Look at these adorable 'lil scamps. I just want to tussle their hair and pinch those cherubic rosy cheeks of theirs. Wait, why is one of them wearing a Josh Powell jersey? Nevermind, I take it all back.
Ah, Blazers versus Lakers, the biggest rivalry in the NBA that only one city (Portland) is actually aware of. The Blazers' brief playoff appearance last year was nothing compared to the thrill of knocking off the Lakers (twice) at the Rose Garden. For the Portland faithful, these were near-historic games, including the play where Trevor Ariza gets flagrant with Rudy Fernandez. Of course, eight straight loses in town did not prevent the Lakers from getting their shiny championship rings, but no Portland fan worth his/her Blazer pinwheel would ever forget those games.
In fact, the last time the Lakers picked up a win in the house that Paul Allen built was on February 23rd, 2005, and that was with a starting lineup of Chucky Atkins and Chris Mihm. The current Los Angeles starters are just a wee bit better. Bored with playing with all ten fingers, Kobe Bryant is only using nine digits these days, and despite a few struggles--and getting manhandled by the Clippers earlier this week--the Lakers boast an impressive 28-7 record. If you had hopes of seeing Marc and Pau in the same week, I hate to break the news that Gasolapalooza has been canceled. Pau is still out with hamstring injury. (His impersonator is also booked at a my nephew's bar mitzvah tonight, sorry.) Speaking of impersonating a NBA center, the Blazers' bigs will have their work cut out for them with Andrew Bynum, Ron Artest, and Khloe Kardashian's husband.
For Portland, what remains to be seen is if yesterday's Andre Miller verbal meltdown inspires the team, or if he becomes the new Darius Miles, or [insert almost any Blazers player from 2002-06 here], and is run out on a rail. Given their current condition, the Blazers really have no business toppling the Lakers tonight, yet when it comes to these two teams in the Rose Garden, almost anything is possible.