After a hot streak during the seeding games in the bubble, the Portland Trail Blazers have hit a brick wall known as the LA Lakers. After getting an upset win in their first playoff game, the Blazers have been completely shut down in the last three contests.
It’s becoming very clear that LeBron James and Anthony Davis are just too much for the Blazers, who have the third-worst team defense efficiency rating in the league. LeBron is doing LeBron things by averaging 25.25 points, 10.25 assists, and 10.25 rebounds per game (a triple-double!). Anthony Davis isn’t too far behind, averaging a cool 26.5 points and 9.5 boards per game. It’s hard to stop two walking buckets who make their team better.
This being said, it’s not like the Blazers’ offensive production is terrible. It’s bad… not terrible. Watching their game, it’s easy to notice that the Blazers are bricking most of their shots. It’s like they hit a cold spell and the hoop itself doesn’t want the ball to go in. But because of this, it’s impossible to beat the Lakers. The Lakers are the number one seed for a reason, because they are arguably the best team in the league and predicted by many to win the championship. So subpar play will result in exactly what we’re witnessing – the Blazers getting blown out by 20 points on a nightly basis.
Oh, but it gets worse. A second MRI concluded that Damian Lillard sprained his right knee in their Monday game. Besides the fact that the Blazers now lose their most dominant scorer and best player, the Trailblazers didn’t have much depth on the team to begin with. Without him their chances are even smaller.
Where does all of this bring us? What can we expect for Wednesday game 5?
To be frank, without Lillard and Dame Time, I expect another blowout. The Trail Blazers have no way of keeping up with the offensive skill set of the Lakers facilitated by LeBron James and the defensive domination led by Anthony Davis. That, and the referees haven’t been calling anything in the Blazers’ favor, equating the whole situation to a disaster.
I don’t want to believe this, but it’s the hard truth. The Blazers put up a great run in the bubble that I loved watching every other night. But like all great things like Cinderella stories, it must come to an unfortunate end, and it looks like the Lakers are going to smash a hammer on the Blazers’ glass slippers, breaking all hopes and dreams of a second round with it.