The Los Angeles Lakers had a major bounce back win on Thursday, blowing out the Trail Blazers in game two of their first round series. The Lakers remained calm after their surprising game one loss, lamenting missed shots despite getting good looks. They are keeping that same energy after the much better performance, led by head coach Frank Vogel.
Vogel said he’s been pleased with the effort and attention to detail of the defense, which has really locked Portland down after the 1st Q of Game 1, but he’s not comfortable: "This is going to be a very difficult series, and we have the utmost respect for (Portland’s offense)."
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) August 21, 2020
The Blazers are obviously a very dangerous team still. They are a year removed from the Western Conference Finals, have a perennial MVP candidate in Damian Lillard and boasted the hottest offense in the league heading into the postseason.
That said, and at the risk of jinxing things, it sure feels like the Blazers backs may be against the wall. The Lakers have defended them exquisitely, holding them to just 58 points in three quarters before garbage time in game two. Lillard and C.J. McCollum both look fatigued and now both are nursing injuries although they are expected to play in game three. Finally, if the Lakers’ shooting in the second half is a sign that they are reverting back to their average shooting, it seems unlikely that the Blazers will be able to get enough stops to get even one more win, let alone three.