasha’s minutes at the 2-guard and shift Sasha or Kobe down to the SF. Maybe he doesn’t know the plays too well yet, but he can play defense, and he has at least one crazy play every 6 minutes he’s on the floor. The one thing I don’t want to see is a lot of Adam Morrison. You can tell he’s a step slow on every play, as well as his shots being rushed because he’s not comfortable in the offense yet.

    Luckily, we’re facing the Rockets, and beyond Yao Ming and Mt. Mutombo, they have very few tall players. They have a couple of under-sized bangers in Chuck Hayes, Carl Landry, and Ron Artest to some extent, but I think Josh, Luke, and and DJ will be able to contend with them on the glass. Shannon has looked really, really good in limited junk time minutes; Here’s to hoping he can get some real game time and show off what he’s got.

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  32. Ariza should ask for the suspension so he doesn’t get hurt (like Bynum did following the Wallace injury). I’d rather have a short suspension than bad karma for the rest of the year. I can see him landing on Bowen’s foot or getting thrown off balance by Artest. Just take your medicine and don’t act like such a 3rd-grader when the guy you hit is lying broken on the floor. I’m so glad he stopped that layup with a 28-point lead. Very bright idea…

    Odom is definitely gone for the next game. It’s a simple NBA rule, and he broke it. I could hear the Rockets fans cheering while the whole thing was going down.

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  33. I think our biggest problem throughout the game in terms of offense was generating easy buckets. Everything was a contested jumper and Portland did a good job of taking away the lanes to the rim. Usually, we counteract this by throwing it inside, but Pau is clearly tired by having extended minutes for so long. At the beginning of the season, Pau could of taken Przybilla — and especially Frye — with a jump hook in the post with ease, but it never seemed as if any of his buckets came easily. If there’s any reason for Bynum to come back, it’s to have a rested body that can generate easy buckets and force defenses towards him. Remember Pau was generating double teams from time to time at the start of the season. Bynum can too if he comes back reasonably close to his form before he got injured. Combine this with Kobe on the floor and suddenly our shooters have more room to operate: Sasha has room and doesn’t have to take contested threes off the dribble, same with Farmar, and Ariza can slash to the rim without dealing with triple coverage.

    On the subject of our bench though, Mbenga is perhaps the most surprising player. I thought he was simply an extra body — a big, athletic guy who was offensively challenged. Now, in limited minutes, he’s been very effective. Him making 17-20 ft jumpers — and accurately — was the greatest surprise. He’s even posting a 17.01 PER, which although comes in a small sample size, is pretty indicative of how effective he’s been in limited minutes. Now, I realize I’m getting ahead of myself and he’s not a panacea, but he’s definitely a good fifth big man to have and he can stay on the roster as that role for as long as he wants. Same with Brown as a fifth guard; guy produces a Youtube-worthy exploit every time he’s on the court.

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  34. 211. If they had their way, Kobe and Gasol would be on stretchers already by the end of the first quarter with all with all the clotheslines and hard takedowns the Blazers would be allowed on defense.

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  35. My parents took me to see Beverly Hills Cop in the theater. I was nine and eventually my parents stopped bothering to cover my ears when Eddie Murphy let F-bombs spill from his bombay. I felt like that tonight having taken my boy to the game. I finally stopped covering his eyes in the second half. He may be three but I guess he’ll learn from seeing so much ugly.

    We were sitting in the top level behind the basket where the Fernandez foul happened and I didn’t see him go down. I saw Rudy go up, and Ariza too, the latter’s length swinging through the Spanish wrist. I figured frustration is what had Ariza and Roy jawing and that things would settle quickly since I didn’t have any idea Rudy was still down. I saw one replay on the big screen and not knowing the rules, so I can’t say how “intent” plays into things, I just saw two guys moving fast with one of them trying to knock the ball away from the other while both were in the air and a freakish sequence of events landed Rudy hard on the ground (I was at the game where LO made a strong play for a Roy layup and again a Blazer wound up going down hard and the crowd over reacted). So, I’m a bit surprised to see that you all think a flagrant 2 was the correct call. I though you are allowed to play for the ball and any incidental contact is a foul but not flagrant. If you are going for the body (the head in particular) with no effort for the ball, then that is a flagrant. What am I missing?

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  36. I was completely wrong stating Bynum would get suspended for his takedown of Wallace,so I should prob keep my opinion to myself 🙂 ,but…

    I saw the play and it looked like a hard foul,but a basketball play. Ariza swung for the ball,Rudy jumped higher than Ariza thought/could. Because he clipped his head a Flagrant 1 was warranted. Not even close to what Bynum did.
    But if I had to bet,the 2 stands and a 1 game suspension,as it’s the second incident w/the Lakers,it involves an international star player and it’s Portland,not Charlotte. Not to get on a soapbox,but if Trevor is suspended,it will be because the League does have different standards,not because it was warranted.

