The series between the Portland Trail Blazers and LA Lakers has fast turned into a nightmare for the former. After winning Game 1 in the NBA Playoffs, the Portland Trail Blazers have been unable to rediscover the form they once had.
Game 4 ended with a score of 135-115 in favor of the LA Lakers. The game started as a disaster for the Portland Trail Blazers, as their defense was continuously thwarted and seemed almost helpless.
By the end of the first quarter, the LA Lakers led the Portland Trail Blazers by 18 points, and the game only got worse for the latter from there.
Not only were the Portland Trail Blazers behind for basically the whole game, they also saw their best player in Damian Lillard hobble off. Lillard had to leave the game due to a knee injury that he sustained late in the third quarter and while he did try to play on, it was obvious that he couldn't continue.
The LA Lakers flex their muscles
Even without their second star in Anthony Davis, the LA Lakers were in no danger of losing Game 4. Davis had to leave the game early in the second quarter, due to a series of spasms in his back. The LA Lakers staff has since said that it was nothing serious, and the 27-year-old is expected to play in Game 5.
Even without his co-star, LeBron James was as dominant as ever. James recorded 30 points 6 rebounds and 10 assists in just 28 minutes in Game 4.
In his absence, Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and even the much-criticized Danny Green took over. These LA Lakers players had 18, 12, and 14 points respectively, and were efficient with their shooting throughout the game.
Even without LeBron James and Anthony Davis playing big minutes, the LA Lakers made light work of the Portland Trail Blazers.
After knowing what we know now, it almost seems absurd to say the Portland Trail Blazers ever had a chance to beat the LA Lakers in a playoff series.
The Portland Trail Blazers' woes continue
After a blazing hot run during the seeding games and a stellar performance in Game 1, the Portland Trail Blazers have finally cooled off.
This series has been a disaster for the team. Despite losing, the Portland Trail Blazers had a close game with the LA Lakers in Game 3, giving fans reason to believe that at the very least, a seven-game series was on the cards.
And yet, just a game later, this series seems like it is all but wrapped up.
As mentioned before, reports speculate that Damian Lillard's injury is a serious one, with suspected damage to his ACL. If this is true, Lillard would have to sit out games for approximately a year.
With the best player of the Portland Trail Blazers potentially ruled out of the rest of the series, it is hard to even picture the Blazers stealing a ticket to round two.
On a positive note for Portland, Jusuf Nurkic appeared to have a good game against a very strong defensive team, recording 20 points and 13 rebounds.
If the Portland Trail Blazers can get together as a team and put up such performances during the next NBA season, they may have a chance at a deep run in the next year's NBA Playoffs.
What does the future hold for this series?
Unfortunately for the Portland Trail Blazers, this is as far as they can go. Not only have the LA Lakers' stars performed at an outstanding level, but Danny Green has also finally come alive to be a real threat from three-point range.
What further compounds the Blazers' chances is their biggest star in Damian Lillard potentially out of the series. Lillard is irreplaceable to the team, to say the least. Without him, their long-range shooting takes a massive hit. And with the LA Lakers having an already elite defense, a Portland win doesn't seem conceivable anymore.
The Portland Trail Blazers vs LA Lakers series will most likely be wrapped up in five games.
Published 25 Aug 2020, 13:23 IST