Portland has been a place of nightmares for the Lakers over the years. Damian Lillard especially seems to love cooking the purple and gold and he will assuredly want to put on a show against a title favorite.
The Trail Blazers come into this matchup only 9-13 after a rough start. Outside of Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and the surprise story of the year Carmelo Anthony, they don’t have much else in terms of roster talent. Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins have missed extended time with injuries.
Anthony was added to the Blazers seven games ago and the team is 4-3 since he arrived. He has been better than any naysayers may have thought. He’s putting up a very solid 16 points per game on decent shooting numbers. He is long past being a star in the NBA but he is proving that he can still be an NBA player after being out of the league for a year.
The Trail Blazers will need their “big 3” to win this game for them as they are thin everywhere else. The Lakers have never played well in Portland so it will be a tough matchup based on history.
But, the Lakers are a very good team. Solely based on roster talent alone the Lakers should be able to win this game. It’s going to take the level of effort and execution we saw against Denver and Utah if the Lakers want to keep their road win streak alive.
The Trail Blazers are not a particularly good team so far this season but the Lakers cannot take them lightly. Lillard, McCollum, and even Carmelo could have huge scoring nights at any point so the Lakers have to be careful not to let them gain any momentum by being lackadaisical on defense. Again, the Lakers have the advantage on paper, but they have to show up if they want this win.