Los Angeles Lakers travel to Orlando as the winning team at the Western Conference. Lebron James and the company fired on all cylinders before the Covid 19 pandemic ended everything that was happening in the country in March. The general consensus is that it will be difficult to stop them during the NBA playoffs at this time because two-headed monsters James and Anthony Davis are too numerous for a team in their conference.
Although Lebron’s team may be the favorite in the West, there are a few teams that can cause problems for the Lakers in the off-season. The Los Angeles Clippers are probably in the lead and have beaten their rivals in two of their three regular season games against Kavi Leonard with a handful of grips. Paul George made it worse when he was healthy enough to take part in the final battle of Los Angeles.
While everyone waits for the perhaps inevitable collision of the Lakers and Clippers, Frank Vogel and his coaching staff may encounter some obstacles on their way to the NBA finals with three teams of the Dark Horses, which could be a challenge for this talented team in Los Angeles.
Portland Highway Blazers – Lilliard Logo
The Portland Damien Lillard Trail blowers have not been successful this season. After Lillard’s dramatic and frankly incredible performance last season when he tore the heart out of Thunder of Oklahoma City for Russell Westbrook, the Blazers were unable to return and form one of the best teams in the West. They couldn’t get into the playoffs at all if they couldn’t finish eighth.
However, if Lillard and C.J. McCollum manage to get it done after a long break and find a way to qualify for the final playoffs of the conference, they could pose a threat to the Lakers. Lilliard now plays in the Lakers like any other star player in the league, because he always takes his game to another level in the Staples Center.
In the 27 games he played against the Lakers in his career, he played an average of 27.7 points, 7.1 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game, shooting 45.6% of the floor and 38.6% of the bow.
The one-year-old star leads him up the ladder when he meets Purple and Gold. In addition to his ability to play at a high level against Los Angeles, Portland has several seasoned veterans in their squad who can also play a role. Carmelo Anthony, Trevor Ariza, Hassan White Side and McCollum can also cause problems for the Lakers during the seven-minute series.
Houston Rockets – Problems with small balls
For the NBA break, the Houston Rockets had reason to celebrate when they made a bold move by trading Clint Capela for the Atlanta Hawks and trying a small forward move. Russell Westbrook-James Harden seemed bankrupt before they changed the scenario, and now they can be a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming playoffs.
Personally, I think the Rockets are just a fantasy team led by a Harden player who’s going to kick them out of the game because he never really brought them together in the playoffs. Westbrook was similar in this respect, with zero offside hits after the game with Kevin Durant. They also lost four of their last five games before the season was interrupted.
However, the new appearance of the Rockets gave the Lakers some problems with their new small ball tactics in February and apparently rejuvenated Westbrook. Houston beat Los Angeles at the Staples Center with relative ease, while Westbrook lost 41 points.
We don’t know what this Houston team or any other team will look like after such a long absence, but if Westbrook and Harden are locked up and the ball works again, they could end up in a difficult situation.
Oklahoma City Thunder – Nothing to lose
One of the biggest surprises of this season, the 2019-20 NBA, was undoubtedly the success of the new Thunder of Oklahoma City.
He threw in the towel with the Russell Westbrook Paul George duo, Thunder Rejuvenated, and put it in the future Chris Paul Hall of the Famer. The conversion of this team was seen as an ongoing process, and Paul didn’t expect to be in town for long. There was constant speculation that Team Paul would be traded elsewhere, but that never happened, and the team began to show some signs of life, with the veteran playing in the front.
The thunder went from a team that had to play in the NBA lottery to a legionnaire’s team in the playoffs. Paul seems to have turned back the clock, while Shai Gilgius-Alexander, who is likely to be the future face of the franchise, Danilo Gallinari, Dennis Schroeder and Stephen Adams quickly developed the chemistry and formed a solid unit.
Although Oklahoma City will probably be eliminated in the first round, this team literally has nothing to lose and something to prove. She is a strong source of motivation and can pose a threat to a team like the Lakers, whom they might underestimate.
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