Lakers at TrailBlazers: Every Rose (Garden) has its thorn
"...Though its been a while now
I can still feel so much pain
Like a knife that cuts you the wound heals
But the scar, that scar remains..."
Ah, Poison. So much poetry.
Of course, Bret Michaels and Co. were singing, in classic hair band ballad style, of lost love, heartache, cowboys, and gardening. But heading into tonight's game against the Blazers in the great north of Oregon, that magic verse could just as easily describe LA's track record at the Rose Garden, a place where the Lakers haven't won since 2005. That's six straight losses, including a few in seasons where the Blazers weren't so good. The wound indeed heals, but that scar remains, people. Phil Jackson blames it on the rain (so do these guys), but whatever the reason, the Lakers have their work cut out for them. Portland is 26-5 on their home floor, putting up vastly better numbers than they do on the road, have tough covers like LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy, and have a crowd that takes games against the Lakers very seriously. So do the players. (Listen to them talk about it here.)
Greg Oden won't play tonight because of a chipped kneecap, and may not be back on the floor for a while. Sucks for your fantasy team. Anyone with Kobe Bryant, though, could be happier than normal. In his last 13 games against the Blazers, Bryant has averaged 35.2 points.
In other news...
- Eddy Curry says he'll accept a trade if it was in the best interest of the Knicks' future. If?
- Will the New York media that assumes LeBron and every other FA on the planet will land there be the reason the names don't come?
- Utah rookie Kosta Koufos had an offer to play in Greece before he went to Ohio State.
- Orlando's win over a shorthanded Celtics squad didn't do much to change perceptions of either team.
- KG could miss more than the three weeks originally forecast when he hurt his right knee. Meanwhile in Denver, Nene (so important to their hopes) is grinning and bearing it.
- The ESPN.com gang looks at the E.C.
- Samuel Dalembert is putting the cart ahead of the horse.
- The Heat have issues at small forward, and Michael Beasley isn't the answer.
- Mark Cuban speaks for the fans.