Game Preview: Lakers vs Trail Blazers – Game 2

(#1) Los Angeles Lakers   |  (#8) Portland Trail Blazers


The Lakers will look to even up the series after dropping Game 1 to Portland.


The Los Angeles Lakers have not been in the playoffs since the 2012-13 season. It has been a long seven-year wait for Lakers fans everywhere, but here we are, back in the postseason. Not only are they back in the playoffs, but also back in the driver’s seat as the top seed in the Western Conference.


Photo Credit: LA Times

Usually, clinching the first seed means that you will have home-court advantage throughout the postseason, but that is obviously not the case this season. We can all thank the coronavirus for putting the NBA season on a four-month hiatus before resuming in the Orlando bubble.

The bubble restart allowed teams the opportunity to play their way into the playoff picture, and that is precisely what the Portland Trail Blazers did.

The only problem is that the Trail Blazers are not your ordinary eighth seed. They are a team that is entirely different from the team that was playing earlier in the regular season, thanks to a couple of guys returning from injury during the hiatus.



People may not remember but Portland made it to the Western Conference Finals last season, and they were a team that was looking to get back there this season. However, their season was plagued with injuries and led to them to the outside looking in as the regular season was coming to a close in March.


The Lakers now have to face a revamped Blazers team that differs from the group we saw in March and resembles that team that made a deep run last season. Perhaps they could have been a three or four seed if they didn’t have the numerous injuries throughout the season. Regardless, the Lake Show is stuck dealing with the red-hot Trail Blazers that should not even be the eighth seed.


Photo Credit: Bleacher Report

Los Angeles, on the other hand, has looked sluggish since entering the Walt Disney World campus. It was tough to tell how legit the struggles were, however, since the games were meaningless, but then the issues continued as the two teams met in Game 1 on Tuesday.

Portland came out aggressive and punched the Lakers in the mouth with the shocking 100-93 upset victory in Game 1. Bubble MVP Damian Lillard led all scorers with 34 points on 9-21 (42%) shooting. His backcourt mate CJ McCollum also played big with 21 points on 8-20 (40%) shooting from the field.

They received some big double-double minutes from Jusuf Nurkic (16 points, 15 rebounds) and Carmelo Anthony (11 points, ten rebounds), respectively.


Anthony Davis led the Lakers with a double-double of his own with 28 points and 11 rebounds. LeBron James recorded a triple-double with 23 points, 17 rebounds, and 16 assists. Kyle Kuzma once again showed that he is third-leading scorer off the bench with 14 points on 5-14 (35.7%) shooting from the floor.


Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo were sorely missed as the Lakers struggled to guard the nearly unstoppable Lillard. Although Bradley is gone for the season, the team must be desperately hopeful that Rondo can return for this first-round matchup after breaking his hand earlier in July. Rondo was listed doubtful for Game 1, and it remains to be seen what his status is for the remainder of the series, but he is back on the court for practice and pregame, so that is a good sign.

Besides defense, the other huge issue for Los Angeles was their shooting, particularly from the three. They shot a horrific 5-32 (15.6%) as a team from behind the arc, that is entirely unacceptable. It is likely that it just was not their night, as I am confident that they will shoot a whole lot better in Game 2. However, if they do not, it might be time to panic a bit for the Lake Show.


Photo Credit: NBA

Much of the blame for the poor shooting is on Danny Green and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who shot a combined 2-13 from beyond the arc. A lot of fans wanted them pulled from the game, but they probably forgot that the reason those two are playing heavy minutes and starting is because of their defense. That defense is vital due to Bradley’s and Rondo’s absence.

Perhaps when taking one of those guys out of the game, they should insert Dion Waiters, who has been an impressive scorer off the bench during the seeding games. Waiters, who was signed for his scoring abilities, only logged one minute in Game 1. Perhaps the rotation could look different in Game 2.



The Lakers play against Portland in Game 2 tonight at 6 pm. You can watch the game on ESPN and Spectrum SportsNet.

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-Isaiah Torres – Franchise Sports Media

Twitter: Isaiah_Torres24

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