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  37. Really off topic post here.. just to take away the sting of this blowout for the meantime.

    Come to think of it, I’d like to see that happen sometime… games ACTUALLY rigged by the NBA to get fans who complain about league vendettas against their teams back.

    Get those teams whose fanbase complains the most about the officiating (let’s say, the Celtics for example), and without their knowing, have the referees in a Celtic game call EVERTHING in their favor. Have the Celtic players commit Flagrant 2’s in every possession and not get called for it even once… let them walk the whole court without dribbling, etc… anything to make it all really blatant and obvious.

    After the game, they poll the Celtic fans on how they think the game was officiated.

    I’d like to see them complain about crappy refereeing costing them games after something like that.

    Well anyway.. sorry for the random post. Just something to get our minds off tonight for a while. =\

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  38. 231

    How was that play similar to Bynum’s foul? Ariza clearly made a play on the ball, whereas Bynum did not.

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  39. As a blazer fan watching tonights game with the LA announcers it’s nice to hear an opposing teams own announcers not religously biased like so many are. Mike Rice I have no doubt comes off with extreme bias but he gets like that when the blazers are playing what he thinks is a huge game which will piss any other teams fan off. But when he isn’t juiced up he’s refreshing because he will actually comment on ref’s taking over games with their star treatment, make up calls, and the truly bizarre bunches of calls all fans have seen. And when calmed down he most of the time is man enough to correct himself when he makes a mistake. Can’t wait for the rematch at the rose garden in april, nice to see what looks like the makings of an intense rivalry with teams that will be good and contenders for the years ahead.

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  40. 237. Props for being a classy Blazer fan.. congrats on the win, and hopefully Rudy gets a fast recovery. Thanks for taking the time to come aboard.

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  41. All the top teams have suffered blowouts this season:
    – Celtics @ Pacers : 16pt loss (were down 25 in 4th qtr)
    – Cavs @ Rockets : 19pt loss

    It happens to the best. Hopefully we move on gracefully.

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  42. For all the talk of Zen and being focused the Lakers still don’t have a solution to “what happens when Kobe’s shot doesn’t fall.”

    The Lakers don’t have a plan B. Pau and Odom need to be that backup plan. Remember that game against BOS on Xmas day, Pau stepped up big and accepted the challenge. That is the guy we need, as well as Odom stepping up to KG.

    If you look at the game, the Blazers were making all their jumpers in the 1st half and were getting to the hole at will. Their offense flowed b/c of penetration and energy crashing the boards. The Lakers were flat footed on defense and it carried over to offense. It was Kobe trying to resuscitate our offense, but when his shot is off we were dead in the water. That is the story of every Laker game, and until the rest of the team can match Kobe’s intensity (when it matters) I still am hesitant on our chances.

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  43. 242. Gasol is a very good plan B, who has been spectacular the last month, just he had an off night too. This team can score, the problems come when they play that level of defense (it impacts their offensive flow, too.)

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  44. 239,

    I also give my kudos. Listening to Stu Lantz and Joel Meyers for a good portion of the games this season had given most of the posters here a fairly high bar for local announcers — when you get someone like Mike Rice who carries fairly obvious homer issues, it’s like nails grating on chalkboard. In any case, good win and good luck to Rudy on his recovery.

    241,

    I agree. We got blown out. We didn’t put forth our best effort and played like crap. If you go and look at the Celtics and Cavaliers in those games though, it’s the same thing. Their opponents played perhaps their most inspired ball of the season and they didn’t bring it mentally to the court that night. It’s not indicative of a larger pattern about anything for us except perhaps mental exhaustion and a bit of tiredness.

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  45. They travel with the team and are part of the Blazers Radio network. Aside from being commentators, they are big fans as well. They are going to be biased, there’s nothing wrong with that from local announcers. 30% of the comments seem to be about poor commentating, how about poor play by the Lakers? That’s way more of an issue. Great game by the Blazers, we kind of caught the Lakers at a good time. April 10th will be interesting. Still don’t want to see you in the playoffs.

