The 28-7 Los Angeles Lakers are on the road to face the (22-15) Portland Trail Blazers.

The Purple and Gold are coming off of a loss to the Clippers in the hallway series by snapping their 8-game winning streak against them, coincidentally the Lakers are looking to snap their own 8-game losing streak to the Trail Blazers.

The Rose Garden has become the Lakers’ house of horrors. Despite the fact that Los Angeles has played very well over the years and have had Championship runs, they’ve also had their butts whipped convincingly in Portland. The Lakers are seeking their first win at the Rose Garden since February 2005. The question ever since, what’s the problem?

It is really a mixture of things; slow starts, poor play, poor execution and simply being outplayed. The Blazers are a good young team that plays the Lakers tough at home

The Blazers are a team that has been ravaged with injuries that they’ve seemed to overcome, losing the services of six of their top-10 players. Both centers are out for the season, and their head coach Nate McMillan has also had a knee injury.

The Lakers are still dealing with an injury themselves, the loss of All-Star power forward Pau Gasol.

It is a no brainer to say that the Lakers should start their offense in the post and pound the Blazers on the inside. It is a must that the Lakers own the glass and out-rebound this team, and destroy them in the painted area. However, the Blazers still can generate a lot of offense with several remaining healthy players led by All-Star Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge and Andre Miller.

The Lakers defense improved with the return of Ron Artest, but remains a work in progress. The Lakers need to stop the dribble penetration, box out and rebound as well as rotate out to open shooters. They will continue to see screen and roll plays.

Tonight Brandon Roy will handle the ball in these situations. Portland can play him in the post, score inside or outside and makes good decisions with the ball. The Lakers have had issues defending Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge in the past. Perhaps we will see some cross matching defensively where Ron Artest will defend Aldridge in the post while Lamar Odom with defend Martell Webster on the perimeter.

Aldridge will be a problem when he is setting the screen on screen and roll plays because of his ability to make mid-range shots.

The Lakers have to play solid defense and out-work the Blazers, get off to good start, and jump on this team early, get Andrew Bynum, Ron Artest & Lamar Odom going in the painted area.

This will take the crowd out of the game and should get Portland in foul trouble; the Blazers don’t have a lot of front court depth.

Tip-off: 7:00 PM PST

Television

  • Los Angeles: KCAL & ESPN (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
  • Portland: CSN (Mike Barrett & Mike Rice)

Radio

  • Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
  • Portland: 95.5 FM (Brian Wheeler & Antonio Harvey)

Injuries

Lakers:

  • Pau Gasol (Hamstring)
  • Luke Walton (Back)

Trailblazers:

  • Greg Oden (Knee) Out for the Season
  • Joel Pryzbilla (Knee) Out for the Season
  • Steve Blake (Pnuemonia) Out for Tonight’s Game
  • Nicholas Batum (Shoulder)
  • Rudy Fernandez (Sciatic Pain)
  • Travis Outlaw (Left Foot)
  • RipCity

    Lakers are going down tonight. Lakers should trade Kobe for B-Roy straight up!!!

    • lakerbunny

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  • Kid Kaos 310

    Time to rewrite the history books tonight. Bynum is going to sh1t all over J, Howard in the paint… Wonder if Andre Miller and Nate McMillan are going to start shouting at each other again tonight?

  • thanhttrinh

    should be a winning game tonight, they had 6 players out of the game so thats an opportunity to bounce back ! clear !

  • pauer

    Ill be at the game tonight watching the Lakers give it to all the weeping Portland fans around me!

    Here we go Lakers, here we go!

    • http://lakersnation.com KOBE THA MVP 10′

      No foreigners

  • http://lakersnation.com KOBE THA MVP 10′

    cool but it is not on espn

  • drive-for-16th

    We need a WIN tonight. People better step up their fukin game tonight for eg. Bynum, ARTEST, Odom better start scoring instead of just rebounding, The bench better be in the building tonight or else they need to be boot fuked. We better win with all the players they have hurt, if we don’t then thats just sad. Then we have way bigger issues to worry about.

  • http://57.amklac KOBESWALLOWS

    time to get out hustled, trailblazers love it when overrated pompus phoney want a be`s show up…….no leadership again tonight….and his finger will hurt again..

    • http://lakersnation.com KOBE THA MVP 10′

      well roy is weak compare to tha mamba loser

  • drive-for-16th

    First of all Fuck u hater for criticizing, no place here for you. Second: What the hell is going on, Where is the damn defence, they can’t even defend Bayless, i said it before if we lose tonight, we are fucked, this team doesn’t play with heart, They don’t deserve to win playing like this, They should just take that big pay check and go home. Artest a no show, missing an easy fuking lay up. Sasha took that dumb 3. Bynum well hes no fucking show at all. He doesn’t do shit No one can do anything of the bench, Lamar a no show. No hustle, no nothing. I am sooooooooo disappointing in this team. You guys can say wat ever u want but WE HAVE ISSUES ON THIS TEAM, BIGGEST ISSUE IS OUR GAAAAAAAAY FUCK TART BENCH!!!!!

