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Blazers 106, Lakers 98: Eight is enough. Seriously.

This does not fill our lives with love.Kobe Bryant and Brandon Roy in LA's loss to Portland

Nope.  I think it's fair to say that after eight straight losses in the Rose Garden, the latest coming Friday night as LA fell to the Blazers in Portland 106-98 in a hard fought, physical game, that Lakers fans are officially over the whole "losing in Oregon" thing.  On one level, it was fun to watch.  A tight first quarter, and a second in which the Blazers went up by seven only to see the Lakers rip off a 22-6 run to take a nine point lead of their own before Portland fought back to within four at the break.  Unfortunately, a cavalcade of whistles kept the Lakers in plenty of foul trouble early and, at least from my end, seemed to have players on both teams (particularly the visitors) wondering what constituted a foul.

The second half generally saw the Blazers pushing to break away, at one point building seven and six point leads, and the Lakers refusing to let them do it, tying the game 91 on a long Kobe Bryant shot from the right wing with 5:15 to play. 

From there, though, Portland executed better. 

The Lakers were very strong in the paint early and had some great moments on the offensive boards throughout, but vacated the painted area down the stretch, relying instead on long and often ill-timed jumpers.  Portland tossed in some zone in the fourth, which likely aided the perimeter drift.  Overall, though, there wasn't enough balance and movement in the Lakers offense.  Bright spots included Shannon Brown, who hit all four of his shots en route to 10 points in 19:37 of playing time, and Sasha Vujacic, who hit a big three before halftime and was an impressive +10 over his 18 minutes of burn. 

I'd have liked to see Kurt Rambis, filling in for Phil Jackson, keep either one, preferably Vujacic, on the floor in the late minutes, either for Derek Fisher or Trevor Ariza.

Andrew Bynum wasn't quite as sharp in his second game back, but was also facing a stronger defensive presence in Greg Oden.  Bynum finished with 13 points and six boards, but that he played 31 minutes is itself encouraging.  Pau Gasol had only nine shots, making six, but only four rebounds.  Offensively, he didn't see the ball enough down the stretch as the Lakers became increasingly one-dimensional.  Greg Oden over Andrew Bynum Bryant overcame a slow start and made some spectacular plays in the second half, but missed a few shots late (including a terrible contested three pointer early in the shot clock with 50 seconds to go and the Lakers down by three), and had a costly turnover in the final minute as well. 

Having watched the Blazers a few times this month, I'm impressed with how they operate, and if they can avoid tightening up once the postseason rolls around Portland will make a formidable opponent for whatever team they face.  They've been a tough matchup for LA over the last few years, and are only getting better.  With seven straight wins over LA on their home floor coming in, the Blazers certainly came into the night with the confidence to play with LA on their turf. 

As I wrote before the game, should the Lakers and Blazers see each other in the postseason, the more experienced Lakers will go in expecting to win.  But they could have planted a stronger seed of doubt in Portland's gray matter and made their task a little easier.  They did it to Denver 24 hours earlier, but couldn't repeat the feat tonight.

Silver lining?  The loss basically assures the Lakers won't catch Cleveland for the league's best record, and renders LA's final two games essentially meaningless.  Whoever needs rest can get it, whoever needs minutes can get them, whatever floor combinations need to be seen can be put on the floor.  The pressure is gone, the foot can come off the gas.

More to come tomorrow.

BK

 
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Seriously break it down player for player and the Portland Trailblazers are a flat out better team.

The only Laker that could start for our team is Kobe Bryant. Sorry to break it you Laker fans, but the 2nd youngest team is way ahead of schedule. See you in the playoffs. You know Portland will be ready.

For historians out there. It all started 3 years ago when Lamar Odom went to bully the Baby Blazers in their huddle during a timeout in a seemingly innocuous game late in the season in the Staples Center.

But guess what, we grew up real quick. Now we are a FULL BLOWN FORCE!

Its the curse of Bill Walton. Lakers will never ever win in Portland while a Walton is playing.

Has the sky fallen yet?

our execution was less than stellar. we took too many ill-advised shots and i have a feeling rambis didn't draw those plays up that way. the calls killed us too, they were calling things and then not calling it so it didn't allow us to adjust. im glad that we were still in striking distance the whole game which is good.

i want kobe, pau, and fish to get some rest now. all of them look gassed especially pau. call me superstitious but i do not want to see bynum in that memphis game : (

Blazers For Life,

There's nothing more pathetic then seeing someone gloat over a regular season game. Greg Bowie was an excellent pick. Let's see how many years he lasts. He looks like he's 50 years old. You better hope that he's Benjamin Button.

Shannon Brown has earned the point guard backup spot behind Fisher for the playoffs after his performance against Denver & Blazers. Jordon Farmar has hit a wall, lacks defense and confidence & is making mental mistakes. Jordon & Sasha are missing too many open shots. Fisher should be limited to ~ 20 min in the starting line up with Brown getting 20 min, Farmar no more than 8 min. There are times when Odom, Gasol, Bynum, Brown & Kobe might be a good combination if Ariza hits a bad patch. Luke is fine when the ball isn't moving but is a big liability on defense.

