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LAst Night's Action: Lakers Off to a Good Start

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Kobe and the Lakers fly to their first win. AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian

LA Lakers defeat Portland Trail Blazers 96-76. Um wow. If that's what the Lakers will look like all season, I might have underestimated them. For years the words "Lakers" and "defense" couldn't be said in the same sentence without a snicker, but seeing the beat down they handed to Blazers just changed all of that. Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 23 points while ex-Bruin Trevor Ariza notched a surprising 11. The word of the night was indeed defense with the Lakers holding the Blazers down to 34.5% shooting. Playing in his first NBA after rehabbing his knee last season, Greg Oden left the game in the first half after injuring his right foot. Oden went scoreless in 12:51.

Notable Notes

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  • The San Diego Chargers fired defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell. It's about damned time. This season under Cottrell the defense has regressed. But it shouldn't come as a surprise since every team he has led on defense have progressively gotten worse during each year of his tenure. Ask the Jets. Ron Rivera will take over for Cottrell. Known as part of that 1985 Bears team, he was the defensive coordinator for the Bears during the back-to-back NFC Central titles in 2005 and 2006 going to the Super Bowl in 2006.