  • maxdeth

    I’m just furious,this is just too much to watch,bynum is the problem,if you’re not watching how every team is beating us bynum is right there,flat footed,no defense,almost always gets burned from the top of the court,everyone scores layups on him,his man whoever he takes burns him,he doesn’t box out,rebounds on the offense side is a joke,he like sasha,making excuses for there poor play,if he doesn’t get the ball under the basketball rim,he scores at best 40% away,thats lousy! ,team defense,means if the pg gets by his man,the center should be there as a back up,that i think the rest of the league knows he’s not,he’s reaching out causing silly fouls,having all trouble getting back to covering his own man,ron is also in a funk,but bynum/sasha they are seriously the problem,leaving kobe no choice into taking more shots(bad finger in all,you can see without gasol,kobe doesn’t really look for bynum,and bynum is rushing and forcing his game,wih little or no defensive presence in mind,throwing off the rest of the team’s defense rotation,just look at how bynum is playing and you’ll see why the lakers keep struggling,odom at least rebounds,i’m sorry,if this continues lakers are going to leave him out of the mix,and i wouldn’t blame them,he has to start thinking team first,not all- star,defense first,offense second,sasha is on the way out,I’m pretty sure thats it for him,phil tries to insert him,but he’s becoming useless on both sides of the court i see a trade almost sure of it

  • ilikebasketball

    watching the game now.
    if i were the lakers , if they are going to call everything against us and nothing against them. i’d just start pusshign whie they are in the air.
    if they are going to call it no matter what, then make it count. fuck ‘em.
    as they go up in the air push and push hard.

  • ilikebasketball

    21- 4!!!

    21-4!!!!!

    and we were at a point only down by three.

    and the calls don’t make a difference?!??!!

    21-4!!!!

  • ilikebasketball

    fisher is too slow.
    and the guards run at him every single time. every single time.
    he is better than farmar or brown on offense but on D he is worthlesss.

  • drive-for-16th

    I’m not able to watch this game anymore, i can’t see us get humiliated again, i don’t know how the team can.

  • drive-for-16th

    BYNUM CANT EVEN HANDLE JUAN HOWARD . WTTTFFFFF

  • LakerMarc

    So disappointing….The Lakers suck so bad, …when are they going to wake up? Where’s Ron? What about all that grandstanding about Artest? Shannon Brown? This whole LA can’t beat Portland in their home is in THEIR heads. The Lakers are going to throw this game away. Just like they did with The Clips …not at all the dominant team from last year, and it really began on Christmas Day, just like it was the end of the Celtics last year on Christmas Day.

  • Sauce

    They got some serious problems!!! They’re offense sucks, Andrew sucks ( I don’t what he does well), and Playing mbenga, powell, sasha, and sometimes jordan is a waste of time ’cause they don’t produce anything! So when theyre losing and Phil subs its like digging a deeper hole! And i’m tired of seeing Pau sitting on his @$$!!!

    • LakerMarc

      No No No ….and Shannon sucks too

      • http://lakersnation.com KOBE THA MVP 10′

        I can’t handle watching tha game anymore

      • http://theLakersNation Marwan..

        Shannon sucks? Dude watch it, this guy is the one that sparked a comeback against Clippers, other than LO, hes the best bench player we got.

  • jergens

    why does kobe wait till they’re down by 20 with 3 min’s left to start DRIVING TO THE BASKET!!!!!!

    • LakerMarc

      He’s lost his spirit…..this team isn’t going to win a championship playing like this ….everyone might as well realize it now because… how a team is playing ALL SEASON LONG says alot about what they’ll be like in the Playoffs. If there is a playoffs, And what is going to happen is that some half wit (less talented) team is going to win it because the best team in the NBA can’t get themselves disciplined enough to go out there and play the way Houston does, the way the Clips did. It was nice to see them play Dallas the way they did and get revenge, but as soon as that happened, they lost it again, Lamar also needs to stop acting like a fool on the court as if everything he does out there is a misjudgement by the refs. The Lakers accepted they would lose to Portland tonight before this game started because apparently they always lose as of late. They brought on their own loss by their low energy and loser attitude
      DISGUSTING!!!