As a lifelong Oregonian and Blazers fan, I want to apologize for Blazers For Life's arrogant comments. Please ignore them. We all know that Portland proved nothing tonight except that it can compete with the Lakers at home, which we already knew. The true test for the Blazers will be in the playoffs, on the road, with both teams rested; as someone who loves good basketball, win or lose, I hope Portland will get that chance. A Blazers-Lakers series would be a lot of fun.

I love it Blazer fan! You guys are gonna be really good and you're pretty good right now, should be a fun next few years that's for sure.

If we do get to meet up in the playoffs this year it should be a lot of fun. I'm sure the Blazers will be ready, I just don't think they will be able to match the Lakers depth and certainly not our experience. And we'll have more games at Staples, assuming we need them.

damm kobe was really pissed after the game

i guess that sucks for the other team

Blazer for Life,
The season is 2 for 2. We held home court, you held home court. Flat out better team??? Who's # 1 in the west?

Both times we played you in the Rose Garden this year was a second of a back to back. Playoffs have a day in between.

We'll see you in the playoffs, go brag about your 8 straight HOME wins against the Lakers, but I want to see you, Blazer For Life, bowing down on this blog when we eliminate your team and send the baby blazers fishing!

Know your role!

forgot to mention, pau only had 4 rebounds and he got pushed around. he couldn't handle oden or any of portland's big men. he seems to shy away from contact pau needs to toughen up if we want to win in the rose garden and the championship for that matter. against the physical teams he shys away and doesn't emerge as a force.

wow Blazers For Life...

you guys haven't achieve anything yet...so relax...come back here when your blazers pass the 2nd round...unitl then STFU...

*laugh* Did you just seriously say that breaking it down player-by-player, Portland has a better team than LA? You have Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge... and who else? Greg Oden? Please.

Losing in Portland is no more of a big deal than all the other records Lakers have versus the Blazers in history (*cough*playofflosses*cough*). It's just a mental thing and it's not important come playoff time. Even with this direct win, Oregon is still 11 1/2 games behind LA - and that's with LA not having a true center for almost half the season and Kobe's finger in need of surgical repair.

If any Portland fan honestly, genuinely believes their team can win a 7-game series against LA, they're certifiably insane. Cute, but insane.

See you in the second round (if you get that far).

Good game tonight, eventhough are team lost this team is ready for the playoffs. We just didn't get the bulk of the calls tonight especially Kobe considering he shot 10+ free throws. There were a lot of questionable calls and no calls by the sucky officiating crew, I smelled home cooking from a mile away. Hey David Stern how bout a little star treatment for our man #24, your favorite child Lebronze gets all the calls, how bout we balance it out a little bit and get KB some calls too. Kobe went to the hoop all night and got draped by 2 or 3 defenders and yet the refs chose to look the other way. We got a conspiracy theory boiling along here, maybe David Stern must have something to do with this, Crabs have the best record, Lebronze the MVP and Mike Brownie coach for the year and date with the Lakers for the Nba Finals. Kudos to Lamar and Shannon, they played one heck of a game. Looks like Farmar is in the doghouse right now and really is playing poorly. But a least I saw him cheering and clapping for Shannon Brown when he made those three's. The beast missed a lot of shots in the paint, in time those will start falling, im just happy that he's back. Kobe played well but the last 2 mins he killed our chances. He hasn't been money lately considering he is the best "Closer" in the game. That three and the errand pass cost us the game. Time to move on and start prepping for the playoffs. The Jailblazers are scary team to face in the 2nd round.

Lakers for life. 09 champs.

Gasol > Aldridge
Bynum > Oden/Prizbila
Bryant > Roy
Odom > Outlaw

But the Blazers are a tough matchup.

Blazers For Life,

Mr. Jailblazer next time your man Rudy comes to the hole, Ariza will make sure he'll fall flat in his face. Sorry to say Greg Oden is a bust, you should have picked Kevin Durant. The man is injury prone and is the 2nd coming of Sam Bowie. See you in the playoffs, if you can get past the first round against the Spurs. There ain't no rivalry. We are the freaking Lakers, your just the Jailblazers. And tell your freaking announcers to shut the hell up.

Lakers for Life. 09 champs.

HEY BIAS BLAZER FAN!

I notice that you are the only one that wrote on this blog. To say that Kobe is the only one good enough to start on your team is ludicrous. Excuse me, where has your team been the last 9 years or so-pretty much in oblivion. What have you done for the NBA lately as far as titles-NOTHING! By the way, what is your teams playoff record against the Lakers since '97(5-16). Your playoff record against the Lakers since that distant '77 title is 12-32. HOW DO THEM APPLES TASTE! Your sorry team has lost 9 of 10 playoff series since '77. Read em and weep Blazer fan, come playoff time your team will fall short again. I'll be the first to be on this post to rap you further after the jailblazers go down again.

PS-after the blazers lose you probably will disappear and not have the guts to come back on this post anyway.

jon k,

were u in ur lucky stool?

Yeah, um, right Blazers For Life, too bad you guys are like 3-19 against playoff bound teams and have a loosing record at away games, but right, you'll go all the way and beat whoever comes out of the east... and we don't want your water, we want your whole effin state for our compost pile, you know for organic vegtables :)

Rambis blew the game the minute he put Fish in for Brown. Shannon has hit couple of 3's and played well while Fish struggled. At least when SB was shooting Lakers had a better chance winning. Fish is a warrior but he has not played well lately.

