The rumors have already started to flourish! The media buzz is going crazy on if Lebron will leave yet again, after the Lakers suffer a shocking series-opening loss to 8 seed Portland Trailblazers here in Round 1 of the NBA playoffs. It is unclear of what will be best for Lebron’s future after this stunning development, being a 6.5 point favorite heading into the series.
In all seriousness though, the NBA bubble continues to put on a show, as the Lakers fall short of this series-opening nail-biter losing 100-93. While LeBron figures out if LA is the right place for him, he does what he does best and put on another historical, triple-double performance with 23 points, 17 boards, and 15 assists. This to go along with help from Anthony Davis going for 28 points and 11 boards, with just one assist. In addition to this performance by the Lake Show, Logo Lillard was alive and well going 34, 5, and 5 accompanied by McCollum’s 21 and 5.
Overall, I was very impressed with how the Trailblazers were able to hang in there, against the favored Lakers. However, there are a two points I noticed throughout the game, the Blazers need to fix if they want to have a chance to knock them out early.
1) Turnovers/Hustle – the Blazers led in turnovers (16-9), which I felt ultimately helped the Lakers get back in the game after being down 16 at one point. This played into the lack of hustle I saw from the team, as it seem the Balzers were very laxed with bringing the ball up, as well as not getting back in transition due to still complaining to the refs.
2) Wild Man Lillard – yes I know Lillard is strapped, but my arm almost fell off, throwing it up in confusion, as for whatever reason Dame kept feeling himself and just had to keep yuckin’ up from the logo or heavily contested shots just seconds after receiving the ball. This in turn leading to missed shots (shooting 13/34 from deep) and more Laker possessions.
Also, dear NBA refs. I know it’s the playoffs so there is more intensity, but can we PLEASE keep the whistles in the pocket….I mean there is no reason why there should be a total of 51 combined personal fouls between both teams. Let them play and maybe the game can end before midnight.