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  46. This season during the biggest most important games mike rice has blatently hollered blindly for portland at times but its been like 5 years since we blazers have actually been playing meaningful games for the playoffs and that long without a star or big name to be that buffer and communication with the refs that makes a huge difference (just watch a celtic game) and he’s used to us getting to respect or calls and now that were becoming a playoff team again with a all star like roy he forgets were not at a big disadvantage with the refs like in the past. But your laker announcers I’m sure have seen it all these past years as far as the refs and one team milking them to know some nights the variable calls are gona go against you but in the end usually balances out in the weird nba ref make up calls system.

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  47. 233,

    We really miss Bynum’s defense as indicated by the inordinate sagging into the paint and letting Outlaw & Rudy shoot barely contested 3pters – it couldn’t be the scouting report because both are shooting over 38% for the season!

    For the next game we might really be missing Vlad if we are stuck with 2 suspensions.

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  48. Blazer fan here. Ticked that I couldn’t fully enjoy this victory because of Rudy getting hurt, but even with the frustration of seeing that kind of an injury I would agree that the play did not warrant a F2 call. People will argue Ariza’s intentions till they’re blue in the face, but I figure our guy going down is offset by your guy getting ejected, so in my opinion no bad karma points to you. I can’t wait for our teams to play each other at full strength again. We still owe you one for 2000.

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  49. wow, did everyone forget how biased the hornets announcers are? they are #1 by farrrrrrrrrr

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  50. The Dude Abides March 10, 2009 at 2:18 am

    My two cents: as much as I love Trevor, he needs to sit for a game, and he likely will. His play was the equivalent of making a stupid left turn in front of oncoming traffic. You’re not trying to get hit by the car that’s headed toward you, but it’s a reckless move and if a cop sees it, you’re getting ticketed. The NBA is always going to suspend someone when they take a full swing at the ball in the head area, and miss the ball while contacting the other player. It’s a reckless play.

    It appears that Rudy at the very least suffered a soft tissue injury to the chest area. It sure looks like he could have broken a rib or two from the way he hit the floor. I liked Jordan’s reaction to the play. He knew immediately that Rudy was in trouble.

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  51. So many times we discuss the need for Bynum to return, yet, after this game I can say that unless we have a change of attitude we won’t win in the playoffs.

    I’m not sure if this team has a “on/off” switch…

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  52. were gonna get to see how our team looks without two of our upcoming free agents .
    One game is a small sample size but I wanna see how it works out

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  53. Those people who claim that we are better without Bynum are conspicuous by their absence. I didn’t see the game but Odom’s recent struggles have validated my stance that if it comes down to him or Ariza then I’m more than happy to see Lamar walk. Every time I criticize him he makes me look like a fool with a dominating 20-20 performance, then follows that up with 3 or 4 sub par games. For a guy with his talent and experience his inconsistently is nothing short of exasperating.

    And Ariza was always going to get tossed with how overzealous the refs have been all year calling flagrants. IMO he was going for the ball and should feel unlucky to be suspended, but he probably will get a game or two, just to appease the fans of all the other 29 franchises who incessantly harp about the supposed favoritism the Lakers receive from the league and its officials.

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  54. I am a die hard laker fan – that said I was “disgusted” with the lack of concern that our team showed for the health of Rudy (excepting Farmar and Pau..). I do not understand how Ariza can be seen trash talking after the injury. Whether he did it deliberately or not is not the question – he should be man enough to understand what has happened and should have gone to Rudy to check in him as Farmar did..
    As a die-hard fan, I do not like the Lakers to be cold/ not caring etc..

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  55. “It was the Lakers,” Blazers center Joel Przybilla said. “And we beat the (snot) out of them. And you can print that. In bold. And big letters.”

    I guess this makes up for the beatdown we laid on you during opening night, Joel.

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  56. Oh and the Lakers best believe that the Blazers will be out gunning for them on April 10th. I’m buying tickets as I write this. Now if only Oden gets healthy somehow…

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  57. It looked like Ariza was playing the ball to me. He was timing his steps(which shows a legit attempt) and coming in harder than Fernandez (which probably didn’t help the outcome). He’ll probably be suspended, but I’ll be shocked if Ariza gets more than 2 games for that play. Zach Randolph only got 2 games for punching Amundson in the face.

    This is going to be a credibility check for the NBA.

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  58. I think it is appropriate the Trevor got tossed for a flagrant, while Lamar will probably get suspended for leaving the bench. That pretty much tells the tale between those two. One is over enthusiastic and the other doesn’t think a lot of the time.

    With his extremely uneven play, I think Lamar is increasing his chances he will play elsewhere next year. With all that talent he just cannot play on the 2nd unit and he is actually reducing the effectiveness of the 1st unit when they are at full strength in 30% of the games he plays.

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  59. Hats off to the Blazers for a statement game, and glad to hear Rudy avoided serious injury (via TrueHoop).

