Away from Staples, the struggle to get on track resumes.
Nothing last night went according to plan. At both ends of the floor the Lakers looked slow, confused and unprepared for the regular season to start. Pointing these things out isn't panic but a truthful observation. Now they're in Portland, where a victory tonight would help calm a great many nerves in Lakerland. Another loss, though - in this case to a team most aren't expecting to reach the playoffs - and Mike Brown's seat, already warming up, will start to glow an orangish-red.
The Blazers have a new coach (Terry Stotts) and a new point guard in much-hyped rookie Damian Lillard. Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum give them a pair of solid wings, and of course LaMarcus Aldridge to be a high-volume scorer and rebounder. At the center position are J.J. Hickson and rookie Meyers Leonard, so once again Dwight Howard has a favorable matchup inside. Not that it did a lot of good against Eddy Curry.
The game's on NBA TV and TWC SportsNet. Hopefully you get one or the other.