After a shocking loss in Game 1 to the 8th seed Portland Trailblazers, should the Los Angeles Lakers be concerned about losing the series? It is just one game, but the Lakers did not look like they had an answer for Damian Lillard and struggled at times in the offense.
Lakers vs. Blazers
Although the Lakers only lost by seven points, it seemed like they lost by twenty. The Lakers only shot 35 percent from the field, while shooting a brutal 15 percent from three-point land. Danny Green, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma and Alex Caruso all struggled from the three-point line, going a combined 3/21. The Lakers rely on these players to get points and knock down threes, and if they are not doing that, they do not provide much on the court. They failed to contain Lillard and C.J McCollum as Lillard had 34 and McCollum had 21. Anthony Davis struggled from the field but was able to get to the free-throw line. LeBron James had a triple-double, but looked very passive at times, giving up the ball to Caruso or Kuzma when he could’ve taken a shot or drove to the hole himself.
Although this was probably just a dud of a game for the Lakers, they really lack a true third option scorer who they can rely on to go get them a basket when LeBron is being passive and Davis is struggling from the field. They also lack a consistent knockdown three-point shooter. Danny Green and Caldwell-Pope are supposed to provide that, but they have been struggling all season to consistently hit threes. Before the shutdown of the NBA, it seemed like the Lakers were relying on Avery Bradley to be their third guy, as he was playing very well before the shutdown.
At this point, the Lakers should not panic too much, as they struggled with their shot the whole game. They should not shoot as poorly as they did in the first game for the rest of the series. But they need the role players to step up and knock down shots, especially three-pointers. If Pope and Danny Green keep struggling from the field, should they consider JR Smith and Dion Waiters taking their place? Maybe. Also, they need to find a way to contain Lillard and McCollum, and run them off the three-point line to make them beat the Lakers inside. If they can not, this might be headed for an 8th seeded upset.
“From Our Haus to Yours”