Varsity Shootaround: Lakers vs. Blazers

Remember when Portland (38-39) went on a 13-game winning streak in December and folks thought that they would be in the thick of the playoff chase come April?

Yeah, well, the Trailblazers are now one game under .500 and enter tonight’s contest with the Lakers (53-24) riding a 5-game losing streak.

On top of that, the Blazers lost starting Center and leading rebounder Joel Pryzbilla during Sunday’s loss to the Spurs due to a broken hand.

On the bright side for Rip City, October is a short 6 months away! With the return of Greg Oden imminent and another lottery pick coming, the Blazers are only going to get better. Not to mention, General Manager Kevin Pritchard is one of the shrewdest Draft Day dealers, so look for even more surprises come late June.

As far as tonight is concerned, the Lakers look to take the season series at the Rose Garden after last weeks 13-point victory that saw the return of Pau Gasol to the lineup after a 9 game absence.

With only 5 games left to play, the Lakers will most likely have to win out the remainder of their schedule in order to earn the Western Conference’s top seed. This may seem arduous and daunting, yet, with the adversity and seemingly insurmountable tasks this team has been faced with, it is well within reach.

Playoff Update!:

Utah @ New Orleans - After trouncing the Spurs on Friday night, the Jazz look to wreak more havoc on the upper echelon of the Western Conference. The Hurrnets are coming in hot, winning nine of their last ten and they look to expand their hold on the Western Conferences top spot.

Phoenix @ Memphis - An epic battle of former Laker Centers. Shaq versus Kwame! Okay, doesn’t sound as exciting as I thought. Yet, the Suns who are trying to leapfrog over the Rockets for the 5th seed, cannot afford a disappointment in Memphis.

San Antonio - Idle.

Television -

Los Angeles: KCAL 9/HD (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)

Dallas: Comcast SportsNet Northwest (Mike Barrett & Mike Rice)

Radio -

Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)

Portland: KXL-750 (Brian Wheeler & Antonio Harvey)

Injuries -

Lakers:

  • Out: A. Bynum (Knee), T. Ariza (Foot)
  • Will Play: K. Bryant (Finger), D. Fisher (Foot)
  • Game-Time Decision: L. Walton (Hamstring)

Trailblazers:

  • Out: J. Pryzbilla (Hand), D. Miles (Knee), G. Oden (Knee)
  • Will Play: B. Roy (Groin)
  • Game-time Decision: M. Webster (Irregular Heartbeat)

Storylines -

Can Lamar Remain Consistent? After arguably his best contest as a Laker on Friday against the Mavericks, in which he scored a season high of 31 points and managed to pull down 10 boards, Lamar continued his impressive play Sunday in Sacramento. He tallied 16 points on 7-8 shooting, and most importantly, he attacked the basket. Will this aggressive play hold up? Or is it just another trademark L.O. tease.

Keeping Pace: With San Antonio idle, and New Orleans taking on a very difficult Utah team, tonight is a perfect opportunity to charge toward that number one seed in the West.

Varsity Challenge -

(Prize- A fantasy dream date with Frank Hamblen)

Laker forward Luke Walton is named after which member of the 1977 World Champion Trailblazers?

  • http://www.myspace.com/aznboiryo Kenny

    is it me or do i see a kings sign on the top. its supppose to be a blazer logo lol. well lets hope tis game is interesting

  • yash

    Wow I commented first. YEAA. LAKERS gona win. Dont even gotta watch it. BUt i am gonna watch it anyway

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

    [Comment ID #32035 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Haha. Yah, I messed up. I was in a hurry to get this one out. :)

  • Smush Walton

    Varsity Answer -
    I was named after my Daddy’s teammate and #1 bodyguard on the floor, Maurice Lucas. Now if only I played more like the Original Luke instead of like the Original Smush!

  • Phant0M

    Were gonna WIN!.

    Lets Get That Home-Court Babayyy!

  • Bynumin2010

    We shouldn’t overlook this team.

    That being said I think we will win by 20.

  • matthew

    I agree we shouuldnt underestimate this team they are lookin to play spoiler, they are young athletic, and not to mention they would be tied for 7th place in the east. the lakers have to go in there focused and ready to ball. i expect a really good game from kobe tonight. i wouldnt be suprised to see the game come down to a last second shot.

  • Envision4

    Thank god Walton is hurt…. please please for the love of piss, stay hurt Luke.

  • varsityoptimism

    [Comment ID #32043 Will Be Quoted Here]

    congratulations! you and ol’ hamby will be dining at Tito’s Tacos. After your magical Mexican cuisine, you will see the sights of beautiful Culver City! If you are feeling lucky, as Hamblen to show you his Tickle Torture Technique. I heard that in 2004, he tickled Kareem Rush and Jumaine Jones all the way to Charlotte!

  • MILO

    NO prisbila yes!!!

  • DCLAKER

    Lakers 120 – Blazers 107.

  • http://thelakersation.com/blog PauKobeBynumDynasty

    how do u reply to a message?

    btw…lakers will come out on top 114-106. Kobe will have 30/10/8, Lamar will have 15/12/6 and Pau will have 20/8/5

  • lakerschamps08

    for real we need to win up there wtf… come onnnnnnn

  • http://myspace.com/hzm hZm

    Portland scares me…

  • http://lakers.topbuzz.com Lakers2410

    [Comment ID #32036 Will Be Quoted Here]

    You’re right my Lakers Fan brother! Especially since Pryzbilla and Miles are out. Also, that Blazers injury-list might grow as Webster might be absent for this game. Could this get any better (Yes it can! The Jazz might possibly win against the Hornets, though that’s probably impossible as the Hornets have won 9 out of their last 10 games, but we still have to stay positive!)?

  • drake hunter

    Congratulation Lakernation we just got a hit on KCAL 9 with the Gasol Kobe 08 stickers

  • SliqRiq

    This team is a f@&kin joke (Blazers that is) any time they see the Lakers I swear they freakin play like all stars. I watched them play the last 3 games and they couldnt throw a pea in the ocean but the Lakers come to town and I knew it they play way above they’re heads as usual.

    F*$k the Blazers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • jay

    WE HAVE BEEN SCREWED BY THE REFS ONCCE AGAIN.

  • west213

    there goes the lakers’ first place in western conference…….

  • west213

    [Comment ID #32118 Will Be Quoted Here]

    they lost, stop jinxing d easy games guys….

  • kevin

    lakers by 34 on thursday