And BLF, go scamper back to your Balzer's blog and make sure everyone there is FULL BLOWN, and if the Balzers make it out of the first round, you have permission to return here and spew...

Blazers for Life:
Talk to us after you've won something. Potential is great but means nothing until you actually do something in the real season..the playoffs. Talk to Dallas, Phoenix, Sacramento and the other also-rans about talent and potential.

BlazersforLife,

One ingredient of a good and a complete team is that they can win on the road as well as they do at home. Blazers play their best only with Lakers but not consistent with other teams. Blazers and Utah are similar in that respect with young players & I still consider them as one dimensional team. Blazers will show their true color by playoff time.

Well, here is my criticism with my team and also to some of their fans - they make premature declarations, bordering to delirium, cockiness in prodding their beast who is not present at the closing minutes of the game. This is NBA, if you will not prepare and put everything on autopilot that's where the bug bites you the hardest.

Seriously, one post, and it is from a blazers fan! How does this happen? Adding insult to injury.
Dude, the blazers ARE good, but not that good. They play very well at home. Congrats. I really hope we DO meet in the playoffs, that would be fun. Defense wins championships, TEAM defense wins championships! You are not there yet.

"Seriously break it down player for player and the Portland Trailblazers are a flat out better team."

I can't believe that was the first comment I read this morning. Just phenomenal.

Do they have elementary school classes in Oregon that teach kids how to be an idiot fan? Either that or there's something in the water because Trailblazer fans are idiots and its a deep idiocy. I don't know where it comes from but it certainly is unpleasant to experience.

Urgh.

I hate losing to the Trailblazers, especially because losing to the Trailblazers brings out Trailblazers fans who continuously forget that except for one year with Bill Walton, the Trailblazers haven't accomplished anything significant in their entire franchise history.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

I'm worried

By the way, I could not unlock the powers of the lucky barstool last night. The game wasn't available on television here.

Sorry.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

Shannon Brown? 4 for 4? He deserved to finish the game. I love Fish, but Shannon deserved to be there. I think sometimes rotations need to be thrown out and you should go with the hot hand. Fish has been WAY off lately and again last night.
OBTW, somebody give Trevor a pep talk, boy needs to get his swagger back, stop hesitating on his jumper, and take it to the rack. He was developing a rep as a slasher and deservedly so, he should do what he does best.
All in all, a pretty good game. If Drew could have sustained his energy for the whole game we would have won. Compared to the previous meeting (read "layup/dunk drill") we did not allow penetration as much, granted they missed some gimme's at the rim, but still Bynum changed the game with his presence down low.
One more thing, damn that Roy kid is pretty good, he went all Kobe Bryant on Kobe Bryant down the stretch.

Is this guy serious? "The Blazers are a full blown force." Sure, they may be good on their own court, but they are an abysmal 19-21 on the road buddy, including 0-2 in the Staples Center. And what's all this business about the Lakers being bullies. I'm a Lakers fan myself, and I think they're one of the softest teams at times. I'm getting tired of you Portland fans and everyone else who accuse Ariza of intentionally trying to hurt Fernandez. WATCH THE REPLAY! Ariza CLEARLY made a play on the ball, and I would bet all my money that any NBA official after reviewing the tape would agree. Portland can't see Lakers in a seven game series, cuz no matter what happens, we have game 7 on our floor, not the Rose Garden!

Analyzing the game between Portland vs Lakers are cause by the following reasons;

1. Fatigue factor that catch-up the key players like Ariza, Fish, Luke among others this is in particular Pau & Kobe. I can't imagine this player have to fly to Portland after the game against Denver, and this game is no joke. They arrived in Portland at 3am and have to work out early for the 7pm game. Computing the time of rest total is about 5hrs while their opponent is well rested physically & mentally.
2. Before the game started the team is well aware that the Cavs won their game against the 76er and Magic lost to the Knicks.With the remaining games of Cavs no team can beat the Cavs because Celtics will not gamble of putting KG on the line just for a win with no change in the standing. This also the reason why the 2 games of the Lakers is also a no bearing game. I expect that they will rest the Key Players and used the game in experimental of all possible player combination.

The best proof is that Lakers did not attack the basket as the way they do things on their past games. Look at the statistic, the fact that they have less free throw than the usual while they have higher percentage in FG, 3Pt and FT than Portland.

On the final note, Portland will not win game if in any case they meet in the second round or at the finals for the Western Conference

OK, as BK says, best record is gone. Time to rest Fisher, who had another rough night (1-7) and seems to need some time off. He has not been himself lately, maybe his foot is still bothering him. Let him rest and heal for the playoffs. His boost is vital to a long playoff run.

Other than the 8 straight losses issue, which is a bitch, this loss isn't a big worry. Late in the season, back to back, on the road, against a very good team, Bynum still clearly working his way back, and the Lakers were still in it up the final 2 minutes. You lose some games in the NBA and this is the kind you lose.

Biggest disappointment is Gasol taking only 9 shots, especially on a night where a struggling Kobe had 23. Proof the offense was not in proper flow. Distribue some of those shots better and the Lakers win.