  • drive-for-16th

    One word “Humiliating.”
    No passion, no heart, NOTHING, and why the fuck was sasha playing in the forth. Kobe didn’t do much either fuking 37 shots tonight and only made 14, missed Fucking “23” shots. WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT ABOUT. And by now the whole bench should be shot cause they are not usefull at all. A lot of calls were going the blazers way too, every time that douche bayless drove it was an automatic foul call. Im not gonna name who sucked today cause the whole team sucked. Pau Gasol is a little bitch, hes gone back to being soft like he was in memphis, Sitting out too many games. Billups missed games with a groin injury while kobe played through that same injury. Pau gasol sitting cause of an injury, hes taken soo many days off and still doesnt come back he cant even fight through his little gay injury while kobe suffers sooo many injuries and still comes to play. I take may hat off to kobe for that, i know a lot of every one is sayiin that kobe shouldnt play cause he costs the team, well i ask those people if he doesnt play then we get blown out and have noone out there playing, who the fuk will play then sasha? give me a fucking break, this team is a joke right now and i blame the bench, every one else except kobe and pau gasol for being a lil soft bitch, Its soo hard to see our team lose especially 2 in a row, to the clippers and now blazers. WE HAD ONE GUY HURT SITTING OUT, THEY HAD 5 PLAYERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • drive-for-16th

    Imagine wat they have done to us if they all were hehy on their team. WE ARE GONAN LOSE EVERY FUCKING GAME ON THAT ROAD TRIP, WE WILL LOSE 3 INA ROW FOR SURE, EVEN WIT GASOL, HES PISSING ME OFF SITTING ON TAHT BENCH. Honestly give me a contract right now ill take 70% less than vujacic and watch me put on a better show then vujacic who cant even make an open shot. LAKER BENCH I HOPE U READ THIS, CAUSE I SAY FUCK YOU VUJACIC, FUK YOU FARMAR.

  • 09champs!

    Classic classic reaction. Lakers lose = They suck, trade everybody; Lakers win = 4 peat.

    C´mon guys, what is the problem? are we even going to remember this game when we are raising the trophy in June? Obviously not.

    • expo

      They aren’t gonna be raising no trophy playing the way they are!!! They’re mentality sucks (along w/ some of the talent) and they can’t just turn it on and off when they fill like it! A lot of these games prove it when they try to come back in the 2nd half and fail. I don’t care if they lose ’cause they do have bigger goals, but they don’t give no effort. Back in the repeat yrs. this may have been okay because they had enough talent to carry them in the playoffs, but on this team not so much!!!!

  • thanhttrinh

    could u imagine that LAKERS COULD NOT DEFEAT A TEAM WITHOUT THEIRS 6 PLAYERS ? WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT ? WHERE IS KOBE ? WHERE IS BYNUM ? WTF ? IM SO UPSET NOW !

  • http://theLakersNation Marwan..

    As angry as I am that we lost, this loss doesnt count. Celtics, Cavs, Magic lost too so we are still ahead.
    As for Lebron’s clutch 3s, watch his feet. He travels as he lifted his pivot foot up to get more room to the basket, an extra step without making it look too obvious. If you ask me, thats not clutch if you break the rules. Bird didnt travel or break the rules, Kobe never did, Jordan never did and yet Lebron does and he is listed as most clutch. WOW!

  • http://theLakersNation Marwan..

    Its funny how when Lakers win, yall are like “Kobe is the best, Pau is the best, Bynum is the best, 3 peat, Kobe GOAT, Phil GOAT Coach” but when they lose yall are like “Kobe sucks, trade Bynum, **** Sasha, **** Farmar, trade the bench….. BLAH, BLAH, BLAH”

    Im getting sick of you so called “fans” out there. I know losing isnt an easy pill to swallow but it isnt a reason to go out on the team like that. I understand Pau is out and they are playing with no heart, but that doesnt mean you dont have a heart too. If you are a “TRUE” Laker fan, you will go through the hardships and the good times without saying a negative word towards anyone, anything other than that, you are no fan.

  • Robert

    This is VERY upsetting. First the Clips, now this. This is amazing inconsistency. I also think that we’re missing Kurt Rambis, who helped them organize their defense last year. Phil isn’t big on that.
    Ron-Ron is fitting in well, and I know he just came off an injury, but it’s gonna be time for him to step up soon.
    Also, teams see how the Lakers are ‘weak’ with pic & roll, and against guards 6.2 and smaller. They can’t defend that.
    What are they gonna do?
    They should pick up a free agent before the mid-Feb deadline. A 10-day contract. Someone to jump start the team.
    Something is wrong – DEAD wrong – does anybody see it? Can anybody pinpoint what the real problem is?

    • http://TheLakersNation Marwan..

      After that Christmas game against Cleveland, Lakers are 4-3.
      That game revealed their weakness. Not so much revealed but the way they were dominated, they lost the energy and the confidence and since then they haven’t been playing like the world Champs but hey, all world champs go through a slump like this.
      Celtics last year had a worse slump going 7 game losing streak, and losing 7-9 after the Christmas game against us. Point is these things happen.

  • drive-for-16th

    and celtics never won the ring either last year, were in the same spot as them, Pau is pissing me off missing too many games, we might as well sit kobe down too after hes been through so many injuries already this season.

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu