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State Of The Lakers

Round 1 Game 5

On Wednesday history was made but not
on the court. NBA players decided to do
self-motivated strike to address social
injustices that have divided the country
and has been the trending topic most of
the year. In a emergency call with the
commissioner and owners the players
grievances were addressed and the
season was saved.
Tonight the Lakers look the close out the
Portland TrailBlazers in a gentleman’s
sweep with a 4th win in a row after
dropping the opening playoff game which
would be ignited by Dame Lillard who now
has left the bubble due to a knee injury
suffered in Game 4.
The most dangerous are the wounded so
the Lakers same energy from games 2-4
needs to be duplicated wrap the series up
which would be the 1st time for the Lakers
since 2012 when they defeated the
Nuggets in 7 games.
The game started with a nice little back
and forth on the scoreboard. The Blazers
seemed very motivated early jumping out
to 24-18 lead. The Lakers then turned it
on with a 13-0 run to go up 31-24 right
before the end of the half. The Blazers
would be able withstand that barrage cut
the lead down to 4 points by end of the
quarter with the Lakers up 35-31.
The 2nd quarter was intense both teams
scoring at will. The Blazers were actually
up most of the quarter. Then Lebron took
over the game with scoring outburst that
led to 24 points at the end of the half.
With the Lakers making a late a push after
being down 65-60 finished the quarter
with 8 straight points to close the half tied
68-68.
The 3rd quarter the Blazers kept
scrapping with timely shooting from
Carmelo Anthony and CJ McCollum but
the Lakers dominated the quarter after
cut the lead down to 77-76 with a 13-0
run that was highlighted by 4 straight 3
pointers to increase the lead by 14. The
quarter would end with the Lakers up
100-92 with AD erupting for 20 of his
game high 43 points in the 3rd period.
The final quarter The Blazers came out
focused with a sharp 8-0 to even up the
game 100-100. Then the Lakers turned it
up once again in the middle of quarter
with their own 9-0 run going 123-112. This
would be pretty much the game with both
teams trading buckets the final minutes.
The Lakers would outlast the The
Trailblazers 131-122 and will advance to
the 2nd round to face the winner of the
Houston/OKC series.
The Lakers had monster effort from their
dynamic duo with AD dropping 43 points
with 31 of those point coming in the 2nd
Half. Lebron had another big game in the
playoffs to add to his legacy finishing up
with a Triple-Double with 36 points,10
assists, and 10 rebounds it has became
the norm for Lebron in closeout wins.
My 2 Cents
The Lakers turned on the switch after
losing 6 out of 9 games entering the
bubble for seeding games and Game 1.
The whole team played with a sense of
urgency in the remaining 4 games of this
series. Key contributions coming from KCP
and Danny Green 2 players who struggled
in last few weeks. The outside shooting
was also key to igniting big leads and wins
for the Lakers on this 4 game winning
streak.
The Defense which was already top 5 in
the league was pivotal towards winning
this series. The Blazers are high octane
offense that was limited to a lot 1 and
done possessions make or miss they were
only getting 1 opportunity to score. The
frontcourt was very aggressive winning
the battle for Offensive rebounds which
led to more possessions for the Lakers
which is always plus. The Lakers have
passed the 1st test with flying colors.
The Lakers get time to rest until at least
Friday or Saturday. This will be good for
both AD and Lebron who had some
monster games throughout the series.
These 2 average more than half of the
Lakers stats combined both nursing minor
injuries but in this situation no excuses if
you’re good to go you’re gonna play.
The leadership from Lebron is always
contagious with AD taking the role as the
lead scorer it let’s Lebron focus on
managing the team and playing superb
defense which many have questioned
over the last few years. The Lakers hunger
is there but the journey continues and will
only get tougher in the Wild Wild West!
Written By:Pop Dibiase

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