Take nothing away from a tough Portland team, which played very well and clearly was not intimidated by LA. It would be an interesting playoff series, with 3 games in Portland. But the Lakers would win. They can raise their game to another level in teh playoffs, they have experience, and they have a coaching staff which exploits other teams in playoff series as well as anyone.

Laker Tom - I live Bynum and I love your passion for him and you are right about his potential. But I rewatched his defense in the Denver game based on your post. Yes, Bynum was a physical presence down there on defense, but his timing and execution was simply poor, in my opinion.

Sorry

Is this guy serious? "The Blazers are a full blown force." The Blazers may be good on their own floor, but they are an abysmal 19-21 on the road, including 0-2 in the Staples Center this season. In a seven game series, the Blazers could never hope to beat the Lakers. Know why? Because game seven is in the Staples Center, not the Rose Garden. I hate how people keep accusing Ariza of being a terrible person. If you are a true basketball aficionado you could review the so-called "dirty play" and realize that Ariza clearly made a play ON THE BALL! No doubt about it. And what's this business about the Lakers being bullies? That's one of the first times I've heard that. I'm a Laker fan myself, and I think that at times they can be one of the softest teams in the league, but certainly not bullies. All-in-all, the Blazers time will come, and that will be when they get knocked out in the first round, or when they are demolished by the Lakers in the second, etc. Oh yeah, and can we start getting traveling calls on Greg Oden please. I know the refs want to help him build confidence, but not at the expense of a game please.

AK/BK:

For this one game, none of us can pin the loss on the bench. In my opinion, Rambis was outcoached before the end of the 2nd quarter when he yanked Kobe after we built the 10 points lead. He was probably afraid of Kobe picks up the third foul before the half time. We ended up only 4 points lead at half-time. The second half was marred by poor officiating who blew the whittle on the guest team on several soft calls but allowed the home team to play their brand of physical game. Our guys, Kobe included, rattled a bit toward the end and threw up bad 3s one after another. Fish should not be in there since he's too slow to cover Blake. Fish is now had a three consecutive bad games! His production is way down averaging less than 4 points i his last three games. We also have an issue at the small forward position. Neither Walton nor Ariza were effective which allowed the Blazers to double and triple team Kobe at the end. Pau didn't get enough balls inside at the end, kudos to the Blazers' defensive scheme. It's good to see L played with confidence again too bad we decided to launch the shots from the outside when it is matters most. When we were down by 3 with 3 minutes to play, I told my son that we need to score on this trip. Kobe rushed his 3 when we had almost 20 seconds left on the shot clock...Very poor decision by Kobe...

We will be back and ready for this young Blazers in the playoff!

It's a good taste for our young players.

@Blazers For Life: "The only Laker that could start for our team is Kobe Bryant."

hahahahaha

Hats off to the Blazers for a solid effort so far. But until your team can show they know how to win on the road, it's no contest. Anything can happen though. Hopefully we'll see you in the playoffs.

HOW DID PORTLAND HAVE 17 MORE FREETHROWS THAN US LAST NIGHT?

HOW?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

Yep. It's a rivalry.

Let me explain:

While "BlazersForLife" and the other trolls from Portland can smack talk over achieving the astronomical feat of tying the Lakers/Blazers season series at 2 games a piece, we of Laker Nation see the Blazers for who they really are.

They are to us what SACRAMENTO was to the Threepeat era and what HOUSTON/PORTLAND was to the Showtime era.

During those previous dynasties, there was always one team or 2 who wasn't afraid of us; who sharpened their knives and brought the noise whenever we came to town. We were #1...but they couldn't care less about that. Their mission was to seek and destroy us by any means necessary.

Every game was a grinding win or loss. Every shot was crucial. Every whistle was disputed by their fans. Every lead built on us sent their fans into a frenzy.

But when it REALLY mattered - in the post season...and with the exception of the 86 Rockets...they had one thing in common:

THEY CHOKED.

Their emotions got the best of them. Their lack of discipline cost them in the end. Our shots fell and their fans sat in their arena seats slack-jawed and bewildered saying, "We almost had 'em. That's alright...we're gonna kill next year."

Next year came...same results. Even the 86 Rockets couldn't hang w/Boston in the end.

So celebrate, Blazers. And rest assured, Laker Nation. No trade proposals. No calls for coaching staff firings. No panic. We've been here and done that. Remember, we don't play for season series sweeps and advantages. WE PLAY FOR RINGS!

They may get to see us in the WCF. But they will choke. They always do.

Ask Doug Christie.
Ask Vlade.
Ask Mike Bibby.
Ask C-Webb.
Ask Cliff Robinson.
Ask Terry Porter.
Ask Clyde The Glide.

Attention all Laker fans!!

The 8 straight losses in Portland are overblown. For 4 of those losses we had Kwame as our starting center. Since then, Drew has only played in one of those losses-last night. He's only going to get better and what we saw in the 1st half is a small taste of what he'll be able to do as the playoffs progress...when there are no back to back games. All that's really happened is that now the Lakers have added incentive to sweep the Blazers in a 7 game series. Here's hoping they meet them in the 2nd round.

7 games with the Lakers having homecourt advantage against every team in the west, I'll take them to win 4 in any series.

Any team.

