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Lakers
Photo Credit: USA Today

Game Preview: Lakers vs Trailblazers – 8/24/2020

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Los Angeles Lakers (2-1)  |  Portland Trailblazers (1-2)

 

This game follows the Lakers game three victory in which they won 116 to 108.

 

 

Lakers
Photo Credit: Blazers Edge

That game was the LeBron James and Anthony Davis show, and they finished with 67 combined points. There is no reason to believe that the Lakers will not approach game four with the same ideology. They will utilize James and Davis to attack the Trail Blazer’s struggling defense. 

The Laker’s strategy is not entirely predictable with their shooters since they have been inconsistent throughout the series.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has caught a hot hand as of recently, but that can go away at any moment. He was 0 for 9 in game one but managed to shoot 4 for 13 in game 3. No matter how hot or cold he has gotten his shots in, which will most likely not change in game four. Danny Green has had some substandard performances but shot 3 for 8 in game three of the series.

He is the same way as Caldwell-Pope in the sense of no matter what happens, he will get his shots in. The Lakers are stuck in a position where those kinds of players must take the shots, so game four will continue that. The inconsistent shooters will get their shots up no matter how hot or cold they are, but James and Davis will be relied on as much as possible to take over.

It’s not that they have not always been relied on to do so, but following their game three performance, they will be desperate to bring that momentum into game four. 

 

The last game’s dominant performance from James makes many people believe the Lakers will ride with that momentum and let him attempt more shots.

 

 

Lakers
Photo Credit: Blazers Edge

I think he will try to be a playmaking reliant point guard to see if his three-point shooters or hot or cold. After they get their shots in, he will either take over if he has to or give it to whoever has the hot hand. If it happens to be himself like it was in game three, then he will be the one going off again. 

The Lakers will not approach this game differently than their others. They will ride with the momentum they have.

This means they will utilize James the way stated earlier, and let the other players get their shots in. Players like Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith can’t get serious minutes in because their defense is nowhere near good enough to stop a playoff Trail Blazers. If Caldwell-Pope is shooting terrible, then he shoots terrible but will be playing better defense than most players on the team. He is in that lineup for defense while James, Davis, and Green take most of the shots with him.

They all play so many minutes, and there are not many different ways to adjusts that. There’s no reason to adjusts it, especially since they have won twice in a row. Even if their inconsistent shooters are cold, they have better defense and more talent than the Trail Blazers do.

 

The Lakers should not have problems winning.

 

 

Lakers
Photo Credit: Silver Screen and Roll

Momentum has gone their way, and Zach Collins will not be making a return for the rest of the year. The Lakers are better than the Trail Blazers in multiple categories. They are better star power-wise, they are better defensively, and they have all the momentum heading into game four. The reason their strategy ended up with a loss in game one is that everyone was cold.

Playoffs are the worse time to struggle, but they were playing worse than they usually do. The odds they shoot 15.6 percent from three again are very low. Since then, they have let the core players take around the same amount of shots and let whoever’s hot takeover once they all get their shots in. It has worked for them because they do not need that many threes to go in to beat the Trail Blazers. They just can’t shoot anywhere near the dreadful 15.6 percent again.

 

My prediction is that the talent of the Lakers is simply too much for the Trail Blazers to beat. The Trail Blazers will compete and Damian Lillard will most likely put up around 30 points. Regardless of that, it won’t be enough to beat the star-studded Lakers.

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-Kyle Randolph – Franchise Sports Media

Twitter- KyleRandolphFSM

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