TLN’s Game Preview: Lakers vs. Blazers

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Mack’s prediction, the Blazers will win in L.A.; Against the Clippers.

The Blazers, however, will not defeat the Lakers. Even their own center, Joel Przybilla, doesn’t have high hopes. When asked about playing against the Lakers he said, “They’ve maintained strong play throughout the year. We need to get some wins, and it would be a good one for us to start there, but we know it will be very hard to get that done.” He doesn’t sound too confident. Maybe he doesn’t think this time around the Blazers will win, but maybe next time they will.

Sorry Joel, probably not next time either.

Tonight’s match up is the first of four the Lakers have with the Blazers this season so it will be interesting to see how they play each other. Personally, I don’t think the Blazers have a chance. One reason is because their star player, SG Brandon Roy is out with a sprained ankle. Roy says he initially sprained it against Dallas on February 13th, but aggravated it midway through the third quarter in Sunday’s beat down against the “BAH-ston” Celtics. With the injury to Brandon Roy, Nate McMillan will be trying a new lineup, again helping the Lakers’ cause. He will be running with Martell Webster at the two and the up and coming Travis Outlaw taking over the 3.

The Blazers are not playing to well right now averaging 95.28 points a game. A Blazer fan might say, “Hey! That’s not bad, San Antonio is averaging 96.27 points a game, just a point more!” But then I would show them at San Antonio is also allowing only 91.13 points a game from their opponents. The Blazers on the other hand are allowing 95.96 ppg; which is actually MORE points than they average.

They have lost their last two games and with a loss in Los Angeles, they will be one game over .500.

These two teams are going in opposite directions. The Lakers are in the midst of an 8 game winning streak, winning 9 of their last 10 games. The Lakers are averaging a colossal 107.98 ppg while allowing only 100.83 per game. That’s a difference of +7.14. Only the Pistons and the Celtics have a better differential.

The Lakers are also forth in Assists and third in field goal percentage. Seriously, until the middle of March, I don’t even see them being challenged by the teams they will face. I just hope the injury bug stays away.

Has anyone else seen this video breaking down Pau Gasol’s game and impact on the Lakers? I just saw it the other day and I was so giddy I jumped out of my chair at my desk and busted my knee on one of the drawers. I would call that video “required viewing” for any Lakers fan and if you haven’t seen it, I’m going to stick my cousin Jay on you. You wouldn’t like that, oh no, you wouldn’t.

Here’s the link, don’t say I never gave you anything…

http://www.nba.com/lakers/news/080222breakingdowngasol.html

Ok, enough of all the small talk; let’s get to (drum roll please)…

Da’ Gameplans:

What the Blazers will want to do -

Offense: The Blazers HAD a great weapon with Brandon Roy, but since he is on the bench, coach McMillan will be running plays for LaMarcus Aldridge; his second option. LaMarcus is tall, long, and strong at the PF position, so look for him to get down low and use his length against Odom. If Aldridge is under pressure, look for the Blazers to go to 5th year vet Travis Outlaw who is definitely coming into his own this year.

Defense: Well, this will be hard. The Blazers really don’t have a good defense. They don’t rebound and they don’t cause turnovers. So I see them double teaming the Lakers a lot; trying to get the ball out of Kobe’s, Gasol’s, um… let’s see, Fisher’s, and Lamar’s hands. That means make sure Vlad and Luke dribble!

What the Lakers will want to do -

Offense: Keep up the good work. The Lakers have been passing the ball like the Phoenix Suns this year. If they keep this up, the only way for the opposition to stop them will be to tackle who ever has the ball, that’s right, the Blazers will have to play like Bill Laimbeer. This might also be a great game for some showtime moves on the fast break. As I said above, the Blazers don’t rebound; so look for some dunks and alley-oops.

One last thing, remember last year’s final game against the Blazers, Kobe put up 65 points? That was the most any player had put up against Portland in the team’s history. I’m just sayin’…

Defense: Stay in front and clog the middle. The Blazers like to drive to the rim but without Roy, it will be a tough night for them. Look for the Lakers to remain in the passing lanes and take chances to cause turnovers. Although the Blazers have been hot this year, right now they are definitely not and the Lakers will take advantage.

Projected Starters -

Blazers: Steve Blake / Martell Webster / Travis Outlaw / LaMarcus Aldridge / Joel Przybilla

Lakers: Derek Fisher / Kobe Bryant / Luuuuke / Lamar Odom / Pau Gasol

Interesting Match Up:

LaMarcus Aldridge vs. Lamar Odom

Amber’s Game Prediction: Alert! When I asked Amber who would win tonight’s game, she yelled, “Lakers!” about 21 times. Does that mean the Lakers will win the next 21 games or that they will win by 21 points? I’m still investigating…

Mack’s Game Prediction: Oh come on! Lakers baby!

Amber’s Scorecard: 9 – 0

Mack’s Scorecard: 4 – 0

Next 3 games: vs. Miami, @ Portland, vs. Dallas

Game Preview Questions for Discussion -

1. Will Kobe need to score 65? If so, why? If not, why?
2. Will we be seeing the emergence of a new Lakers fan site named, “DontneedGarnett.com”?

Game Time: 7:30 PM Lakers Standard Time

Local Broadcast: FSN HD

National Broadcast: NBA TV HD

Radio: KLAC & KWKW

  • lakerz

    if she said it 21 times she must be right
    tell her to say it a couple more time during the playoffs

  • http://myspace.com/nugge7 The Nugget

    Can Amber the official TLN cheerleader? I love that girl! :D

  • http://thelakersnation.com kb24 4life

    easy win for the lakers, 9 game winning streak baby…

  • LakerNation1

    its truly a blessing knowing that one day, when your baby girl grows old enough to enjoy the lakers like her papa, u can sit at the game and just have a good time =)

  • 187 ON BOSTON

    see ya at the parade

  • Phant0M

    “The Lakers are averaging a colossal 107.98 ppg while allowing only 100.83 per game. That’s a difference of +7.14. Only the Pistons and the Celtics have a better differential.”

