Team Records: Portland (48-27) at LA Lakers (25-48)
Game Info: 7:30 PM-TV on TNT, Radio on 620 AM
TNT Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Chris Webber, Craig Sager
Vegas Line: Portland -8.5
Refs: Mike Callahan, Curtis Blair, Sean Wright
Playoff Picture: Portland currently sits in fifth place and would play Houston if the playoffs started today. Portland’s magic number to clinch a playoff berth is five.
The Skinny: The Blazers look to pay back the Lakers after what happened in Portland in early March as they look to move ever closer to making their playoff trip official. The Lakers have won three of their last five and are coming off a blowout win over Phoenix their last time out.
Last Time They Met: The Blazers showed up too late but managed to be in it late before a Lakers bucket with just a few seconds left won it for them.
Projected Lakers Lineup:
PF-Jordan Hill (Arizona-5th Season)-8.8 PPG, 7.1 RPG, .6 APG.
SF-Kent Bazemore (Old Dominion-2nd Season)-5.7 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 1.2 APG.
C-Pau Gasol (Spain-13th Season)-17.5 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 3.3 APG
SG-Jodie Meeks (Kentucky-5th Season)-15.4 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.8 APG.
PG-Kendall Marshall (North Carolina-2nd Season)-8.1 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 8.9 APG.
Player to Watch-Kent Bazemore (pictured at right)-The good thing about the NBA is that someone has to score points, someone has to put up big numbers and if your’e on a bad team, hell it might as well be you. Since coming over to the Lakers Bazemore has averaged 13.5 points a game, not bad a guy who couldn’t get off the bench in Oakland. Sure he’s not actually that good a player but on a truly bad team someone has to score. Why not the Lakers’s very own Bazedgod?
Did You Know?: Kobe is now in his 18th season with the Lakers, that’s the longest any Laker has ever spent with the team and just one year behind Stockton for the longest any player has ever spent with a single franchise.
Song of the Day: “The Ballad of Sharknado” by Quint-This was a truly terrible (but amusing) movie and this song isn’t much better but the idea of LA being destroyed by a Sharknado amuses me. Enjoy:
Portland: Out-PF/C Joel Freeland (Knee)
LA Lakers: Out-SG Kobe Bryant (Knee), PG Jordan Farmar (Groin), Doubtful-PG Steve Nash (Nerve Root Inflammation), SG Xavier Henry (Wrist and Knee), Probable-C Pau Gasol (Vertigo), C Chris Kaman (Foot)
Re-Evaluating the Lakers: Nothing Left to Say
Normally I’d say something hear about the Lakers, their longterm future and whatnot but screw that. Its the Lakers, they are terrible, we are good and there is only one thing left to say:
BEAT LA BEAT LA BEAT LA BEAT LA BEAT LA!
That is all.
The Bottom Line:
Portland wins if: They are focused. If the Blazers are ready to go, unlike back in March, they should win this game easily. Just get the job done and let’s not have any drama this time.
LA Lakers win if: They play from ahead. The Lakers are not a team that has shown a lot of spark coming back from big deficits this year. It is essential for LA that they play from ahead and control the game if they are to win.