These two matchup for the third time this season after splitting the first two meetings. Both are fighting for a better position in the West and it should result in quite a battle.
Catch the game tomorrow at 10:00 AM, Manila time.
HOME: Portland Trail Blazers (21-24, 11-9 at home)
Projected starting five:
- Damian Lillard
- Anfernee Simons
- Josh Hart
- Jerami Grant
- Jusuf Nurkic
The downtrending Blazers enter the contest having lost seven of their last nine games. This past Wednesday, they fell to the Philadelphia 76ers, 105-95, which saw them produce their second-lowest scoring output this season.
Despite all that and the 1-1 season series with the Lakers, there’s a good amount of confidence for tomorrow’s game. Damian Lillard was absent in the Dec 1st meeting (the one they lost), but dropped 41 big points against them last Oct 31st (the one they won). Dame has 39.0 PPG in his last five so he’s looking to continue riding that momentum.
Lillard will have ample help in Anfernee Simons (21.6 PPG), Jerami Grant (21.7 PPG), and their man in the middle, Jusuf Nurkic (14. 3 PPG, 10 RPG). Simons and Grant netted 22 and 27 points, respectively, in the previous loss to the Lakers while Lillard was out.
The Blazers are scoring 112.6 PPG in their last nine games while allowing 115. They are, however, 8-3 ATS in their last 11 at home.
AWAY: Los Angeles Lakers (21-25, 9-14 on the road)
Projected starting five:
- Patrick Beverley
- Dennis Schroder
- Troy Brown
- LeBron James
- Thomas Bryant
The Lakers are on the heels of a great win. They snapped the Memphis Grizzlies’ NBA-high 11-game winning streak, 122-121, after clawing back from a double-digit lead. Basing things off the current Lakers squad, however, it’s hard to say they can really build-off something from it.
The Lake Show has had spurts of good showing, but they follow it up with losing skids. Their last 11 games had them winning five-straight, then losing three in-a-row, then going 2-1, so who really knows?
Nevertheless, with Anthony Davis still sidelined due to a foot injury, LeBron James will continue being tasked to go nuts every game. The King is on a fantasy-friendly stretch in the past three weeks as he is averaging 34.9 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 8.3 assists on 52.5% shooting from the field since turning 38 last Dec 30th (nine games), albeit just 25.9% from downtown.
Russell Westbrook, meanwhile, is doing well off the bench, especially since his production went up after AD’s injury. He’s posting 24.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 7.6 assists and making 49.6% of his shots over his last seven games. Finally, there’s Dennis Schroder, who’s at 15.3 PPG in his last 12 and got 19 points and the game-winning play in the win over Memphis.
The Lakers are putting up 117.0 PPG on the season. They are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
Handicap: The Blazers (-5.5) get a good home win and cover the spread.
Over/Under: These two aren’t particularly good on defense, but 239 seems a bit high. Going under could be better.