Lakers vs pacers

Game Preview: Lakers vs Trailblazers – 8/18/2020


Los Angeles Lakers (52-19)  |  Portland Trailblazers (35-39)


This game one of the Lakers’ first-round playoff series follows a loss against the Sacramento Kings….


Lakers vs Pacers
Photo Credit: CBS Sports

During that loss, the Lakers rested Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Alex Caruso. The game before that, they convincingly beat the Denver Nuggets. The Lakers have been inconsistent throughout the bubble and have managed to go 3-5 during the eight games in which they’ve played. They only rested LeBron James for one of those games, so that record causes concern. The good news for them is that there have not been any serious injuries to report. 


The 8th seeded Portland Trailblazers have been on fire.


They are led by the NBA Bubble MVP, Damian Lillard, who averaged 37.6 points, 9.6 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per game while shooting 49.7 percent from the field and 43.6 percent from three during the eight games in the bubble. The Trailblazers have had their fair share of close games but are on a three-game winning streak while the Lakers have been inconsistent.


Lakers vs Pacers
Photo Credit: Lakers Daily

The Lakers have been inconsistent from beyond the arc, but they shot well during their last two games.


In their most recent game against the Kings, they shot 42.9 percent from three. In their previous game against the Nuggets, they shot 44 percent from three. Playoff time is when the stars step up, and role players tend to have less of a role, meaning more reliance on James and Davis. The Lakers clinched the first seed after their third game in the bubble, where they beat the Utah Jazz. Since they’ve had the #1 seed wrapped up for so long, their inconsistencies may have been caused by the Lakers trying to utilize and further scout their talent rather than have James and Davis go off.


James has embraced the role as a playmaking point guard that leads the league in assists, but it would not be surprising to see him taking over and driving to the basket more often. If the Lakers inconsistent three-point shooters Danny Green, Kyle Kuzma, and Dion Waiters struggle, James won’t let them keep on shooting in a playoff game. He will charge the paint or find ways to utilize Davis’ deadly mid-range and his own scoring ability if Jusuf Nurkic gives them problems in the lane.


The Lakers will most likely approach this game one of two ways.


Lakers vs Pacers
Photo Credit: Action Network

The first way being their three-point shooters get hot, leading to James continually showing off his playmaking ability and getting them open. The other method being, their shooter’s struggle, then James decides to dominate the paint and get Davis more involved. Davis will be required either way as playmaking James finds ways to get everyone involved, but the shooters struggling will lead to a James and Davis take over, where they both have at least 20 points.



This game is unpredictable since the Lakers have been inconsistent, and the Trailblazers have been on fire.


It is hard to clearly predict who’ll win this one since we are not sure how much the Trailblazers’ recent momentum really means once they enter the playoffs. Pure talent-wise, they are below the Lakers. The role players tend to play worse or become less effective in the playoffs, meaning the Lakers should win the series, but that does not mean they will get a sweep. Game one of this series may see the hot Trailblazers beat the Lakers and put a fire in their eyes for the rest of the series. Lillard could easily catch the Lakers off guard with the insane bubble performances he’s managed to pull off.



If I had to predict, I would say the Lakers pull this one off in a close game that sees James and Davis each putting up at least 20 points. Lillard will impress and keep the Trailblazers close but he and CJ McCollum will not be enough to beat the star-studded Lakers.

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-Kyle Randolph – Franchise Sports Media

Twitter- KyleRandolphFSM

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