    NICE STAT
    GO L.A

  • Bob

    Vlad rad is out to injury. Luke will probably start.

  • lakerfan81

    My guess is a blow out win (15-20 points), the lakers pull away at the end of the first quarter. Unless they come out flat but I don’t think they will.

  • http://- Kobefan11

    Amber for Pre-Game writer :D

  • wilzuvsteel

    Kobe will not have to score 65pts in this game nor any other game the rest of the season. When the Lakers are a 5 headed monster they are the best in the NBA. The coaches know this, Kobe, teammates, and of course the fans know this but also I think all NBA. Victory will be sweet when everybody contributes to the championship cause.

  • KONG!

    ummm… what happened to all that Lamar Odom bashing?

    If I remember correctly, it was a regular occurrence in the LN.

    …guess that means we should keep him, right?

  • http://www.lakers.com Billy Kupchak

    HTTP Status 500 -

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  • http://ld2k.com LD2k

    [Comment ID #27746 Will Be Quoted Here]
    I’ve been saying it for years… Odom is a terror now!

  • lakaluva

    We should get some Video footage of Amber giving her pics…lol. That would be tight.

  • Michael_23

    This just in. Yao Ming OUT for the rest of the season.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3265631

    I was giving Houston some love too, but not as much as our Lakers. The Rockets are gonna suffer just like us not having Bynum and Gasol.

  • ab4sure

    [Comment ID #27748 Will Be Quoted Here]

    LD2K, He is playing like a terror now, but if u have been saying it for years….. why wasn’t he a terror last yr? or even the previous yrs??? I found your statement perplexing and funny at the same time.. lol

  • vida24

    sweet amaber ! anyways lets go lakers !

  • Kwame Brown

    Just heard on am570 bynum back the first week of april… he had one full work out and so far all good!

  • Robert

    [Comment ID #27747 Will Be Quoted Here]

    stfu!

  • lalakerfan

    her prediction is the only thing i read on these things now lol. her saying it 21 times may mean turiaf will have a spectacular game, kobe will score 21 a quarter, or she’s just tired of being asked what she thought every game day so she thought she can stuff in 21 game predictions in one day =)

  • awesomerob24

    ab4unsure always hating

    Lakers WILL win
    not maybe
    not they have a good chance

    no

    they WILL win

  • LakersFirst

    [Comment ID #27748 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Speaking of LO, I know people rag on LO because they say he’s inconsistent, etc, but one thing that can’t be denied is he does and has stepped it up in the playoffs.

    Last year, during the regular season LO averaged 13.7 ppg and 9.8 rpg, but last year in the playoffs he stepped up to average 19.4 ppg and 13 rpg. In the 05-06 season, LO averaged 15.9 ppg and 10 rbg and in the 05-06 playoffs, LO averaged 19.1 ppg and 11 rpg, so he cleary has stepped it up in the playoffs.

    Has it ever occurred to anyone that maybe LO was pulling a Robert Horry and was just coasting through the first half of the season and is now playing harder down the stretch? There is no question that the acquisition of Gasol has definitely helped LO’s game, but ever since the all-star break, LO seem to playing with more energy and more desire to win.

    Was LO just saving all of his energy for the regular season stretch and playoffs????

  • Mitch4Pres
  • True Lakers Fan

    Amber is unstoppable with her prediction Another win for the Lakeshow!

  • megaloco10

    i said lakers by 15.. i think today is sasha and “the predator” day to give us a great performance….

  • kPoAbUe

    yay yao is out for the whole season

  • ab4sure

    [Comment ID #27761 Will Be Quoted Here]

    OK Bob

  • KONG!

    I like how Sasha V. is playing. He’s more aggressive and confident, sometimes a little too confident but that’s ok.

    He’s certainly playing better than V.Rad….he’s pulling the “space-cadet” thing again. What a loser.

    Although I like V.Rad’s three point accuracy, I’m not at all impressed with the rest of his game, especially his D.

    He’s just a one dimensional player. Everytime he drives to the rack it’s either a charge, turn-over, or a block for the other team… same with Walton..but without the threes.

  • cheve cheve

    CHALE KE PUTOS TODOS ME LA PELAN WEYES LAKERS KAMPEON PUTOS VIVA MEXICO VIVA LAKERS KABRONES

  • lalball81

    Actually I’ve seen Vlad finish strong a couple of times. Something Luke has never done.

  • ab4sure

    what game or games did Amber say the lakers were going to lose??? Since she is 9-0 she must have bet against them at least once.

  • DCLAKER

    LAKEZILLA COMING SOON,LO/AB/PG,GET A TICKET OR POP A BEER!! Lakers by 15(don’t take the Blazers lightly,PLEASE).

  • SHAKUNK

    I LUV KOBE HE IS SOOO JOLLY:)

  • SILO

    [Comment ID #27748 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Thanks to Pau Gasol. Hes really taken off so much pressure off LO. The Lakers havent been this fun to watch since the 99-00 Lakers.

  • iLakers

    [Comment ID #27781 Will Be Quoted Here]

    She said the Lakers were gonna lose to Atlanta…Pau’s second game with the Lakers.

    They did lose, so her predictions are so far correct.

    Idk how i remembered that but i did.