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Sunday poll and links

November 1, 2009 |  9:28 am

Off kilter from the opening tip, the Lakers were poleaxed Friday night against the Mavs. In the process (and with plenty of company), Ron Artest again struggled with his shot. Meanwhile, Trevor Ariza hung 33 on the Blazers last night, helping the Rockets to a win in their home opener.

Personally, I think the first week of the season is a little quick to make stark, sweeping judgments, and as we noted after Tuesday's win, the signs of what Artest can bring to the mix are there. But enough about my opinion- have you done any soul searching?

Call it a hunch, but I doubt this'll be the last time this question pops up, in one form or another.

Sunday night, the Lakers hope to bounce back against the Atlanta Hawks, winners of their first two games but venturing out on the road for the first time this season. Last year, despite nabbing the E.C.'s fourth seed, the Hawks were still pretty bad away from Atlanta (16-25). Without a doubt, Mike Woodson's crew will arrive at Staples with plenty of talent. Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Al Horford (often overlooked, I think), Mike Bibby, Marvin Williams, Jamal Crawford, and so on. As a group, they're long and athletic.

If you missed it, Pau Gasol is out for tonight's game. Good sources for Hawks info: Hoopinion, Peachtree Hoops.