Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Lakers Preview

Just 0.5 games separate the No. 12-ranked Portland Trail Blazers and the No. 13-ranked Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference standings as they prepare for battle Sunday night.

Both teams have two things in common. First, they are not happy with their subpar records, even with the injuries of the top players. Second, both teams could wake up one week from today and theoretically find themselves at the door of the No. 6 seed, if the basketball gods work for them.

The Blazers continue to have six home games, leading 11-9 at Moda Center, while the Lakers are 9-14 away from Los Angeles. All eyes will be on LeBron James, as he only had 261 more career points to beat before usurping the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the regular season points scoring record. Based on his current average of 29.6 points per game, he’ll reach the record in nine games, barring a Kobe-esque offensive tirade that speeds up the day.

Trail Blazers vs. Lakers – Sunday, January 22 – 6:00 PM PST

How to watch: Root Sports Plus, NBA Bass Bass

Blazer injuries: Justice Winslow (out), Gary Payton II (possible)

Lakers injuries: Anthony Davis (out), Lonnie Walker IV (out), Austin Reeves (out), LeBron James (questionable)

SBN Ally: The silver screen and rewinding

the match

  • Play LeBron the way you played Luka: James is the centerpiece of the Lakers offense, similar to the way Luka Doncic plays Dallas Mavericks. He also controls the ball similar to the Slovenian star. Unlike Dallas, the Lakers don’t have the shooting prowess to give Portland a real scare. The Blazers should use the same strategy they used against Doncic. He brought in a second defender – Josh Hart or otherwise – to trap James on every offensive possession. Don’t give a 20-year veteran the luxury of taking three throws unchallenged, because he’ll likely burn teams if he gets hot. Dennis Schroeder, Kendrick Noone, Russell Westbrook, and Patrick Beverly were forced to shoot. All four players shoot 35 percent or worse from distance, in contrast to Mavericks figures in Spencer Dinwiddie, Reggie Bullock, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Davis Bertans, who all shoot 36 percent or better.
  • Don’t try to zone: Throughout the season, Zones 2-3 and 2-1-2 worked well for Rip City. However, with an experienced champion like James, you won’t do well against his ball club. He and Westbrook are very adept at passing the ball to the weak side corner and winger and will drive away from the area. The Lakers are a mixed bag in isolation. James and Westbrook have the most offensive freedom in making their own shot. Both future celebs are shooting 40 percent less in singles this season. The district will eliminate any chances for these two to isolate and be the source of their own demise. The man who plays for Portland will work against Los Angeles
  • Paint protection: Lakers coach only Memphis Grizzlies In points in the paint this season, they scored 56.7 points per contest. Meanwhile, Portland ranks 23rd in the association, awarding 51.4 paint points per game. Thomas Bryant is back and more active than ever. Schroeder has long been known as one of the best players in the NBA, especially at the downhill. Then, of course, there’s James and Westbrook. Note, none of the keys shown have anything to do with the Blazers offense. why? Because LA’s defense is below par. While they defend the long ball very well (34.6 percent conceded), they are the bottom 10 team in key areas like second chance points, fast break points, and points in paint allowed. Defense will cause the Blazers to attack, and break opportunities mixed with stellar paint play will naturally open up the floor. Therefore, Portland has to own the paint on both ends, but especially on defense.

What do others say

The Lakers’ win over the Memphis Grizzlies was marred by an altercation between NFL celebrity Shannon Sharpe and several Grizzlies players, yet Ron Guterman had to bring it up. Lakers Nation:

Despite the season’s struggles in the closing minutes of close games, the Lakers stayed within striking distance when A.J Dennis Schroeder stealing and scoring gave Los Angeles an unexpected late lead And victory. It was probably one of their best wins this season, and it keeps them alive in an ever-competitive postseason picture.

James credited the Lakers with their mentality in a game when the team could have easily conceded defeat. “I stayed flexible throughout the whole game,” said James. “When we got down or got killed by the glass, we kept sticking to the game plan all the way down to stealing the DS and playing three points, which also became the game winner. We are game planners. When we do that, we give ourselves a chance to win.”

Darius Soriano from the silver screen and wrap Discusses how the pairing of James and Westbrook has improved dramatically this season.

But things have changed significantly this season. Are there still some old properties? Yes, especially at peak times. Is the way Ross’s defense guards a negative effect on LeBron? of course it is. But the duo have found their stride in the minutes they share the floor, not just in transition (as expected), but in the half of the pitch through better defined roles and each player better positioned for success.

For Ross, this means much more ball handling when he’s on the court with LeBron, and being the “base guard” and the main playmaker for those formations. This means allowing him to isolate more, run more shots and rolls, and (generally) be offered a primary weapon rather than being cornered as a (zero-gravity) ground spacer and required to put screens on the ball or act as a side-cutter when it’s clear that’s not the case. What he wants to do nor how to play the game is instinctive at this point in his career.

Instead, it is LeBron who does these things more often, creating properties that are more beneficial when they both share the ground.

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