After an exciting week one of the NBA season, we can turn our attention to the start of week two with a Western Conference match-up between the L.A. Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers. The last time we saw these two teams compete was in the Orlando bubble over the postseason and the Lakers took a (4-1) series win.
Portland Trail Blazers Preview: Much improved roster around Lillard
The Blazers spent the off season addressing defensive issues that this team had last season by adding 3 & D wing player Robert Covington, freak athlete Derrick Jones Jr., and re-signing veteran scorer Carmelo Anthony. Adding all of them with a swirl of young talent and a healthy roster puts them right back into contention of being one of the better teams in the Western Conference.
The Trail Blazers travel to L.A. sitting at (1-1) after dropping their home opener to the Utah Jazz 120-100. Portland got into the win column in their second match-up of the year beating down the Houston Rockets in overtime who are dealing with Covid-19 across the locker room.
L.A. Lakers Preview: Can the Lakers do it again?
The Lakers lost quite a bit of last year’s championship squad but had one of the better off seasons in the league by adding guys like Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell, Marc Gasol, and Wes Matthews. With only 72 days in between the Lakers championship and the start of this new season, there are some questions about tired legs, but with two of the league’s best on the roster this team should be fine with minute restrictions and rest.
The Lakers had their ring ceremony spoiled on opening night by the Clippers getting blown out at home before a Christmas day trouncing over the Dallas Mavericks. The Lakers looked a little more like themselves on Christmas day knocking down shots and playing that elite defense that led them to a NBA title in the 19-20 season.
Lakers vs Trail Blazers Betting Odds:
Mybookie has the Lakers as 3 point favorites in this game. This is another season match-up where both teams will be competing for a win. The Trail Blazers will be excited to show their newly acquired defensive stoppers and get a match up as a healthy team against the defending champs. I expect Damion Lillard and C.J. McCollum to have a big game, but nothing that will outweigh the Lakers.
The Lakers are going to be coming off the first night of a back to back against Minnesota without Anthony Davis, who has been ruled out for a calf contusion. This is something worth monitoring when placing betting picks for this game.
Head coach Frank Vogel has stated he is going to be mindful of Lebron’s minutes but doesn’t have any plans to preserve him or anyone on the first or second nights of back to backs. Expect to see LeBron on Monday night without or without Davis, Harrell filling that hole and continuing to provide a spark if needed.
Spooky Express Free Betting Pick: L. A. Lakers -3.5