Recapping the Portland Trail Blazers 102-86 romp over the Los Angeles Lakers Wednesday night is going to be one of the easiest jobs I've ever had. In the vicious jungle of the NBA the Lakers are a dancing hamster. The only way to beat any reasonably competent predator is getting stuck halfway down their throat. Portland's esophagus worked fine tonight; L.A. never had a chance.
What do you say about a team that scores 26 points in the paint against the Trail Blazers? That's about 17 short of what the Blazers usually give up...a halftime total against Portland for some opponents. But hey, we're the Lakers! Let's just shoot 80 jumpers and fire at a 37% rate. That'll work!
Don't even get me started on their backcourt defense. Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews had mean intentions tonight (as Steve Jones used to say). The only reason they shot 12-22 and scored 35 between them was because the Blazers didn't need them to shoot 50-65 and score 110 in order to win. They could have. Portland's guards penetrated the lane freely from start to finish, netting layup after layup in the halfcourt offense. Meanwhile the Lakers' defense was all...
Meanwhile the Lakers bench made Portland's look brilliant. Nick Young continued his horrific streak against Portland, shooting 4-12. The Blazers are his own personal dolphin. But hey, Swaggy P still hit 4 times as many shots as Carlos Boozer (1-11) and Jeremy Lin (0-6) combined. The Los Angeles bench combined for 14-47 from the field. The 11-26 performance of Portland reserves who played more than 10 minutes wasn't that amazing, but they would have needed to miss 18 of their next 21 shots to be as bad as L.A.
The Lakers do have some reasonably decent big men. Robert Sacre scored 12 but couldn't rebound or stop fouling. Tarik Black had 8 rebounds and 2 blocks but couldn't score. Ryan Kelly drizzled in a couple threes. Power forward Ed Davis had an amazing 24 minutes with 8 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 blocks. But that was like finding cotton candy in a urinal. Looking good hardly matters when the context is that bad.
It's not like the Blazers played great themselves. Frankly they had it in cruise control most of the game. 41% shooting, 33% from the arc...the only area where they gained a huge advantage over the Lakers was in fast break points, 21-8. (Since Portland usually loses that category, going down by double-digits to them is shameful. But I guess that's piling on.) But every time the Lakers even half threatened, Portland just sent guards driving to the cup and the lead ballooned right back. Basically they looked at L.A.'s act and said, "Let us show you how to do that before you hurt yourselves."
And that's it. You can catch the latest All-Star news (and it's not good) right here.
The Instant Recap has reaction from around the web.
Silver Screen and Roll will be used to losses by now.
Check out our In-Arena Report, recapping the Moda Center action that you may have missed on camera.
We should have an update on Blazer's Edge Night progress by the end of the day on Thursday. In the meantime, please help out sending underprivileged youth, children, and chaperons see Portland's March 30th game against the Phoenix Suns by contributing tickets to the cause. You can find all the details here.