5 Things I Liked

1) Streak over. After 16 miserable losses to the Portland Trailblazers we beat ’em. Folks might gripe at seeing a 20 point lead reduced to single digits but the reality is it never got below 4. Solid Laker D, great Laker spirit, and some clutch buckets helped keep the team from Rip City at arm’s length for a gritty road win against a really good team at home in a place we rarely win.

2) Tuning it out. Lose tonight after all the media blah-de-blah and the pressure doubles, at a minimum. The team focused in on the game plan and Luke did a great job measuring when the 2nd unit cooled in the 4th. The mantra for this season ought to be ‘Keep getting better’. Nothing like winning to stave off questions about anything at all and answering questions how nice it is to win in Portland as opposed to losing…again

3) Rondo. Descriptions like surgeon or maestro just kind of seem to fall short when it comes to Rajon Rondo. When he’s at his best, healthy, and has guys who know where to be he is an unstoppable force. He doesn’t even have to score to make it happen, although he did that tonight. he’s also our best 3 point shooter. Game ball, were it mine to give, would go to Rajon tonight.

4) Winning the game and the three point line while losing it in fast break points and points in the paint. The free throw line was a wash. This was an impressive win because Portland took away our bread and butter and forced us to win in ways we really haven’t shown we can. From the three point line and not giving it away from the stripe, either by missing our own or giving too many away. Having said that we could make a few more from the free throw line and I wouldn’t complain.

5) Ivicia Zubac. I’ve been of the opinion that Zubac deserved another shot at backing up McGee. He got that shot tonight and didn’t disappoint. While he may have been left in the game about 45 seconds too long he still played his big old Croatian heart out. 9 points, 8 rebounds (four on the offensive end), couple too many fouls and turnovers in his 20 minutes. The fact he played at all in the 4th when the game was on the line was a nice thing to see.

Great win, got a tough one tomorrow. Go Lakers.