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Lakers vs. Blazers nuggets of knowledge

This one should be fun.  The Blazers are a top shelf team at home (26-5), where their splits show they'reKobe Bryant slams vs. Portland stronger in virtually every meaningful statistical category.  Bottom line, don't expect to see the same Portland team the Lakers beat by 20 on Oct. 28 or 14 on Jan. 4 when the teams hit the floor tonight at the Rose Garden. 

And, of course, we all know about the six straight losses for LA up Oregon way, just in case the opposition wasn't problem enough.

A few thoughts, and some good pregame reading:

  • Pace is going to be an interesting factor, as each team tries to nudge the other from its comfort zone.  The Lakers are the fifth fastest team by pace factor in the NBA, but for all their youth and athleticism, the Blazers are 30th.  Out of 30, in case there was confusion.  Don't mistake slow with inefficient or ineffective.  Portland is second only to the Lakers in offensive efficiency, producing 113.3 points per 100 trips.  (LA is at 114.)  With two teams that produce points so proficiently, holding on to the ball is more important than normal.  Interestingly enough, both teams produce turnovers from the opposition at almost identical rates.
 

And while the Lakers outrebound Portland on a per game basis, the Blazers are actually a little better on the offensive glass in absolute terms and lead the league in offensive rebound percentage. Add second chance points to the list of things of things LA will have to limit.

"...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..."

  • More on Roy, from Blazers Edge.  Read the whole preview, because it's very clear the respect Brandon_roy_kobe_bryant those guys have for the Lakers.  Also some interesting thoughts on Kobe Bryant: 

"...Brandon Roy had a poor outing when the Blazers played L.A. on opening night and was injured when these teams met in January.  He must have a big night for us to have a chance.  Not only do we need the points to counterbalance Kobe, Brandon creating trouble, especially off the dribble, forces the L*kers to scramble more on defense.  In past years Kobe has gotten into foul trouble trying to contain Roy, which is definitely to the Blazers' benefit.  Even if Bryant stays clean, though, moving their interior defenders and forcing them to rotate takes them out of their defensive game.  When it's their leader requiring the help (assuming Bryant guards Roy) it's a double-whammy..."

  • Ball Don't Lie has this as their game to pay attention to.
  • The LaMarcus Aldridge/Lamar Odom matchup is going to be interesting to watch.  Odom has to avoid foul trouble and stay on the floor.  And while there's been some concern over his scoring of late, it's more important tonight that LO get on the glass.  The Lakers' bench had a decent home stand against inferior competition.  It'll be fun to see how they hold up against a deeper team on a very hostile court.

Finally, enjoy these two classic clips from the Lakers/Blazers rivalry.  Note how much better Mike Dunleavy dressed back then. See you at the live blog.

BK

 
Comments () | Archives (19)

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Well done sirs - not a shark in sight!

Can someone please explain to me why all the Blazers blogs spell L*kers instead of LAKERS???

I can not understand it. Any reason why? Are they running out of A's up in Portland?

Is that supposed to insult us?? What are they trying to say?

One odd thing Blazers fans seem obsessed in their hatred of LA. We Lakers fans don't really care much.

Pretty one-sided rivalry, at this moment in time.

But really L*kers?? What are they trying to say?

LG

Portland - can put away the champagne and break out the bottled water. 'Cause that's all they're gonna drink on the way home!

The Outlaw & laker-sth (whatever your name is)

Im trying to be real and tell the thruth i said if LO & the BENCH MOB dont play well or step up in the playoffs (specially on the road) we want go now where. If they play well and step up there game we will win it all.

And just cause we have the best record does not make us invincible going into the playoffs. Remember what happend to the QUEENS. Im just trying to say to all la fans dont be surprised if we loose in playoffs.

As of todays game i think we win by 8. Blazers have a bad shooting night and we jump on them with a big lead. Sucks being in seattle cause the blackout the game. Hope we win.

What I'll be really interested to see is how the Lakers will match-up with Portland the first time they've played them this season without Drew. What I remember about last season's loss at the Rose Garden was that Portland's length really bothered the Lakers at every position - on both ends.

The other thing that marked that loss was that Portland jumped all over the Lakers early and just did all the right things momentum-wise to keep the lead at 10+. That arena is one of those places very difficult to dig yourself out of a hole if you find yourself in it. It's also a place where it's tough to keep the lead. The Lakers ability to take a lot of punches and try to keep momentum on their side will be seriously tested. When those youngsters get on fire at home and their crowd stays behind them, they are tough.

Wow. Smoke must be rising out of the Kam bros and Benicio's keyboards. You guys have been crankin' out the blogs today! And I'm definitely not complaining.

Still hoping to kick the crap outta these guys. GO LAKERS!

BK

It is amazing how you can go through your "progressions" when analyzing the Lakers/Blazers tonight but not mention Luke Walton.

I gave you kudos however for your excellent analysis of Luke's horrible play our last game against Minnesota. This was a classic case of Luke not understanding his role as he is actually believing he can create his own shot.

This week is crucial for the Lakers with 3 big road games against 1 veteran smart team and 2 very athletic teams. They need these games to maintain their lead in the homecourt chase for the playoffs.

It is also this week that Luke Walton will be exposed. A lot of times we don't see just how bad this guy is but as games become bigger and we get into playoff series in the playoffs when other teams have a chance to hone in on Luke's numerous weaknesses on offense and defense it will become obvious that Luke is not nor has he ever been a starting 3 on a team with Championship aspirations.

I hope that I am wrong about Luke but I have watched and played a lot of basketball and this guy is horrible.

This is officially my last statement on Luke Walton. I will let his game do the rest of my talking starting tonight.

K Bros - "identical" is spelled wrong in "almost idential rates."

