The Lakers Biggest Competition in 2020 NBA Playoffs


A week into the NBA restart, and from the perspective of a fan, it was almost as if nothing had changed besides there not being actual fans in the stands.


Photo Credit: Lakers Daily

With that being said, the playoffs were just around the corner, and for the Los Angeles Lakers, after coming off of their 113-97 loss against the Houston Rockets, giving the Lakers a 2-3 record in the bubble, the question arose if fans should start to panic?

Of course, LeBron James and a few other players such as Javale McGee, and Alex Caruso were absent in the matchup. However, Houston also played without star guard in Russell Westbrook, and for the Lakers to go out in the fashion they did, it has some fans concerned.

The Lakers’ inability to perform at a high level without star player LeBron James comes to no surprise. But, when it comes to offense, without James on the floor, the ability to score becomes a real problem, which can be an issue for these playoffs.

Photo Credit: Steve Dykes/Getty Images

When it comes to who the Lakers face in the first round of the playoffs, there is one team most fans are concerned about that can push the Lakers to five or six games, or even worse, knock them out early. That team is the Portland Trail Blazers.

The fight for the eighth seed was a close one. Portland and the Memphis Grizzlies ended up playing in the play in-game, with the Trailblazers wining. You did have the Phoenix Suns (30-39), who finished just one win behind both Memphis and Portland after going undefeated in the bubble.

Lastly, you couldn’t forget about the San Antonio Spurs (29-38), Sacramento Kings (29-39), and the New Orleans Pelicans (29-39). If one of these teams were to catch a stride, and things played out in their favor, they could have a chance to creep up into the eighth seed, and play against the Lakers in the first round.

With all that being said, the team that Lakers fans didn’t want to see ended up seizing the eighth seed and will provide the Lakers the most trouble in the first round.


 Portland Trail Blazers


Photo Credit: CBS Sports

If the Lakers were to play against any of those teams in the first round, they would’ve been the favorites to win the series. However, despite their place in their conference, just a little over a year ago, the Portland Trail Blazers held the 3rd spot in the West.

The Blazer offense is led by Damian Lillard, who is one of the deadliest players in the league. Lillard can take control of a game with what seems like the flip of a switch. He is having a career year averaging the most ppg in his career with 29.1 points per game, as well as having a career year in assist, averaging 8.

A determined Damian Lillard is a scary sight. Against the Lakers through three games this season, he is averaging 36 points and nine assists.

The upside for Lillard and the Trail Blazers is that he is not alone. Key players such as CJ McCollum in the backcourt along with Lillard, as well as Jusuf Nurkic in the frontcourt, and Carmelo Anthony, Portland, will be a fun matchup to see against the Lakers.

The Lakers are a tough team to beat when you have the dynamic duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. However, the Trail Blazers are very much capable of wreaking some havoc when it comes down to it, and it’ll all be lead by Damian Lillard. Get your popcorn ready for one hell of a series.


Series TV Info and Schedule


Game 1: Tuesday, August 18: 9 p.m. (TNT)

Game 2: Thursday, August 20: 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Game 3: Saturday, August 22: 8:30 p.m. (ABC)

Game 4: Monday, August 24: 9 p.m. (TNT)

*Game 5: Wednesday, August 26: Time and TV TBD

*Game 6: Friday, August 28: Time and TV TBD

*Game 7: Sunday, August 30: Time and TV TBD

*If Necessary

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Terence Smith- Franchise Sports Media

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