After a few days of discord- losses to the Bobcats and Grizzlies, injury to D-Fish, lingering pain for Pau, an upper respiratory bug for L.O.- it's no surprise to see the Lakers drop a couple spots in the Power Rankings of ESPN.com. All the P.W.'s actually. Just one of the many things on which the Lakers likely meditated before Sunday's game in an effort to regain lost center. The Lakers got the win (whew!) and also a day off Monday to rest, their first day without a game or practice in over two weeks. They'll be back at it today, looking an uncertain April in the face before the playoffs begin. (By the way, can anyone else believe that it's April already? This season has flown by...) In other Lakers news, and it's a tumbleweeds day for sure, Gasol is still likely a longshot to play tomorrow against Portland, but they'll know more after today's practice. Ira Newble has been signed for the rest of the season, and Coby Karl could see the D-League again.
As for Wednesday's game, the Lakers will see a struggling Blazers squad without Brandon Roy, one that Nate McMillan is trying to keep focused through the rest of the year. They're not a great road team, or even a good one, but by now the Lakers should know that doesn't necessarily matter.
Ric Bucher breaks down his personal MVP race, and it's still Kobe by a nose. As for Coach of the Year, there's some chatter on that bit of hardware, too, and at least in this particular article, not a whisper for PJ.
So it turns out Mark Cuban doesn't think all bloggers are the same, and deserve the same access. Big shock there.
BIG GAMES AROUND THE W.C.:
Down 22 at one point, Phoenix came back to beat Denver by 15. The Suns outscored the Nuggets 81-47 in the second half. Seriously.
The Mavs barely held on to beat a decimated (even by Clippers standards) Clippers squad.
Utah rebounded from a bad loss to the Wolves Sunday night to crush Washington in Salt Lake.