Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers Matchup Preview
By Max Heering
The Los Angeles Lakers have had a rough start to the season. They are 5-4 after their 107-104 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder are going through a rebuild, and their two wins have both come against the Lakers. The Lakers played without LeBron James last night but still had three players score over 20 points. The problem was that those three players (Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, and Carmelo Anthony) scored 77 combined points and accounted for a whopping 74% of their team points. On the other side, the Portland Trail Blazers are 3-5 after their 107-104 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Damian Lillard led all Blazers in scoring with 26 points. However, CJ McCollum might have had a more impressive game than Lillard. McCollum had 21 points, seven rebounds, and six assists.
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Lakers vs. Trail Blazers Predictions
The Trail Blazers are very healthy right now, and the Lakers are dealing with a rash of injuries. The most notable injured player is LeBron James. The Trail Blazers will have a much easier matchup without facing LeBron James. This Lakers team has not proven that they can win without their superstar yet. That has been most evident with their two losses against the Thunder.
The Trail Blazers will still have a tough matchup even though the Lakers do not have Lebron James tonight. They will have to push the pace against this veteran Lakers squad and use their age as an advantage. Damian Lillard is a great playmaker and has shown that he can pass the ball well. He will need to continue doing that tonight to overwhelm the Lakers defense. The Trail Blazers have a chance tonight to regain some momentum after their tough toss to the Cavaliers. I expect them to take full advantage of that.
My Prediction: Trail Blazers 108, Lakers 103.
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