Let's just hope none of their role players have career nights. Like Steve Blake or Batum. That'll be a recipe for disaster. I hope LO can make Aldridge have a bad night.

LG,
"Can someone please explain to me why all the Blazers blogs spell L*kers instead of LAKERS???"

That's easy - there's a lot of "a" holes up there.

I think this game and the next two really are a preview of what to expect from us on the road in the playoffs. We must win all three to establish who the alpha dog is in the west. No excuses (besides anymore injurys) (knock on wood)

Blog,

I’ve been watching the Lakers since Magic’s rookie season. I feel like they are part of my family. Some of my favorite memories are Laker Championships. Some of my worse are loses to Portland, Houston, Utah and San Antonio (Oh yeah and the hated green ones). Being a Southern California native, it brings great join to me when we beat the Warriors or Suns, but hardly the same.

To me, this game is a reality check. I believe, in a seven game series, the Lakers handle Portland. But, getting up for a team that’s had this marked on their calendar for months shows an inner strength they will need to win a championship. They showed it by beating “The mistake by the lake” and Beantown. This is the time to show it against the class of the west.

Another tidbit, to those who have League Pass:

Travis Outlaw has an ongoing bet with one of the Blazers' announcers.
The announcer told him that he would shave his old , misshaped, fugly head if Travis snatched 10 or more rebounds.
This wager has been in place for some time now and Travis has yet to reach that goal.

After Portland squeezed by the Wolves the other night in Portland, this announcer guy ,AGAIN, hits Travis up about this rebounding thing. It was at this time that Travis went on the record and guaranteed the milestone would be met Friday when they met the Lakers...

Well,
Today is Friday....

GO LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hog

"That's easy - there's a lot of "a" holes up there."

Posted by: exhelodrvr

LOL ex! I get it now!

omega,

Can you explain to me why you have SUCH a negative attitude? You are a Lakers fan, correct? And the Lakers have the best record in the league, right?

I don't understand how you could possibly be so down on them! What more do you want?

This is a great team, and we are blessed knowing that, night in and night out, we can win every game!

Have you forgoten the days of kwame and smush?

Sit back and enjoy this team for gd sakes!

LG

TIME TO WIN THE WEST…

It’s time for the Lakers to restore order to the Western Conference. After disappointing road losses to Denver and Phoenix, the Lakers need to exorcise their demons and exert their dominance by sweeping Portland, Houston, and San Antonio in this week’s road trip. This is not a time to falter or become fallible with just a 2-game and 4-game lead over the Cavs and Celtics for the best overall record and home court advantage in the NBA Finals. Instead, it’s the time to pull the plug and turn these contenders into pretenders.

Couple of additional comments on whether Drew or Pau is more valuable to the Lakers. First, people need to remember that before Pau arrived, Andrew Bynum had emerged as a beast and inspired Kobe to declare that the Lakers were a championship caliber team with Drew in the lineup, Derek Fisher had returned to provide stability and veteran leadership, Jordan Farmar had taken his game to the next level, and the Lakers were clicking on all cylinders, dominating other teams at both ends. Then, of course, came Bynum’s injury.

Second, if we’re just talking about this year, then hands down, Pau has been the team’s second most valuable player but as good as he has been, it is insulting to imply that he is more important than Kobe. That was what I considered to be the sneaky foundation of Ben’s recent post, a “Bleacher Report” let’s-create-a-little-controversy with the Kobe lovers by proclaiming that Pau is more valuable. What is it with the Pau lovers. First, they try to claim that Pau is a better center than Drew, which is hogwash. Now, they try to claim that he “might” be more valuable than the MVP. Anybody see the pattern here. Insinuate, imply, and let others infer, but never come out and completely say it. LOL!

Nobody knows if Mitch would have made the trade for Pau had Drew not been injured. You would think that general managers would constantly be on the phone seeing what’s up with their brethren yet I remember reading that Jerry Buss had read that Memphis was considering trading Pau and suggested to Mitch that he contact them. I also remember reading Mitch saying that they probably would not have been looking for a trade had Drew not been injured. So who knows what really happened, just that it was special.

I remember when I first heard about the trade, I was ecstatic. I thought Pau would be a great addition but I was almost more thrilled that we got rid of Kwame. Bottom line, I never thought that Pau would turn out to be such a great fit for the Lakers and such a great player. And I think you have to give Kobe Bryant the credit for the Spaniard really taking his effort and game to the next level. Kobe sets a championship standard. It is a shame that the media continues to ignore how inspirational Kobe’s dedication to his craft and work ethic are to his teammates. All he needed was guys who would meet the challenge.

Bottom line, once the team is healthy, the Lakers have 3 genuine superstar players in Kobe, Drew, and Pau. That is a Big 3 that no team in the NBA can match. It is Jerry Buss’ often quoted formula for a dynasty: Dominant guard, center, and forward. Like Magic, Kareem, and James. Kobe, Drew, and Pau. The Next Great Lakers Dynasty.

JMNSHBO!
DNFTT!

Tom

LG

Im not negative i love the lakers and i know we the best and we can beat anyteam playing are best basketball. I just dont like to get too excited during the regular season and have a disappointment in the playoffs. And believe me im enjoying every single moment of every game we play and admiring the team and kobe and thankfull for it all to be able to witness kobe every game even when we loose. Im just bloging thats it.

omega,

I get that, but what makes you think we're going to be upset in the playoffs? Just wondering.

LG

Because
Bynum will not be the same (unknown)
LO - his game is unknown
Bench- on the road unkown

We need this game. Lets be honest. This a big one and if we don't win, that's bad.

That's my deep thought for today.

Wes

you're a phony-we know it, they know it, you know it.


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