    This losses do not worry me too much, yet. We do not want to peak too early, and a couple humbling losses that we can blame on defense can be a good thing.

    Also, its the time of the year for statement games, and the Lakers need to realize that all top contenders in the West want to take them out.

    My goals are to wrap up home court nd get Kobe and Paul some rest. Paul especially has looked weary recently.

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  60. beyondblue – i disagree with you. This is the worst time in the season to have these types of losses (embarrassing blowouts). The last 20 games of the season is when you want to be fine-tuning things and peaking in anticipation for the playoffs. Instead, we’re still having difficulty with the absolute basics like matching our opponent’s effort and focusing (if Lamar’s postgame comments are to be believed).

    If we don’t right the ship soon, we won’t be nearly as sharp going into the playoffs as other western conference contenders like the rockets or the jazz who are slowly coming together and putting together impressive win streaks.

    On the plus side, we still have a great opportunity to finish this mini-road trip off on the right foot tomorrow and Thursday.

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  61. According to ESPN.com there will be NO SUSPENSION for Trevor Ariza. They are looking into the bench rule regarding Odom, not sure how it will play out since the bickering/shoving basically took place on the Lakers bench.

    Right call regarding Ariza, I’m not really sure how people can deny it was a play on the ball.

    As far as last nights game I think it will wake up the Lakers, finally. They always seem to have an answer on the court when a team really gets in their head/embarrasses them, I think you’ll see that on April 10th. I also think we can win these next 2, our size against Houston should help, and we owe San Antonio one on their home floor. Pau isn’t going to have another off game (has he had back to back off games since he’s been with the Lakers?) so I still expect a positive road trip.

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  62. the other Stephen March 10, 2009 at 10:02 am

    my respect for the young trailblazers continues to grow.

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  63. I figured Ariza would get a one game suspension, but I guess not.

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  64. I personally think Ariza shouldn’t be suspended, yes it was a stupid foul considering we were already down by double digits, but when do you ever see Ariza take a play off? He’s pure hustle, he goes for every loose ball and plays with a lot of heart, does any Laker fan honestly think he was just going to let Rudy go?

    Plus if anyone remembers the foul K. Perkins commited when he nearly took a guys head off knocking him to the ground (sorry forgot what team the C’s were facing) and he was ejected but if that foul got lowered to a Flagrant 1, than this is a foul not worthy of a suspension. The end result is what people are looking at, same thing happened when Bynum fouled Gerald Wallace.

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  65. I don’t know what to make of the non-suspension. I’m glad Trevor will be able to play. Who knows, maybe having Odom out (if suspended) will be a good thing and really force the bench to bring it…because they haven’t since the 6-0 roadie in February. Also, Lamar has shown us just how mercurial he always has been. I’m not saying he deserves to be the whipping boy that most Laker fans make him out to be, but he perplexes the diehard fanbase to no end. We have the Texas two-step coming up and I’ll be at both games. A split would be great and 2-0 would be fantastic. I don’t know why our defense continues to be so carefree. Get healthy Drew and let’s start playing smarter on the defensive end of things.

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  66. I am truly shocked by how callous the Lakers play-by-play announcers were about the play. One dude was actually laughing, truly appalling. And I cannot believe that Ariza didn’t get suspended for this takedown.

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  67. New post up, which will be updated as the day goes on.

    Jimbo, how about we agree to hate each others announcers?

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  68. I am from Portland, a Blazer fan.
    I read this thread because Henry on true hoop placed a link to it.
    I just wanted to comment on how I think you guys have a great respect and understanding of the game. It was cool to read through here and not see people talking a bunch of smack about a player possibly being injured, keep it up guys.
    And know that after my Blazers get elimintaed from the playoffs (they’re young and just not quit a contender yet) you guys made a Laker supporter of me as long as they are not matched up against my team.
    I agree with the call on Ariza, he should not be suspended by the league. I think I read he will not be.
    Mike Rice, is indeed a homer, I think it is painful for Barrett to have to sit next to him and call a game.
    I am pretty sure Rice comes drunk to every game.
    Anyways, just wanted to show respect to you guys for being respectful fans.

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  69. 269. Thanks. And if you can tell me how to get a gig where I can show up drunk to every game, I’ll take it. I’ll even make less than Rice to do it.

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  70. Blazerfaninvancouver March 10, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Considering the fallout from this game, I can say the most disgusting part of the incident with Rudy was the apparent lack of concern by the laker players (exception Pau and Farmar). The foul by Ariza was a needless foul and I question if a flagrant 2 was warranted but since these games between the blazers and lakers are always contentious, I have less of a problem with it. Odom will be suspended for a clear cut violation of the rules.

