Create
Notifications
New User posted their first comment
Advertisement

Los Angeles Lakers vs Portland Trail Blazers: Match Preview and Predictions - 28th December 2019

LeBron James and co will be eager to bounce back after their Christmas Day defeat by the LA Clippers
LeBron James and co will be eager to bounce back after their Christmas Day defeat by the LA Clippers
ANALYST
Modified 28 Dec 2019, 05:16 IST
Preview
Advertisement

Match details

Fixture: Los Angeles Lakers vs Portland Trail Blazers

Date & Time: Saturday, 28 December 2019 (10:00 PM ET)

Venue: Moda Center, Portland, Oregon

Last Game Results

Los Angeles Lakers (24-7): 106-111 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers (25 December)

Portland Trail Blazers (14-18): 115-121 loss to the Utah Jazz (26 December)


Los Angeles Lakers Preview

LeBron scored 23 points, had ten assists and nine rebounds during their defeat by the Clippers last time out
LeBron scored 23 points, had ten assists and nine rebounds during their defeat by the Clippers last time out
Advertisement

The Los Angeles Lakers have found themselves in a recent slump, with four successive defeats. During this losing streak, LeBron James' health has also been a factor of concern for them.

During their defeat by the Clippers on Christmas Day, Kyle Kuzma scored a team-high 25 points on 8-17 shooting, alongside Anthony Davis (24 points, six rebounds) and LeBron (23, 10 ast, 9 rebs). Other than this trio, only one other player - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope - was in double-digits with 13 points in 29 minutes.

They will be eager to bounce back and quickly, with tricky tests against the Blazers (14-18) and Dallas Mavericks (20-10) between now and the turn of the year. There are also hopes that LeBron will join them in Portland, according to recent reports.

Key Player: Kyle Kuzma

Kuzma in action against the Clippers, where he recorded his season-high 25 points in 27 minutes
Kuzma in action against the Clippers, where he recorded his season-high 25 points in 27 minutes
Advertisement

With LeBron's health a big concern, Kuzma needs to play a bigger role offensively - having dropped 25 points last time out, with 4-9 shooting from three-point range.

The 24-year-old is averaging 11.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 0.8 assists per game this season and having suffered with troublesome injuries of late, it's clear he needs to improve to reduce pressure off the shoulders of their two star players. With that in mind, he'll be expected to play a crucial role against the Blazers tonight and presumably do so within the second unit.

Lakers' Predicted Lineup

Lebron James, Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee, Danny Green and Avery Bradley


Portland Trail Blazers Preview

Carmelo Anthony missed a game-tying three against the Utah Jazz and will be eager to make amends
Carmelo Anthony missed a game-tying three against the Utah Jazz and will be eager to make amends

It was a comeback too late in the fourth quarter as the Blazers fell short of a victory against the Utah Jazz on Thursday.

Damian Lillard led the team in points with 34 points, eight assists and four rebounds on the night. He was supported by CJ McCollum and Carmelo Anthony, who poured in 25 and 12 points respectively.

There was also notable scoring production from the bench, as Anfernee Simons (15 points, 10 rebounds) and Skal Labissiere (10 points, seven rebounds, three assists) were both in double-digits too. However, a tough test against the table-topping Lakers awaits them next.

Advertisement

Key Player: CJ McCollum

McCollum has started 19-20 well and could prove Portland
McCollum has started 19-20 well and could prove Portland's x factor as they target a win over the Lakers

With just eight points in the first quarter, CJ McCollum was the flag bearer of the Blazers' last-quarter comeback in the last game. He dropped 17 points in the last quarter and set the game up for an exciting climax.

CJ is averaging 22.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, while shooting at a rate of 45.5% from the field this season. If they are to prevail against the Lakers, he needs to be at his best.

Blazers' Predicted Lineup

Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Carmelo Anthony, Kent Bazemore and Hassan Whiteside


Lakers vs Blazers Match Prediction

The Blazers have the firepower to upset the Lakers, demanding all the factors to fall in place. They will need a full team effort to stop the forces of LeBron and Davis. After their impressive start to the campaign, the Lakers have started falling and will continue to do so for the next two games, so I am predicting a Blazers' victory tonight.

Where to Watch Lakers vs Blazers?

The game can be watched on TV on SportsNet LA. You can also stream the game live via NBA League Pass.

Published 28 Dec 2019, 05:16 IST
Advertisement
Fetching more content...
App download animated image Get the free App now
❤️ Favorites Edit