Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers game 3 preview


Saturday, Aug 22 – 5:30 p.m. PT
Blazers injuries: Rodney Hood (absent), Trevor Ariza (deactivated), Caleb Swanigan (deactivated), Zach Collins (retired), Nassir Little (retired)
Lakers injuries: Avery Bradley (disabled), Rajon Rondo (questionable)
How to watch on TV: ABC (or check out Fubo for your streaming needs)
Radio: 6 h 20
SBN Affiliate: Silver screen and roller

The Portland Trail Blazers start Game 3 with a lick of their injuries after suffering their worst loss in the Orlando bubble. The Los Angeles Lakers kept Portland at their lowest score since December 2018 in a 111-88 beat. Damian Lillard led the way for Portland with 18 points, but only managed one of his seven three-point attempts. Lillard left the game in the third quarter with a dislocated finger on his left hand. Lillard is expected to play in Game 3, but will wear a brace.

Anthony Davis led the way for the Lakers with 31 points and 11 rebounds. The totals weren’t much different from his 28-point, 11-rebound performance in Game 1, but he was much more aggressive and efficient and wasn’t content with jumpers. Los Angeles beat Portland in just about every aspect of Game 2. The only advantage for Portland over Thursday’s game was that it allowed Terry Stotts to put the starters to rest in the fourth quarter.

To monitor

  • Shooting in three points. The Blazers were one of the top three-pointers in the ranking game, hitting over 15 threes per game while shooting 41.4 percent. The Lakers were the worst, making less than 10 lines and shooting just 30%. That advantage was reversed Thursday as Portland made just eight threes in 27.6% shots while Los Angeles hit 14 of 36.8% shots. Part of Portland’s fight can be attributed to the Laker defense. They were also keeping Portland below 30% midway through the fourth quarter of Game 1 before Portland turned it on to end that game at 38%. The Blazers need to find a way to get good looks beyond the arc and knock them down. They’re going to have a hard time beating the Lakers if they can’t beat LA of three.
  • Robustness inside. As the Lakers beat Portland from a distance Thursday, they count on dominance on the inside. Half of LA’s points came in the series paint, the highest rating of the playoffs. The Blazers need to do a better job smashing the defensive boards. They allowed 17 and 15 offensive rebounds in Games 1 and 2, respectively. On Thursday, the Lakers turned those extra possessions into 20 second chance points. Portland doesn’t need to outdo the Lakers in paint to win the series, but they can’t make it easier for them by giving up additional possessions.
  • Who will step up? The Lakers are rightly focusing their defensive attention on limiting Damian Lillard’s scoring. Portland has to make them pay by involving someone else. Throughout the games in Orlando, the Blazers have seen big game scoring games from CJ McCollum, Carmelo Anthony, Jusuf Nurkic and Gary Trent Jr., but none of them have been effective against the Lakers so far. McCollum shot 13 of 36 (38.9%) in the series. Anthony is 4 of 17 (23.5%), Nurkic 8 of 21 (38.1%) and Trent Jr. is 5 of 15 (33.3%). The Blazers need one or more of their other goal scorers to get started if they are to get back on track in Game 3.

What they say

Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen and Roll reviewed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s Bounce Game 2:

[W]When Caldwell-Pope is the one to charge the defense for sending extra bodies to James and Davis, he will get credit for all the other things he does to help his team, too, for the energy he brings. to the way he runs. opponents defensively.

“I’m really happy for KCP,” [coach Frank] Vogel said. “Both games he played very well. Game 2, he shot the ball well. Game 1, he didn’t. But he played both games very well. It is an integral part of what we have done, it illustrates our “play harder than our opponent” mindset. He was great tonight.

The Ringer’s Jonathan Tjarks wonders if LeBron is showing his age:

Maybe it’s nothing. Maybe LeBron is just saving himself for a long playoff series. Chances are he’ll end up blowing up for a 30- or 40-point game against a defense as poor as the Blazers.

But it is also no. 8 all time in career minutes (48,551) and no. 1 among active players. Vince Carter was no. 2 before retiring at the end of the season. Pau Gasol (n ° 3) is perhaps just behind him.

In his 17th season, LeBron is still tall and skillful enough to dominate without being the best athlete on the floor. He became the first player in NBA history with at least 20 points, 15 rebounds and 15 assists in a Game 1 playoff game. But the Lakers may still have to make concessions at his age as the level of competition increases. line in the playoffs.

USA Today’s Mark Medina wrote about Anthony Davis and LeBron James’ relationship:

“I was really depressed after the first game. I didn’t feel like I was performing at the level I needed, ”said Davis. “(LeBron) let me spend my moment and pull myself together, and then he spoke to me.

What did James say?

“He said I was fine. He said it was a game and as a guy who’s won multiple championships and been in these situations before, he knows what to expect, ”said Davis. “He knew what to expect from his teammates and he was kind of there for me to encourage myself and keep me level. Because it was just a game.


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