At halftime of last night's massacre in the Staples Center, the Blazers were already trailing the world champion Los Angeles Lakers by a score of 58-36. But it wasn't the (already) insurmountable lead that was troubling, it was the play of the Lakers' Pau Gasol. In less than two quarters of action Gasol was well on his way to a triple-double (he completed that task in the third quarter), having netted 11 rebounds, seven assists and a pair of steals. Those were familiar stats, since the entire Blazers roster up until that point had 11 rebounds, seven assists and a pair of steals. Basically Gasol was playing as well—technically, better— than every player in a Blazers uniform. When the final buzzer sang, the 121-96 score made the game seem closer than it actually was.
If you needed proof to why the Lakers are undefeated on the year and have a matching set of NBA championship rings, you saw it last night. There wasn't an element of the game—shooting, boards, assists, white guys doing trick dunks—the Lakers didn't dominate, and Portland was taught a quick lesson that they have a long way to go before dethroning the champs.
The good news? Um, let's all hope that Ron Artest is not really a doctor.