The Blazers have a good squad, but beating the Lakers on the second night of a back-to-back says nothing to me. Just as beating the Nuggets wasn't that great for the Lakers. Listening to the Blazers fans talk smack about the youngins is going to be even more annoying than the Suns fans. Win a couple of games in the playoffs and then talk.

No back-to-backs in the playoffs. Give the starters an extra few days off and play the kids.

Wake me up on the 19th.

The game seemed fixed. Every close call went to Portland. Thats why home court adventage is so important and I kind of worry if Cleveland makes it to the Finals, you guys know Lebron is going to get every call at home. I actually like that Rambis only put Farmar in there once. Shannon did his job Fish was supposed to bring it home with Kobe but Im beginning to worry about Fish. Because besides Kobe he is our most clutch player. Trevor seems scared to shoot and attack for some reason now. Pau is timid when the game gets tight. We know about Odom and Luke in tight games. That's why everyone hopes that Bynum can hurry up and be that Shaq- like guy.

Blazers for Life,

>>>But guess what, we grew up real quick. Now we are
>>> a FULL BLOWN FORCE

Well, at least you are a full blowhard.

If you can manage to make it out of your first round matchup,
then the "player for player not as good as your mighty Blazers"
Lakers will mop up the floor with them in 4 games. Then they
can all go FULL BLOWN FISHIN'

Portland won 8 games in a row at the garden......what about the games at staple center which we win also. Portland is ok,but no way near the lakers. Lakers actually believe in superstition and bad luck which is the reason we always lose games like this. But when we need skills to beat a team(ex:boston and cleveland) we do. Portland just got lakers in a voodoo trance.

The last month or so and last night's game drop Kobe out of contention
for the MVP, in my opinion.

He's had several poor shooting games in games that the Lakers
would have won if he were shooting well. LeBron has had no
lapse of multiple games like that, and his team is clawing and
scratching to keep the home court advantage.

The good news is, the Lakers have shown that they don't need
home court advantage to beat the Cavs (if the Cavs can even
manage to get past the Celtics).

Only two more games until the REAL season begins.

GO LAKERS.

Portland won 8 games in a row at the garden......what about the games at staple center which we win also. Portland is ok,but no way near the lakers. Lakers actually believe in superstition and bad luck which is the reason we always lose games like this. But when we need skills to beat a team(ex:boston and cleveland) we do. Portland just got lakers in a voodoo trance.

Portland won 8 games in a row at the garden......what about the games at staple center which we win also. Portland is ok,but no way near the lakers. Lakers actually believe in superstition and bad luck which is the reason we always lose games like this. But when we need skills to beat a team(ex:boston and cleveland) we do. Portland just got lakers in a voodoo trance.

I guess Blazers for Life fails to realize that Pau Gasol is an All-Star... Andrew Bynum is miles ahead of Greg Oden..

and no matter what Portland fans think the Lakers have, will, and always will be a better organization than Portland.

Every time we see Portland in the playoffs we eliminate them.

I understand why their so mad at us...I really do...They just cant beat us when it counts

Portland fans really want this...

Well guess what:
"After the Portland Trail Blazers beat them again, Kobe Bryant was direct when asked if he wanted to come to Portland again this postseason, spitting out a profanity and then saying: "Love it. Absolutely."

I actually hope we get to play Portland the 2nd round...

Then we can finally kick their azz yet another time...


I posted how Portland was going to be the Western Conference threat that could dim the lights on the Lake show at the beginning of the season. Then we torched them so I posted about how I didn't know anything. Which I didn't.

It's obvious the only mistake I made was thinking I'd made one. They're long, quick, athletic and gaining experience. and here come the playoffs.

We'll sweep them. I know.

Blazer fan here, just wanted to say regardless of the result, that was a good basketball game last night. Back and forth all game, the Blazers had just enough energy to pull it out at home. You guys had to play the Nuggs and Blazers b2b, that is brutal. I wouldn't be surprised if we lost to the Clippers tonight. Anyway, that was a hard fought game on both sides, not the prettiest win, but we'll take it. I really hope we see you guys in the Playoffs... Not because I think we have any sort of chance, but because it would be a good measuring stick to see where we are as a team. I look forward to a great rivalry in the coming years.

Blazers for life - I guess what they say about Oregon's true. You guys must have some SERIOUS grade A weed up there. Gimme what you're smokin!!!!

In the NW, competition between big trees has gone on for millenia. Birch is overtaken and supplanted by Douglas Fir which tower over those less impressive specimen.

How did last night feel Birches?

The bottom line is the Lakers need another player who can create his own offense and good shots for others. They only have Kobe no one else the Cav's have three guys (West, Williams, and Lebron), who get good shots for the,selves and others. The celtics have three as well (Pierce, Allen, and Rondo). Jordan had Pippen. Gasol is not dominant enough enough the post for the Lakers to be champions otherwise. When teams take Kobe out of the game others are too stagnant the offense dies and that is because he is the only true threat to the defense.

I'm OK with this loss. What matters to me is that Bynum got some heavy work in against a tough team in a tough environment.

The Lakers do need work, however. We need shooters and shot blockers.

Once Bynum starts blocking shots--that's gonna be the sign I'm waiting for.

I don't know who's going to start making shots for us.

