Two Western Conference teams duke it out as both aim to move up against a losing record. It’s an interesting matchup as it pits the veteran-filled Los Angeles Lakers versus the Portland Trail Blazers’ mostly young core.
Catch the game tomorrow at 11:00 AM, Manila time.
HOME: Los Angeles Lakers (4-5, 3-0 HOME)
Projected starting five:
- D’Angelo Russell
- Austin Reaves
- Cam Reddish
- LeBron James
- Anthony Davis
The Lakers halted their three-game skid on Saturday with their first road win of the season. They edged out the Phoenix Suns in a hard-fought battle, 122-119. It’s a nice momentum-builder for tomorrow, especially since they are still a perfect 3-0 at home.
Anthony Davis is back after just a one-game absence due to a groin injury. He shot just 5-of-14 against the Suns, but was okay in other areas, finishing with a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds, while adding four assists. LeBron James, on the other hand, was his classic self, posting 32/11/6 on 11-of-17 shooting. The two may interchange in scoring duties tomorrow, so look for Davis, who should be in a favorable matchup opposite DeAndre Ayton, to be aggressive.
Davis and James are starting to get solid contributions from the secondary guys outside D’Angelo Russell. Austin Reaves has 16.3 PPG on 55.3% shooting over his last four, while Cam Reddish chipped in 17 points with five threes in Phoenix.
The Lakers are scoring 110.4 PPG on the season on a -6.0 net rating.
AWAY: Portland Trail Blazers (3-5, 2-3 AWAY)
Projected starting five:
- Malcolm Brogdon
- Shaedon Sharpe
- Matisse Thybulle
- Jerami Grant
- DeAndre Ayton
It’s been a season of streaks for the Blazers. They opened the year with two defeats, then won three-straight, then back again with back-to-back losses. Such is life for a rebuilding franchise, and it’s arguably better than most cases.
In any case, there’s good production on some guys. Jerami Grant (22.8 PPG) and Malcolm Brogdon (17.3 PPG, 5.5 APG), who are 29 and 31 years old, respectively, play the veteran role in the young team alongside the lead-scoring responsibilities. Grant is coming off a 38-point performance, albeit in a losing effort.
Second-year guard Shaedon Sharpe is making the most the opportunity and Anfernee Simons’s injury. He is getting a league-high 39.1 minutes per contest, and putting up 19.9 PPG through it.
Portland is dead-last in points at 106.0 PPG with a -5.1 net rating.
Handicap: The Lakers (-10) fail to cover the spread.
Over/Under: The total goes over 223.5