There was a time when a game against the Lakers meant something. When Kobe Bryant instilled fear in the hearts of every Portland fan. When the team was good and dominant and relevant.

This is not that time. The Lakers are the saddest franchise this side of the 76ers. Coach Byron Scott is doing his best Bernie Lomax impersonation on the bench. Kobe is trying to shoot himself out of the slump called old age. The only reference to the Showtime era is Roy Hibbert talking about the most recent episode of Homeland. It would be funny if it weren’t so downright pathetic.

Watching those sad Sarah McLachlan commercials with all the tortured animals is a better time than watching this current incarnation of the Lakers. Things are bad.

For the second time in a week, the Blazers made it look easy against the Lakers. And again, Kobe submarined his squad behind a flurry of ill-advised jumpers. In the first meeting between these two teams in Los Angeles, Kobe went a pathetic 6-22 from the floor and shot his team out of the game. He managed a much more respectable (for him) 7-20 last night, taking 20 shots to get to...21 points.

Not to harp on what looks to be a broken old man, but Kobe is statistically having one of the worst shooting seasons of all time. That his coach is allowing him to jack 20 plus shots a game while the future of the team—D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and Julius Randle—look on, is absurd. The young guns need to be getting reps in order to get the Lakers back to any sort of respectability. The only way this team currently makes sense is if it’s an elaborate tanking strategy to be as bad as possible in order to keep their lottery-protected pick next year.

Don’t let the final score fool you—the Lakers never stood a chance.

CJ McCollum started last night’s game on fire, dropping nine quick points on 4-4 shooting from the floor. He paced the Blazers with nineteen first half points, slicing up a leaky perimeter “defense” that was focused on stopping Damian Lillard. Defense in quotes because if Roy Hibbert trying to jump straight up at the rim is considered a defense, then the Lakers must have been playing defense.

And really, there’s not much to add from there—it's hard to evaluate anything against such a bad team. Dame got hot in the third quarter and finished with 29 points and five made threes. The Lakers wings hit some triples and forced some turnovers to keep things somewhat close, but damn if this didn’t feel like a game against a pickup team just going through the motions and looking to get some run in. I’d blame the lack of effort on a Thanksgiving hangover, but this is just the current state of the Lakers.

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In the end, Portland cruised to a 108-96 victory.

Despite the Lakers trying to bring things down with their general ennui, there was cause enough to celebrate with Meyers Leonard (and his glorious mustache) returning to action. Leonard missed the previous seven games with a dislocated shoulder, but he was back to his old self—knocking down threes, threading quick passes in the lane, and doubling Portland’s sexiness.

The Blazers would be a championship contender if they could shepherd Kobe into his twilight every night. Sadly the NBA rules don’t allow such things, and they’ll have to prove themselves against the other, better team from Los Angeles on Monday night.