The Lakers hit the hardwood looking to extend their winning streak to six games against the talented young Portland Trailblazers the team that was the opening night opponent. The Lakers are 26-5 with a 17-1 record at Staples Center.

The Blazers are one of the NBA’s deepest teams, one that always plays the Lakers tough, they’ve had a hot start as well and their record is 20-13. The Blazers have experienced their best start since the 1999-2000 season.

This is a team that is arguably already the second best team in the Western Conference. They’ve an outstanding coaching staff and good young talent to develop.

However, this is a team that for all their talent still has several question marks; such as inconsistency, no set offense besides Brandon Roy, a lack of low post offensive threats, and a lack of mental toughness.

This is where the Lakers have the advantage over the Trailblazers. The Lakers are lead by Hall of Fame coach and two solid veterans in reigning MVP-Kobe Bryant & Derek Fisher who have been through the wars before. Los Angeles has been far more consistent and the Lakers front line is due for a breakout game.

The backcourt and bench have put up solid numbers, but it’s time for the front court players to become factors early. I want to see Andrew Bynum & Pau Gasol establish themselves in the paint and the Lakers attack this team inside.

Pau Gasol isn’t a more physical match up but Gasol has a wide array of moves to really frustrate Greg Oden. The Lakers need to run their offense with good ball movement and excellent player movement. The Lakers also need to play strong defensively, control the tempo, glass, stopping dribble penetration and rotating out to three point shooters.

I want to see Andrew and Pau finish inside with authority, no more missed layups, play like 7-footers and finish at the front of the rim.

The Blazers are coming off of a 92-77 loss to the Hornets but a bigger loss was Brandon Roy who will not play tonight. That means the talented Rudy Fernandez will have a bigger role tonight. For the Lakers defensively, the Blazers most dangerous player is still LaMarcus Aldridge.

Tipoff: 6:30 PM PST

Television -

  • Los Angeles: Fox Sports West 1 HD (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
  • Portland: KGW-TV,  Comcast Sports Net Bay Area HD (Mike Barrett & Mike Rice)

Radio -

  • Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
  • Portland: Newsradio 750 AM KXL (Brian Wheeler & Antonio Harvey)

Injuries -

Lakers:

  • Jordan Farmar (Knee)

Blazers:

  • Brandon Roy (Hamstring)