2. Speed will kill us if we don't keep up. The Lakers were not using Jackson's famed Triangle offense. Instead, run & gun (unfortunately, my favorite kind of basketball) throttled Portland and put their head on a swivel.
3. Rudy Fernandez is legit. No joke. He is definitely everything we saw in Beijing. He can have the capacity to over do it or go too fast, but he is fearless.
4. NEVER give Kobe a reason to beat you, i.e. Joel Pryzbilla bumping him hard, otherwise he'll blow by you. He is the best player on the planet. Period. His presence alone helped Team USA win gold.
5. The Blazers are young. They aren't used to such a massive spotlight like last night's TNT showing. They had the world in their hand, and squashed it's chances.
6. The way the West is shaping up, I think a playoff berth will be VERY tough, and it shouldn't be a surprise if they don't make it.
7. Brandon Roy is uber composed. Though he started 0-9 from the field, he led the team with a poker face and eventually brought his game, though in garbage time. I think keeping him healthy is WAY more important than Oden, though it sounds blasphemous.
8. With Martell Webster out of the lineup, Travis Outlaw shined with 18 points. He has the ability to be so dynamic, but the shooting guard/small forward positions are so crammed on the roster, this is Outlaw's opportunity to strut his stuff. Last night was proof.
9. Nate McMillan shouldn't look so grumpy. I know he's a Sarge, but seriously, first game, dude.
10. Phil Jackson commented that they only had a big lead because Portland wasn't shooting well. He's got a point. Portland wasn't going to go inside without Oden, and LaMarcus was cold all night, so had a lot of open jumpers. This tells me two things: The Lakers are starting to play more aggressive D (which they did very well), and the Blazers are starting to become one-dimensional. If they don't start combining that very deep bench into a dynamic offense, without dropping the "old man's game" approach that worked so well last year, they will have a playoff chance.