Sunday, January 4, 2009
Los Angeles Lakers (26-5) vs Portland Trail Blazers (20-13)
Portland Trail Blazers are seeking retribution after losing against the Lakers on opening night back in late October. This will be a good challenge for Portland as Brandon Roy will not be in attendance due to his sprained right hamstring.
The Spanish rookie, Rudy Fernandez has been filling in for Roy and is scoring in high numbers again. Rudy, a possible Dunk Contest contestant and a strong slasher, not afraid to throw his body around. You can remember his performance against Team USA in last years Beijing Olympics Championship game. He and Gasol were very dangerous together and made Team USA really work hard to gain the gold.
At the Center positions Bynum should beat Oden. Oden is much better defensively but Bynum should score fairly easy around him.
The Key match up will be against Gasol and Aldridge. Gasol will have his hands full with young Aldridge. Both Gasol & Aldridge are flat out scorers and rebounders. It will be fun to watch these two play.
Another Blazer to look out for is of course Travis Outlaw. Travis when given minutes plays well. If he gets his groove on the hard floor then we are in trouble. Phil will have to match up Outlaw correctly and I'm hopeful that he puts in Trevor. That would be exciting to see as Trevor has been playing very well all season long.
So in conclusion, the well experienced Lakers should beat the young and still diapered Trail Blazers.