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Lakers Roundtable: L.A. Times' Mark Medina and the Columbian's Matt Calkins discuss Lakers-Portland game and possible playoff matchup

April 8, 2011 |  2:00 pm

With the Lakers entering Friday's game against Portland on a three-game losing streak that's mostly pointed to a disinterest in the regular season, both the defending champions and their fans are surely hoping they can just fast forward to the playoffs.

There's another reason why they should be hoping time accelerates to April 17, the first day of the postseason. Should the Lakers and Blazers meet up in the first round of the playoffs, the Columbian's Matt Calkins and I will treat fans at The Times' Lakers blog to plenty of preview analysis, including segments that consist of us of rapping about the teams. But that will have to hold off for now.

Among the highlights of my interview with Calkins:

-- He reacts to Magic Johnson's suggestion that Portland would be the Lakers' toughest possible first-round opponent because of the "hate factor."

-- Calkins, a native Angeleno and former writer at the Riverside Press-Enterprise, shares what the Blazers and their fans dislike most about the Lakers.

-- Calkins extrapolates on why Portland has little chance of upsetting the Lakers in a first-round matchup and why playing Dallas would be a better draw.

-- Calkins provides a medical update on Marcus Camby (strained neck) and explains Brandon Roy's inconsistency.

-- Calkins doesn't believe Kobe Bryant when he says regular-season matchups against possible playoff opponents are measuring-stick games.

You can follow more of Calkins' work at the Columbian's website and on Twitter.

--Mark Medina