    The Lakers are still the best team in the west and will (barring an injury to Bryant) maintain the #1 seed. Every team has an opponent who just seems to have their number and the Blazers seem to be that for the Lakers (LA has lost 13 of the last 15 in Portland).

    As far as Mike Rice on the TV broadcast, Im a blazer fan and I can’t stand him either. I have heard the laker broadcasters and Its a refreshing change.

    Rudy appears to be fine and will likely miss the game against Dallas as a precaution but plan to see him back in the game on April 10th. I just hope that in that game none of the players do anything stupid that affects the roster for the playoffs as both teams will be prepping for the playoffs. Play smart and let the past die please, no giant fight please.

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  71. I hate to belabor the point, but it’s been a matter of great debate here in my office; our consensus (here in Chicago) is that if you have a bruise, you should get up and walk away from the fall.

    cf. Jake Brown, X-Games 2007

    That is all. Great game, Blazers. Tough loss for the crew.

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  72. I’m the rarest of rare birds, a Blazer fan who REALLY LIKES the Lakers (having grown up on the North Coast of Cali in the early 1970s)… So here’s the verdict on that Ariza play: Flagrant 1 act, went FOR THE BALL but wrecklessly and with unnecessary vigor. Totally fine with that being upgraded to a Flagrant 2 when Rudy didn’t get up — what, are you thinking he could be played further in that game after that without World War III erupting? OF COURSE he had to be tossed. And NO SUSPENSION is also the right call, because he was playing the ball, after all, before things went so tragically awry…

    Now as for Odom, I don’t care if he didn’t touch the court, he was on the bench and he TOUCHED Brandon Roy at a heated moment, and that’s 100% Absolutely Definitely gonna cost him a game.

    Well handled by the refs, almost comically so with them calling rookie top-of-the-key fouls on Kobe.

    I won’t try to explain Mike Rice to you all, because you’d never really understand. Just take it for granted that we Blazer fans love him like a silly old uncle that drinks too much at Thanksgiving, and we can appreciate why you probably don’t…

    NOW GO GET THOSE ROCKETS!!!!

    Mbenga!!! Mbenga!!! Mbenga!!!

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  73. Everyone is letting Mike Barrett off the hook. Always inserting traveling calls or hacking calls into his commentary. Play-by-play does not include refereeing the game. Plus they’re half-time announcers couldn’t be more stupid. I’m just waiting for them to hire that girl that does the game summaries and top 10 for nba.com. Then they would be the worst commentating team in basketball.

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  74. Like a few others on here I am a blazers fan who found this through truehoop. I don’t always comment on this sort of thing, but I felt compelled to commend you guys on your thoughtful comments regarding the game. The more I think about the foul by Ariza I understand the idea of no suspension, I agree that the intent was there to get the ball. I would like the league to be more clear that they will not tolerate this sort of foul, no matter the intent it was an extremely dangerous play, especially when a team is down by 30. I would also like to say that Jordan Farmar did a magnificent job in that situation, he checked on Rudy first thing and then went to try and help dissolve the conflict, outstanding. In regards to Mike Rice, please look at his commentary and appreciate his enthusiasm and concern for his team and the game. He is not asked to be unbiased as he is employed by the Blazers, and that is very clear. I am happy you guys are able to have less supportive commentary for most of the Lakers’ games, however I do wish those guys would show a little more concern for the health of the player and less of a concern for justifying the actions of the player involved in causing the injury. I thank you for showing me how respectful and classy Laker fans can be, however I still don’t like your team. Please try to understand. Thanks from your time.

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  75. Thou what kind of sad is, Blazers got no shot of beating us in the playoffs hhahaha, I think the Lakers know that.

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  76. 274

    Barret makes those same observations on the Blazers. He’ll say if he sees one of our guys travelling or fouling someone. He isn’t nearly the one sided announcer that Rice is

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  77. Rice is a total homer, though he’s often amusing in a funny drunk uncle at Thanksgiving sort of way (he also once got ejected for loudly questioning a call in a game he was calling on the radio). Before Rice became the TV color commentator, we were lucky enough to have Steve “Snapper” Jones, who was way better and much more objective.

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  78. Just saw the box score. I love Jackson’s choice for starting front court, Ariza and Powell. Worked out quite nicely.

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  79. I am late to this thread and amused by all the “funny drunk uncle at Thanksgiving” comparisons Mike Rice garners. Apparently I am the only person who doesn’t have such an uncle.

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