Wes

Wassup everybody, As I said last night in the chat, as much as I would've loved seeing us get homecourt, maybe it's not the worst thing in the world that we didn't get it.

Think of it this way' with homecourt; we play our two in Staples, and then head to Cleveland for THREE straight games. Ugh. If Cleveland stals one here, we're looking at a very bad situation.

But if they get homecourt; it's the opposite, so WE'LL have three straight in Staples, and I really really like that idea.

Plus, we'll be at home throughout the west the whole time, so we shouldn't have too many difficulties there. And who knows, maybe Boston or Orlando will pull off the upset and get to the Finals.

-bozz-

"It all started 3 years ago when Lamar Odom ... But guess what, we grew up real quick. Now we are a FULL BLOWN FORCE!"

So growing up real quick is waiting 3 years huh?

OK...

And...

I must have seen 7 or 8 times last night that Bynum favored his knee, or moved funny or however you want to put it. I don't know what this means. I'm glad he's back, I want to see him get increasing minutes, but at times he did look funny. He's not really jumping yet, but, all in time.

Wes

"Seriously break it down player for player and the Portland Trailblazers are a flat out better team."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

*wipes away tears*

Thank you for the delusional rant. That made me feel so much better!

Dude, you forget about all the times we've kicked your butt at Staples.

Yeah, this is some rivalry, alright.

Now that we can't reach Cleveland, can we please sit Socks against Memphis?

Portland is going to be a great team for a long time. You know their owner isn't going to let a Lamar Odom situation happen. All their excellent players will be resigned. Hell, what was the payroll for those Jailblazers teams? $80mil + right?

Before the Blazers even think about the Lakers, they have another series. Everyone knows that defense is needed in the playoffs, and we haven't really seen that from Portland. Nate McMillian hasn't ever had a good defensive team. You are hoping for Oden to fill the void, but he is just one man.

I thought Kobe's choice of shots in those final minutes was not good. Instead of jacking up the three I'd have gone inside to try and draw the foul.

Except it was Kobe, and he can make those.

Except he wasn't shooting well the minutes prior.

Except that hasn't been a factor in other games because he's Kobe and he can get going at any time.

Could go round and round about it but bottom line is it's over and that's that.

Thank you to the sane Blazer fan who posted the apology for Blazers for Life. I agree with you and thank you for your classiness.

Wow! Lots of comments from Laker fan arguing why they are still better than the Blazers. Looks like sleepy LA is waking up and taking notice of what's happening in P-Town. Don't be so insecure LA...You are still, uh, runners up. It's gonna be a loooong decade or so for the Lakers looking up in the standings at the Blazers. Tell us how our...oh never mind...that's just classless.

By the way, what choice does Kobe have when asked if he wants to play the Blazers in the playoffs? I mean really. Can he say, "Gee whiz, they are so good I really don't want to play against them again." Sure the way he responded indicates what a great competitor he is and that he is up for the challenge. Nothing more. Finally, when comparing the individuals on the two teams ask yourself if you would make a trade straight up for the other player:

Oden/Pryz for Bynum -- Blazers don't make a trade
Aldridge for Pau -- Blazers don't make a trade
Roy for Kobe -- Blazers don't make a trade
Outlas for Odom -- Blazers don't make a trade
Blake for Fish -- Blazers don't make a trade

What would you do Laker fan?

Look at the bright side. It looks like we have come to the end of the Smush Farmar era.

SabonisFan3386, I really appreciate your comment. I think we all need to have mad respect for the Blazers. They are a great team and more than anything, they have class. Not too many cheap shots at the Lakers.

They played great last night but hey, the Lakers played great as well. You can complain all you want about the refs, but true champions play through it. And you know what? The Lakers almost played through it. Despite the disparity in FTs, it was a close game until the very end.

I am proud of my Laker boys for fighting through adversity up their in Portland and (almost) coming out on top. Till the last minute, it was anyone's game...remember that.

Was this a statement game for the Blazers? To some extent. They proved they can compete with us on their home turf.

These two teams are extremely well matched and Im not sure you can say that one is incredibly better than the other. A playoff series between the two will surely be extremely fun for us fans =)

Lakers need another player? What happened to Mbenga he was the flavor of the week a couple of weeks ago ... now I seen its Brown! Maybe they can make a trade before the playoffs start.

Is Kobe gonna make it to the finish line? Looks like you can stick a fork in Fisher!

Please dont refer to the Blazer home court as the "garden"

SabonisFan3386 and diego3999 -

Thanks for being respectful! I do think that the lake show will be in for a MAJOR test if they have to play Portland. I would expect it (at this point) to go about 7 games, with Portland winning all 3 at home. You're absolutely right - that series should make for some riveting basketball.

I really do see this as a potential Portland/Lake Show rivalry in the next few years, but in order for it to be of historical significance, our respective teams will have to meet in the playoffs with the same frequency as the Knicks and Pacers about a decade ago.

I'm glad there weren't any hard fouls or bad blood displayed in last night's game. Looking forward to more battles to come! Hopefully we will get to meet up in the playoffs!

There are some good Blazer Fans though they are ugly ones too that is VERY reminiscent of the Celtics trolls.

