Date & Time: Saturday, August 22nd, 8:30 PM ET (Sunday, 6 AM IST)
Venue: AdventHealth Arena, Orlando, FL
If there were any looming doubts about the LA Lakers following their loss in the first game of the series, they quashed them all with a resounding blowout win over the Portland Trail Blazers in the second game. This was the Lakers' first playoff win since 2012.
LA Lakers Preview
Bad shooting has been the LA Lakers' biggest concern since the NBA restart. On Thursday though, they made 14 threes against the Portland Trail Blazers which is a playoff record for the franchise. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope regained his confidence by following an 0-of-9 outing with a 16-point effort.
The frontcourt continues to be the core part of this team. Anthony Davis is back to his scoring best. LeBron James didn't shoot the ball that well but as long as his teammates are gulping up the chances he's creating, the LA Lakers will do just fine against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Key Player - Anthony Davis
The benefits of Anthony Davis being in his elements are multifold. Not only will he get you the buckets – as he did with his 13-of-21 shooting in Game 2 – he'll also clog up the paint defensively. Davis' chemistry with LeBron James seems to be at an all-time high and Frank Vogel will be hoping for another 30-point effort from him in the next match-up.
Lakers Predicted Lineup
LeBron James, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Danny Green, Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee
Portland Trail Blazers Preview
The Portland Trail Blazers were the highest-scoring team in the seeding games but their offense has struggled immensely against the LA Lakers. They only had 58 points through three quarters in Game 2 which is simply not good enough for the playoffs.
Damian Lillard has dislocated the index finger in his left hand which puts him in doubt for this tie but the bubble MVP was confident of playing since it's his non-shooting hand. Irrespective of his status, the team needs to do better collectively since no one turned up to bail out the side when Lillard struggled against the LA Lakers.
Key Player - Carmelo Anthony
The LA Lakers but a lot of bodies on Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum in Game 2 which resulted in a lot of looks for Carmelo Anthony but the veteran managed only two points on the night. He can be Terry Stotts' trump card in any given game and he needs to make the most of his opportunities on Saturday.
Trail Blazers Predicted Lineup
Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Carmelo Anthony, Wenyen Gabriel, Jusuf Nurkic
Lakers vs Trail Blazers Match Prediction
The LA Lakers showed exactly why they are the first seed in a packed Western Conference. With the side slowly reaching its usual level, it'll only get tougher for the Portland Trail Blazers from here on. With them already struggling to get their offense going, the Lakers are the favorites to take the lead in this series with a win in Game 3.
Where to watch Lakers vs Trail Blazers?
The game will be available on national TV in the US via ABC. Fans in India can catch the coverage on Sony Six. You can also live stream this match-up via the NBA League Pass.