With today being 8/24 it was not a shock that the Los Angeles Lakers got out and put a butt whooping early on the Portland Trail Blazers on Kobe Day. I thought it was going to be one of those games that after the initial six minutes the game would level out after the initial rush of emotion by the Lakers.
The emotion did not level out and LA kept knocking down some really tough shots and built a 30 point lead at halftime and they never looked back.
First Quarter Thoughts
The Blazes did not get off to a good start. With it being Kobe Day, this was to be expected. A lot of emotion on the Lakers side, but the Blazers were not even close in hitting their first six shots. LA got off and running to a 15-0 run before CJ McCollum got a mid-range jumper, then a steal by Jusuf Nurkic and lay-up. Portland started to show some life, but then the refs got involved.
Portland was more aggressive attacking the basket, getting slammed by both Anthony Davis and JaVale McGee with no fouls being called. It’d be nice if the refs called the game down the middle. The Lakers are a better team up and down the roster, especially with the Blazers missing three players. It’s not like the Lakers need these extra foul calls.
Anthony Davis continued to kill the Blazers from the long mid-range game and also the free throw. He went to the line nine times in the quarter and had a total of 16 points. Portland defended him really well in the first half of Game 3. Then in the second half they moved to this off defense and started to make him take long mid-ranger jumpers. He’s hitting them and there has been zero adjustment over the last three quarters. He continues to kill the Blazers there.
I shouldn’t be shocked as Terry Stotts is one of the worst at making adjustments in game or in between games… or at all.
If it wasn’t for Nurkic getting ten points in the quarter the Blazers would be down by 30 points. He actually looks motivated. He’s banging inside, looking for people to dunk on.
Gary Trent Jr. looks locked in on both sides of the court to start the game. Most of the other Blazers do not.
Second Quarter Thoughts
LA came out and knocked down some threes to start the quarter. And these shots were actually contested. The Blazers’ perimeter defense has not been terrible like it normally is. The Lakers are making some long, tough shots. There isn’t much you can do about it when things are falling like that.
Really enjoyed the speed and intensity that Anfernee Simons used when he came in for Dame to run the point. He put Nurk in position for two easy baskets, caused a turnover, and kept the pressure up. Gary Trent Jr. was playing solid on the defensive end too.
The officials continued to call a terrible game. The Blazers continue to drive and get mugged on their way to the basket. The latest example is CJ driving on Danny Green, Danny swiped, got all arm, held the arm, ball went out on CJ for Laker ball. CJ then got a tech. TNT proceeded to show a replay of said play that got CJ the T. Chris Webber proceeded to talk about how the NBA has the best officials in the world. Too bad the Blazers couldn’t get a decent announcer all series.
Had to deal with both Mark Jackson and Chris Webber. I’d rather have Reggie Miller at this point. Can’t believe they haven’t given Doris Burke a look for this series. Would kill for a night of Joel Meyers and Antonio Daniels.
The officials have been pathetic and incredibly lopsided the entire series.
LeBron kept knocking down threes, refs kept missing calls, Lakers went up 30, scored 80 points in the half and have a 29 point lead.
Third Quarter Thoughts
The emotional high of Kobe Day has continued as LeBron James does a pull up 38 footer and it goes right in. The Lakers are shooting just about 65% for the game up to this point. There isn’t much you can do about that.
Probably a good time to mention the Blazers are about negative $60M in a cap hole next year.
Refs are still allowing the Lakers to assault the Blazers. LeBron on a swing throw elbowed Carmelo right in the jaw, nothing was called, until Melo knocked the ball away, and LeBron swiped him. Just a reminder that Hassan Whiteside got a flagrant foul call on just about the same type of play in the 2nd quarter.
Damian Lillard got hurt. He did a a jump stop on the wing, landed awkwardly, and then had a hard time moving up and down the court. Sotts pulled him with about six minutes left in the quarter. He hasn’t come back from the locker room as of yet.
Lillard has been announced out for the rest of the game with a right knee injury. Going to be interesting to see how severe that injury is. His knee had a weird reverberation when he landed. Nervous that is going to be some sort of ligament strain at best. It’s those types of landings that equal ACL tears.
Fingers crossed that is isn’t that.
On the bright side, the Blazers outscored the Lakers 36-32 in the quarter. Going to take the victories on where we can get them.
Fourth Quarter Thoughts
We are going to get a bunch of garbage time basketball here in the fourth quarter. Hopefully the young guys get some quality play and can improve on some aspects of their game for the next season.
Damian Lillard is going to get an MRI on his knee tonight.
Wenyen Gabriel and Hassan Whiteside hit back-to-back threes. Did not see that coming in any type of basketball, especially in a playoff game against the Lakers.
Not much else worth mentioning in the fourth quarter.
Game 4 on Wednesday night at 6:00 PM. Hopefully there is a Game 6.