The Los Angeles Lakers visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night on ESPN. The Blazers have played much better since signing Carmelo Anthony, but they get a big test on Friday against a Los Angeles team led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The Lakers have the best record in the NBA, but this is not a great spot for Los Angeles, as they are playing their third game in four days. Let’s look at Friday night’s matchup and NBA picks.
This NBA regular season game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers will be held at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon at 10:30 p.m. ET on Friday, December 6, 2019. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN.
We'll have NBA odds at BookMaker.eu available for every game of the 2019 NBA season.
Lakers Lofty Goals
The Lakers have some very high goals this season including not losing two games in a row. "Our whole thing is we don't want to lose two in a row," said Anthony Davis to the media. It should be noted that even the Chicago Bulls who had the best record of all-time in a season of 72-10 lost two games in a row. "You don't know until you [strive for it]," James said to the media, "Realistic is the mindset. It's not about [accepting that] sometimes you lose games in a row. Just having that mindset and that approach."
Both teams are relatively healthy and have the lineups they expect to have until later in the season. The Lakers won’t have DeMarcus Cousins for a long time and the Blazers won’t have Jusuf Nurkic until at least some time in February.
Player To Watch
You can obviously make a case that James and Davis are the two players to watch in every game the Lakers play, but on Friday the spotlight might be more on Portland’s Carmelo Anthony. He won the Western Conference Player of the Week award for last week. He averaged 22.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. Portland has played much better since they signed Anthony and there is no question that Anthony can still score. You have to give Portland credit for signing Anthony and you have to give some props to Anthony for staying ready, as he had not played since last November before signing with the Blazers.
The Lakers are scoring plenty of points, averaging 112 points per game and they are playing good defense, giving up just 104 points per contest. They have not been that great against the spread, going 4-5 ATS in their first nine road games with five of those games going under.
Portland is averaging about 114 points per game but they give up about 115 per contest. They have not been a good bet at home, going 2-4-1 ATS with four of those games going over the total.
Portland has taken 8 of the last 10 in this series, but last year the teams split four meetings. The series has been lower scoring, with seven of the last ten going under the total. Portland has won 8 of the last 10 at home against the Lakers with the games higher scoring, as five of the last seven have gone over.
NBA Pick: There is no question the Lakers are the better team, but Portland can score and they have played well at home in this series. I’ll expect a close game, so I will take the points with the Blazers in this matchup.
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