Anyway let them savor and think that game meant the championship to them. Their ego is so inflated and well while they could argue they won both times in home court WE have handed their butts twice in LA. And guess who owns the homecourt in the series assuming Portland beats San Antonio?

LA Lakers.

And next time there won't be a back to back. A fully rested Lakers team in the playoffs will beat those arrogant Jailblazers. Besides as much as I respect Clyde the Glide he knew when to bail Portland to win a ring. That guy couldn't even win an MVP.

we just can't win there. there's a curse and we seem to always suck up there. mr phil knew it too and used his leg as an excuse to not have to take the walk of shame. and wow good job to all those middle aged guys sitting in front of their computer fighting with a blazer fan, it makes you look just as immature and stupid as the guy before you

Blazer fan here. If we meet you guys in the playoffs, it will be competitive - that's the only prediction I'm going to make.

Something I'd like to note though: I have heard lots of "this game doesn't matter", "there is no rivalry", "we'll win in the playoffs when it counts", etc. from Laker fans, similar to what happened after the last game up here. I thought the Lakers were ready for this game. It was "circled" on the calendar I remember hearing from Laker fans. So what happened? Home court advantage throughout the playoffs isn't that big of a deal? Or it will matter "next time"?

I didn't look at your forums then, but I bet you Laker fans were saying the same thing last June. In the Finals, the Lakers sure played like there would a 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th game.

Seems to be a problem for you.

Kobeblitz

Thank you for kind words. Being called a Celtic troll in here is like being booed on the road. It only means we matter.

BTW who is Laker fan rooting for tomorrow? Not Boston? Please say it aint so!

"Look at the bright side. It looks like we have come to the end of the Smush Farmar era."

Same feelings here Tom (Not Laker Tom).

"G Shannon Brown played instead of Jordan Farmar in the second half Friday night, perhaps an indication that Farmar could be losing his job as the backup point guard."

Inevitable.

Korey,

Not bad overall play from Shannon. I think he even outplayed Fisher.

And again whoever thinks Trevor Ariza can be a good offensive option/shooter is way over their heads. He's cringing at taking 3 point shots now. When his shot isn't there he is an offensive liability. I'm not so sure if his defense (beyond stealing) is decent anymore.

As much as there could be some flak, I suggest to start Luke. Now he was 1-6 but handed 8 assists. When he was inserted in the 3rd quarter those assists spur a Laker run.

Anyone wants to say Trevor Ariza can be a good spot up shooter now??

You won at home on a back to back congrats all mighty Blazer fans. Come talk to us again if/when we meet in the playoffs. So much hub bub over a regular season game.

Rich you said Gasol gets tight at the end of games. Outside of Kobe he has easily made the most crucial baskets for us down the stretch for us this year.

If you browse through the TB blog, it would seem that all this perceived ‘rivalry’ with LAL stems from game 7 of the 2000 WCF, when Shaq and Kobe ripped the heart out of a city and stomped on it on the ground. For them, June 4, 2000 is a day that ‘will live in infamy’, the Portland equivalent of Pearl Harbor. It has been so deeply etched in their psyche that they still hate Shaq for what he did as a Laker nine years ago!

So for the past nine years of their pathetic basketball lives, they have been waiting for payback for game 7 of the 2000 WCF. And while we look down on POR as a mere nuisance, they continue to perpetuate their self-delusion of a POR-LAL ‘rivalry’….

a message to Trevor and Shannon:
you both have the potential to be defensive stoppers.
work hard on your defense.
work hard on your outside shooting.
you will be needed against Portland for years to come.
a message to Jordan/Sasha/Luke:
you do not have the skills to compete against Portland.
you will be traded.

KB Blitz

I agree with putting Luke back in the starting lineup.
His passing abilities will create easy baskets for our Bigs.

Maybe a lil more Sasha with the first squad will get us a nice lead in the first half.

GO LAKERS!!

At this point, I would much rather have a cold Fisher take a big shot than a hot Shannon Brown. Putting Fisher in was the right decision.

On a different note, a great column on the different types of blog commenters:

http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=7302169

SabonisFan3386, thanks. Also, I hope all the Lakers fans here make a point of never trolling elsewhere. It's juvenile and irritating (although the number of trolls today is something of a compliment ... the Clips and Kings don't have many trolls as of late).

Was the terrible three by Kobe at the end of the game drawn up by Rambis, or was that an executive decision made by #24? I'd like to make sure my annoyance is directed properly (although if it was a drawn up play, Kobe still should not have taken that shot).

I'm really feeling comfortable with Shannon "The Hops" Brown on the floor. I know he still has a lot to learn, but I don't start worrying when he brings the ball down the floor, which has been my consistent reaction as of late with Farmar. Yet again I think it's clear the Lakers front office knew more than they let on with that Vlad trade. I really doubt it was just dumb luck and "making the trade work" that brought Shannon here. We'll see how he does in the playoffs.

My biggest disappointment over the last few weeks is with Trevor. For the first half of the year I really thought he could be a huge difference maker in the playoffs, lately he feels like a huge liability. What happened?

