Coming into this season opener against the Portland Trailblazers, there were plenty of story lines filled with intriguing match ups, but the out come showed both teams a taste of things to come in the 2008-2009 NBA season.
One thing that needs to be said before anything, fragile big men never last in this league. NEVER!
Personally, I like Greg Oden. He has a great all around game (at least he did at Ohio State), a funny big man personality (a lot like Shaq), but after watching his first NBA game he is either not in shape to compete at this level or he is as soft as they come.
With only 13 minutes on the floor to start his NBA career, Greg Oden is already injured once again. Ending his night with pitiful numbers: 0 points, 5 rebs, 1 blocked shot
The specifics of Oden's ankle injury hasn't been determined just yet as tests were inconclusive, but the big man did say he wanted to get back out on the floor in the second half. He will be having an MRI on Wednesday to see how serious the ankle injury is.
Although my heart goes out to Oden, as getting hurt again has to be frustrating as hell, this game wasn't even close to as competitive as I thought it would be. Brandon Roy and company were just absolutely dominated by a very good Los Angeles Lakers team.
Brandon Roy, Travis Outlaw and Rudy Fernandez tried to pick up the slack as they combined for 48 points, but it wasn't even close to enough to compete with Los Angeles Lakers team that will be very tough to beat this season.
Even though last season's NBA finals against the Boston Celtics was a forgettable experience for Kobe and company, the Lakers played with great team chemistry with everyone playing their roles to perfection.
In the beginning of the game Kobe Bryant was looking for his teammates, but after 5 turnovers to go with 5 assists, Kobe wisely started to take it to the basket. After Kobe started to get comfortable he attacked the basket time and time again just making the Blazers defense look stupid. Not only did the league's reigning MVP put up 23 points, but he also ripped down a game high 11 boards.
Andrew Bynum on the other hand still needs to polish up his game on the offensive end. He looked pretty good, don't get me wrong, but 4 of 10 shooting isn't going to cut it if he wants to be a dominate center in this league. Bynum did block three shots, but he didn't exactly crash the boards with only three rebounds.
As for the other Lakers, Pau Gasol had a solid performance with 15 points on 7 of 10 shooting and 7 rebounds. Trevor Ariza also had a good game off the bench with 11 points, a couple steals and a blocked shot.
The Lakers couldn't have started the season off any better, this twenty point victory over the Portland Trailblazers (96-76) will be a good momentum builder as their schedule only gets tougher in the first month of the season.
The Lakers will now go up against the revamped Los Angeles Clippers lead by LA native Baron Davis. After the Clipps the Lakers face Allen Iverson and then back to LA again play the Clipps once again. Then Lakers will play a lot tough opponents in a row in Houston, Dallas, New Orleans and Detriot.
NEXT LAKERS MATCH UP: Los Angeles Lakers @ Los Angeles Clippers 7:30 pm PST