As the second week of NBA action is set to go, the Blazers and Lakers will be duking it out at Staples Center. The good news for the league is that there has only been one game postponed through six days of games, as all of the rest have happened as scheduled.
Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum will be hoping to get some revenge on the Lakers team that gave them a gentleman’s sweep in the opening round of the playoffs. They took a game one win before dropping the next four, unable to close games out. It’s tough when your two best guys are both short, and you have the size of that Lakers team making things happen.
Los Angeles picked up a 36-point win in the absence of Karl Anthony-Towns against Minnesota in a game they were also without Anthony Davis on Sunday. We finally saw Marc Gasol step up and post big numbers.
Gasol had struggled mightily through two games after a poor playoff showing. This is just what they needed from their starting center.
The Lakers are serving as 4-point favorites in this one. The over/under is set at 227.5.
Blazers Looking for Second Win
They will be a bit short-handed as they look to improve to 2-1. Due to health and safety protocols, they will be without Carmelo Anthony. Given the early scoring struggles for Derrick Jones Jr. and Robert Covington, they’ll miss him greatly. We’ve also seen a different version of Gary Trent Jr. than we saw in the bubble.
Charles Barkley jumped the gun and bet $100,000 on this team to win the title. Not that we should take every one of his takes seriously, but he also said they’d sweep the Lakers last year after a Game 1 win.
To win this one, they’ll need Jusuf Nurkic to avoid foul trouble and protect the paint. This is a different Trail Blazers team when he is out there.
Los Angeles Seeks Third Straight Win
After dropping to the Clippers on opening night, we’ve seen a pair of Lakers wins since. They downed the Mavericks and followed suit with a defeat of the Wolves.
As Portland comes to town, they’ll look to keep things rolling. Said dominant win over Minnesota was one of many wild things to happen in the league on Sunday.
The Lakers are a talented team, with all of the new guys looking good. Dennis Schroder is proving to be very much worth acquiring, and Montrezl Harrell gives them a second “big” that can make shots.
LeBron James is doing his thing, and Kyle Kuzma is looking like a legitimately consistent player now. That’s scary for the league.
Size and rim protection are two advantages Los Angeles still has and will continue to propel them. Given Danny Green’s minimal impact in Philadelphia so far, trading him looks to be one of the most significant offseason moves by any team.
Lillard and McCollum won’t be able to cook the Lakers this time. Los Angeles wins and covers.