Among the highlights of my interview with The Columbian's Trail Blazers beat writer Matt Calkins on the Lakers-Portland game:
Why Calkins believes the Blazers will beat the Lakers: "Given the Lakers' struggles at the Rose Garden, I'm sticking with Portland. There will be no answer for Gerald Wallace."
Calkins, who previously worked for the Riverside Press-Enterprise, considers Blazers fans more knowledgeable than Lakers fans: "They're breaking down salary caps. They're breaking down efficiency ratings. I've been really impressed with it. I'm not trying to win anybody over here.... L.A. is very underrated for their sports knowledge. They're smart, but I think there might be more superficial concerns from among the average Angeleno fans than Portland fans."
Calkins on where Portland ends up in the Western Conference: "Are they championship caliber? No. But can they host a playoff series and win one? Absolutely, they could."
Calkins on the chemistry between LaMarcus Aldridge and Raymond Felton: "It's developing. They really like playing with each other. It's lot more entertaining brand of basketball watching them fly up and down the court."
Calkins on why Portland has no answer for Andrew Bynum: "Their internal defense leaves something to be desired. Marcus Camby has a phenomenal career. But when you have Gasol and Bynum, the Lakers' length scares every team. Portland doesn't have the depth to contend with those guys."
Calkins on Brandon Roy's retirement: When you look back at Brandon Roy's career, he really was special here.... He's the most beloved individual in Portland right now. People love him here. It was heartbreaking for them."
You can follow Calkins' work on the Columbian's website and on Twitter.