Feb 8, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) reacts against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
As the Los Angeles Lakers face the Portland Trail Blazers tonight, the two teams will try to recover from their string of losses. While the Lakers have lost four straight games so far, the Blazers are in the same boat with three straight losses. However, the one thing fans are most anticipating about this match is the face-off between LeBron James and Damian Lillard.
The Lakers losing to Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards, Miami Heat, and Brooklyn Nets had a lot to do with some of their key components missing. While Anthony Davis out because of an injury, Dennis Schroder was out because of the league’s COVID-19 protocols.
Now that the latter has been cleared to play, he is returning to the court in this important matchup. On the other hand, The Portland Trail Blazers are a team struggling with injury-plagued players since the start of the season. Even then, they have managed to bring themselves to the fifth position in the Western Conference with an 18-13 record.
But this matchup has brought up an interesting stat to light. As per ESPN Stats and Info, “Damian Lillard has averaged 28.3 PPG in 16 career regular-season matchups against LeBron James. That’s the 2nd-highest scoring average by any player that’s faced LeBron at least 15 times trailing only Kevin Durant (28.5).”
To have even that much success against a player considered as the GOAT of this generation is commendable. So, how can it be anything less than entertaining to see these two lock horns again?
This is the second time they are meeting this season, and the Blazers came out as the better team before. The Lakers have Talen Horton- Tucker and LeBron James, and the Blazers have Gary Trent and Carmelo Anthony.
Fortunately for the Lakers, Dennis Schroder’s return couldn’t have happened in a better game. Bron definitely needs the defense as locked as possible against the fierce Damian Lillard.
It seems like the Blazers haven’t forgotten the purple and gold kicking them out of the playoff run last season. So, will the Lakers’ rough patch continue to bother them? Or will they finally take their revenge against the Blazers?
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Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for Essentially Sports. Her love for playing the game transitioned into her love for writing for the sport. She has a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication, with experience as a scriptwriter for short films. This die-hard Lakers fan has been working for EssentiallySports since July 2020.
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