Ten straight. The modern day Los Angeles Lakers are not the sort of team that loses consecutive games in the double-digits to anyone. The Lakers have championship banners, a bonafide superstar, a coach with as many rings as fingers, and better-looking Baldwins sitting courtside at their games. The Lakes do not drop ten in a row. Period.
Yet here we are.
Tonight the Blazers go for win number ten in a row at home against the Lakers. Sure, there are other plots at play—the possible return of Brandon Roy, the Lakers home loss on Friday to Denver, tonight marking the 40th anniversary of the Blazers franchise—but it's hard to escape the shadow of number ten. Visits from Los Angeles are like dress rehearsals for the playoffs at the Rose Garden, where the city of Portland gets rowdy and takes out their collective frustration against a team that has broken the hearts of an entire generation of Blazer fans. To the Lakers, it's just another game, but to those with loyalty to the Blazers' pinwheel, a visit from the Lakers is like Christmas morning: you don't know exactly what is going to happen, but it's going to be a blast.
Roy is more or less a tipoff decision, but considering the magnitude of this game, he will likely be out there. Since this is his second attempt to comeback from the same hamstring injury, his minutes might be severely limited. The Lakers looked fine last night against the Nuggets, that is, until Chauncy Billups decided to never miss another shot. Los Angeles gave up 15 three-pointers last night. Takes notes, Martell Webster.
If you think that Kobe Bryant's injured ankle will slow him down, you will be disappointed. Bryant logged 39 minutes last night and had 33 points with nine boards. Instead, Lakers fans should be more concerned with Bryant's surrounding cast, including Andrew Bynum, who is protesting his All-Star snub by averaging a pedestrian 11 points and eight rebounds a night over his last five games.
Then again, who cares about ten straight wins against the Lakers at the Rose Garden? I just want to see Nicolas Batum dunk over Pau Gasol. Remember, Batum is keeping track of these things, and Frenchy88 is looking for dunk number trois against Gasol. I know it's greedy to expect both a victory and a Gasolposteraztion, but the way things are going when Los Angeles is in town, you never know.
Vegas line: Lakers -3