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Friday, January 8, 2010
New ESPN KBros Lakers Podkast and a Lakers-Blazers preview roundup

By Andy Kamenetzky

In the wake of Wednesday's loss to the Clippers, Andy and Brian diagnose what ails the sluggish Lakers and look ahead to Portland and Milwaukee this weekend. Plus talk of Gilbert and guns, and a breakdown of Sean Connery's filmography.
Podcast Listen
Some listening pleasure before tonight's brouhaha in the rainy Northwest. Brian and I begin with a large chunk of time off the grid, discussing what the Commodores' sound with Phil Jackson as lead singer, plugging, and dissecting Sean Connery's surprisingly unimpressive filmography. Then some roundball...

-(12:12 mark, because as I said, a decent chunk of time off the grid): We talk about the Lakers' recent malaise, a run of unimpressive games with the blowout victory over Dallas the "blip in an otherwise steady downward trajectory." Is the issue recent injuries and subsequent rotational scrambles? The absence of Pau Gasol? Luke Walton not there to up the ball movement? The bench? The starters? Seriously, what gives?

-(21:00 mark): A look at tonight's game against Portland, where the Lakers have snakebit since 2005. But the Blazers have injury issues that are absurd. Does something need to give?

-(21:46 mark): We discuss the mess that is Gilbert Arenas, Javaris Crittenton, guns, common sense and the timing of suspensions. I wrote more about it this afternoon, comparing how differently Arenas and Kobe Bryant circa 2003-2004 handled their respective issues.

As mentioned, there's a game tonight. In scanning the blogosphere previews, a common theme emerges: Blazer folks thinking their team is too depleted to keep the streak alive and Lakers peeps unable to dare think otherwise. Funny how that goes. Those looking for a trip down the Lakers' "Bad Memory Lane" in Portland, ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin has your back. As for the opinions bandied about...

Rip City Project highlights the need for a fast start, paint protection and, well, perhaps a little luck, since the Lakers' "struggles" are a relative 911 to the rest of the league:

Over at the always sharp Forum Blue and Gold, guest scribe Darius mentions a matchup I also find intriguing and potentially entertaining. Jordan Farmar and/or Shannon Brown against the quick and quickly improving Jerryd Bayless:

Dexter Fishmore from Silver Screen and Roll correctly notes how with Portland down to just LaMarcus Aldridge, Juwan Howard (playing commendably well under skeleton crew circumstances), and rook Jeff Pendergraph in terms of anything representing "size," it's Andrew Bynum's "time to shine."

I gotta second Mr. Fishmore on that one. The Blazer bigs are going to have be very careful about how they defend, lest they end up with Martell Webster checking Bynum, Lamar Odom or Ron Artest. Either that, or they are gonna end up with Webster checking Bynum, Lamar Odom or Ron Artest. In any event, that interior needs to be attacked hard and constantly. There's never any excuses for possessions that go without touches inside (preferably at the start), but in a game like tonight's, there's truly no excuse. Use your heads, boys.