Final thought: Quote from I think Roy in the Times yesterday, and also similar remarks from some Blazer fans, that the Lakers are bullies. Do you have any idea how much I wish this were true sometimes? How many games have we watched this year (or in the last week) where a little killer instinct and arrogant bully attitude would have really helped? Most of the time I love that the West doesn't have the same kind of in-the-press trash-talking (except apparently emanating from Portland as of late, and Shaq depending on what day of the week it is) that the East does -- we keep the rivalries on the floor, in the game. But the Lakers, bullies? Ha.

Last I recall we won there when it counted...

2000 playoffs. Good enough for me.

So until we meet again at that point in time, then it'll matter.

GO Lakers!

Of the western teams, only Portland seems to own the lakers in the post gasal-era.

Since the SUNS gave Rudy Fernandez to the Blazers, I think I'll root for them in the WC.

Here's hopin for a Blazers-lakers playoff series.

BTW who is Laker fan rooting for tomorrow? Not Boston? Please say it aint so!

Posted by: 131-92 | April 11, 2009 at 11:01 AM

------------------------------------------------------------

It's a win-win situation for us. If CLE loses, the possibility of home court advantage remains alive. And anytime BOS loses, it warms the cockles of a Laker fan's heart....

UTZ sez:

"They may get to see us in the WCF. But they will choke. They always do."

Always choke? That's a good one coming from the fan of a laker team that has choked 8 straight times in OR.

How about taking the loss for what it was (a continuation of Blazer beatings suffered annually in OR due to the better team always winning there)?

For all those on the Shannon Brown bandwagon, remember that Ariza, Farmar, Sasha, Mbenga, Powell, all of these clowns had flashes of brilliance. I'm not saying that he shouldn't get more minutes, but unless he can prove it game after game, I'm not too optimistic. There's a good reason why guys like Powell and Brown have been on a few different teams. He's no Brandon Roy or Carmelo Anthony. Having said that, he's playing infinitely better than Farmar. Farmar needs to improve his free throw percentage to greater than 80% and need to work on his passing skills. His passing skills are the worst I've ever seen in a Laker guard.

New post.

BK

No one says much about it but it is very hard to beat a team on it's homecourt when the home team shoots 17 more fts than the visiting team. Matter of fact it's hard to beat any NBA team anywhere, anytime if you get 17 fts less. I think the Blazer crowd had the Refs intimidated last night.

It seems ridiculous to say that the Lakers are "soft" and Portland is "tough" when the "soft" Lakers shoot 35% of the games fts while the "tough" Blazers shoot 65% of them.

Just wanted to join a couple others in extending a hand back to diego and sabonisfan... sportsmanship is always appreciated. Personally, I'd love nothing more to see a real Blazers/Lakers rivalry again.... I was at game 7 of the western finals (99/00 season) and it was an awesome time. Portland was fully loaded in those days and it was always fun to go against them.

Hmmmm....for all the claims about how unimportant the Blazer game was, your guys seemed pretty determined to win it....and still lost.

But, anyway, I don't think the Blazers have enough experience to go far in the playoffs. The next few years should be interesting, though. Don't get too complacent!

I think the Lakers will do well and I, for one, will be pulling for them to win over anybody from the East....which I think they will do....even Cleveland or Boston. Good luck.

Blazers fan here. 1st time posting on another teams blog. Just want to say not all of the blazers fans are "bad" just like all laker fans aren't "bad".

I definitely think the lakers are the better team this year, it's proven with their record.

I use to tell people that in years past, I thought the blazers made this matchup too much of a "rivalry". And I thought that the lakers never saw it that way, because they were obviously the better team.

I do think now the lakers are starting to take the blazers more seriously. I think a playoff matchup would be awesome to watch, but without homecourt for the blazers will be extremely tough to steal one in L.A.

I have to say though that I think I actually hate Boston now more than I hate the lakers.

But you have to admit the last few years, the lakers have taken some unnecessary shots at blazer players.

Last year odom on roy, this year ariza on rudy. Now I'm not saying it was with intent to hurt, but the fact is we were up nearly 20 pts and and ariza didn't need to make the type of play he did.

With the west declining blazers/lakers are going to be a great matchup for years to come. Both teams are young and talented.

Here's the real problems:

1. Kobe is tired! Stop crying about his shooting, i'm so sick of you fair weather fans. When he wins the game for us--HE'S THE BEST--when he scores over 40--HE'S THE BEST---but when he has a bad game or month--Oh, my Kobe SHOOTING too much.. Would you llike to see him shoot maybe ummmm 12 shots a game? Than you get to see where the Lakers would be, at home with you watching the playoffs.

2.Fish only needs to play 20 minutes a game..If he's hot stay in if not sit the pine--He cost us with that miss 3 when Kobe depended on him--thats why kobe took the last shot (who else should he have trusted).

3. Bench problems: Sasha thinks he's in a shooting groove. Stop shooting so darn much! Farmer stop trying to go individual all the time. Who's Powell?

4. Lamar Odom. He's the key to the championship win. When he plays well Lakers win.. Find him more time even though he's coming off the bench.

5. Bynum: Favoring knee but will help us win the big one.

6. Coaching: QUESTIONALBE--ALL OF THEM!

7. Fans: Too fair weather..

8.Pau: Needs to toughen up. But still doing very well.

9.Trevor: He's worth the money and still best defensive player we have.. Just don't try too many 3's

10.Me: I expect Lakers to win every game!


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