The Portland Trail Blazers are coming back home on a high note, as they were able to register a stirring overtime win over the Boston Celtics on Saturday. Now, with some days off, they are refreshed and ready to go after their 11th straight win over the Los Angeles Lakers, in a game that will begin at 10:35 PM ET at the Moda Center in Portland. BetAnySports customers can get reduced juice before the game starts, and then after the opening tip off, they can continue to stay involved using the state-of-the-art software available through Live Betting Ultra.
The Trail Blazers got some extraordinary performances in the 127-123 victory, including a perfect four-of- four in three-pointers from Meyers Leonard, who scored 17 points. Mason Plumlee had a double-double, and added eight assists. The reason we are bringing all of this up is that the Blazers appear to have a lot of good role players who can step up with a big night every now and then. That goes in support of the two “superstars” that they have in the backcourt. Damien Lillard and CJ McCollum had 63 combined points in Saturday’s game, and they are averaging close to 50 on the season. This is a lot of firepower to throw at a Lakers team that is going without point guard DeAngelo Russell, who sprained his knee a couple of games ago.
Portland is in ninth place in the West, with a 19-27 record, but the Lakers are not completely out of it, as they are only four games behind the Blazers, and five behind Denver, at 16-32.
In the NBA betting odds posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, the Blazers are the favorites:
Portland Trail Blazers -8.5
Los Angeles Lakers +8.5
Over 220 points -110
Under 220 points -110
Coach Terry Stotts has done some shuffling around with the Blazers’ lineup, inserting Evan Turner and Noah Vonleh as starters. Hopefully that will give them some punch off the bench with Al-Farouq Aminu and Moe Harkless. The Lakers are looking for some answers, as they had to use Brandon Ingram, the rookie, as the point guard the other night against Dallas. Ingram is obviously very talented, as he was drafted out of Duke with the second overall selection, but he is not necessarily someone who is ready to take over the position. Against the Mavericks, he didn’t even have an assist in 36 minutes, and his defense was lacking, as his team was outscored by 45 points while he was on the floor. At 6-9, he is likely to lack the overall quickness to deal with the 6-3 duo of Lillard and McCollum. And defense is not necessarily been the Lakers’ strong suit; they regularly allow teams to shoot 50% from the field, and they are last in the league in Defensive Rating. Head coach Luke Walton, who was used to a much different dynamic from his experiences as an assistant at Golden State, is looking for cohesiveness, and despite some of the individual talent he has at his disposal, he’s not getting it.
BetAnySports patrons saw this team get bludgeoned the other night against Dallas, one of the worst teams in the NBA, losing by a 122-73 score. The question is, do they have enough character to bounce back and put forth a big effort? They have lost 10 straight games to the Blazers, including two of them this season in which Portland shot 52% from the field. So they have to figure out a way to reduce that. Sure, Timofey Mozgov is not bad at guarding the rim, but that’s not where the offensive strength of Portland lies. The guy who is going to have to provide a lot of energy off the bench for Los Angeles is Lou Williams, who leads the team in scoring. He is part of a veteran contingent on this team, but perhaps the only member of it who is not past is “sell-by” date. After going 10-10 in their first 20 games, the Lakers have won only six of their last 28, and at least if they had Russell in the lineup they would have somebody who could t least be combative against Lillard. The two almost mixed it up last time these teams got together.
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