Portland Trail Blazers vs Los Angeles Lakers 2/26/21: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Lakers Matchup Preview
Nothing like an end-of-the-week game on ESPN between Portland and the Los Angeles Lakers. Both are missing key players as Jusuf Nurkic, Anthony Davis, and CJ McCollum are all out. Portland has started struggle, losing their last three but are still 6-4 in their last ten games. The Lakers have lost four straight and are coming off of shellacking against the Jazz. Both are sitting in the first five seeds and both are in dire need of a win to end their losing streaks. For odds movement and full matchup history, visit the Portland Trail Blazers at Los Angeles Lakers Matchup Page.
Time: 10:00 PM ET
Arena: Staples Center, Los Angeles CA
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Trail Blazers Starting 5
Trail Blazers Analysis
Damian Lillard is in a great spot tonight against the Lakers, who rank 28th in defensive efficiency against point guards in the last ten games. Portland ranks 25th so this is going to be a fun battle of superstars tonight. In the last ten games, Portland ranks 15th in defensive efficiency but 21st in offensive efficiency. The Blazers are relying a lot on a few names as no bench player in the last few games has gone over 30 minutes, outside of Carmelo Anthony, who you don’t know which one is showing up. Robert Covington will look to rebound after zero points in a 26 minute game against the Nuggets. The team shot well but struggled defensively. We saw Jamal Murray light them up and Nikola Jokic, but luckily Davis is out for the Blazers where they don’t have a big that they really need to defend in this one. However, most centers are going to have a field day against Enes Kanter, who is giving Portland solid offense and rebounding but has never been known for his defense.
Lakers Starting 5
Los Angeles is coming off a 20+ point loss to the Jazz, where it was over before it even began. We saw some changes to the lineup as Markieff Morris was inserted in the starting lineup and he played 28 minutes in a blowout. Talen Horton-Tucker played 30 minutes as a starter but struggled with the rest of the team. Kyle Kuzma returned to his bench role, playing 25 minutes. The projected lineup is expected to stay the same against the Trail Blazers and this is an easier defensive matchup for these guys. Over the last ten games, the Lakers rank 12th in defensive efficiency, which is a drop-off from the number one rank they have held over the course of the season. They are allowing 113 points per game in that span as well. Offensively they have struggled as well, ranking 23rd in offensive efficiency in the last ten games, where on the season they ranked 14th. There is a chance Schroder returns tonight which would bump the Lakers offense.
Trail Blazers & Lakers DFS Angle
The two big names are in play tonight of course. LeBron James and Damian Lillard rival each other for the highest usage in this game and the matchups are certainly there for both of them to have a big night. We have seen Portland struggle against point guards, which LeBron has been playing more of in this recent stretch without Schroder. With the rotations being a bit wonky for the Lakers there is some more risk but Montrezl Harrell is someone to look at as a mid-range center option. Portland has struggled against centers, which is to be expected without Jusuf Nurkic and having to roll Enes Kanter out there for more minutes. Harrell plays around 25 minutes a night at the moment and is a bit up and down in production but this is a good matchup. Gary Trent Jr is a cheap option and Kyle Kuzma still has a strong role despite his return to the bench. His price tag is still a bit high so he isn’t a must-play.
Trail Blazers vs. Lakers Betting Odds
Trail Blazers Spread: +5
Trail Blazers Moneyline: +170
Lakers Spread: -5
Lakers Moneyline: -200
Over/Under Points Total: 221
It is now harder to trust the Lakers covering games, as their point differential has dropped with Anthony Davis out this season. They are also 1-5 against the spread over the last six games and have really struggled to cover against Portland over the last few years, especially at home. Now while Portland has been slipping as well, they have covered seven of their last nine games. The Blazers have no real interior defense so Davis missing tonight is certainly an advantage to them, but they will have to rely on secondary scorers themselves in this one as Damian Lillard, as good as he has been, needs help with McCollum out. This one opened at -4.5 and is still at that in a few places but I like the Blazers +5 as Lillard keeps his team in the game. Los Angles is going through multiple rotations to see what sticks and I don’t find them covering many games in the meantime.
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