After a narrow win against the Timberwolves on Saturday night, the Blazers prep for the rival Lakers tonight. I am excited to see how they respond to such a close game versus the Wolves. It is a known fact that the Blazers play the Lakers tough at home. LA has not won in the Rose Garden since 2005, and I would like to keep that streak alive tonight.
The Lakers are coming off of their 50th win of the season. An impressive feat considering they have been playing without their starting center, Andrew Bynum, for the last couple of months. But, the same can be said for Blazers and Greg Oden, who will again be out for tonight’s game. According to sources, Oden most likely is still a couple weeks away from returning, so don’t expect him back anytime soon.
We will have to play a near perfect game tonight to beat the Lakers, and believe me, they are well aware of the fact that they haven’t won here in 4 years, so there will be no sneaking up on them. Here are my keys to the game.
Keys to the Game.
- Neutralize Gasol
- It starts inside with Gasol. If we can limit the damage he does in the paint, then it will force other players to step up. Granted they have some guy named
, but if you look, he has scored big on us in the past and we still won. If Gasol and Kobe score big tonight, you can kiss a win goodbye. Kobe
- Defensive Rebound
- The Lakers are the only team in the NBA that is more efficient then
on offense. That means we cannot give them second chance opportunities when they do miss. We HAVE to block out and get every single rebound. Players like Batum, Outlaw, and Aldridge will have to come up big for us in this category tonight. Portland
- Cannot Have Any Letdowns
- If we go through an offensive lull like we sometimes do, then this game is pretty much over. We need to play hard and efficient for 48 minutes, anything less and we will most likely come up short.
- Play With A Swagger
- This is our home court. We need to protect it. Play hard, play smart, and play our game.
I am going to take the Blazers and the Over. I think they will come out and play the Lakers tough. I am going with the over because I think if we win it’s because we scored a lot of points and shot well. If we don’t then we will probably lose.