Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Preview, Analysis, Predictions

A lot has changed since the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Lakers faced off on Halloween. The Lakers have changed coaches and playing style, and are slowly starting to right the ship following a sluggish start.

Portland has emerged as a feisty young team to watch down the stretch, thanks in part to rookie point guard Damian Lillard injecting some life into the lineup. The team's offense is starting to come together, and its defense will soon follow.

The circumstances are different for this game. The Lakers have home-court advantage, and are out for revenge following their early-season loss. They have a new attitude and a new coach in Mike D'Antoni, and will be ready to show young Portland just who rules the roost in the Western Conference.

It won't be easy for either side. Portland has won six of its last seven games, and a win over the veteran Lakers would establish the Blazers as a definite contender a couple of years from now.

Similarly, the Lakers are on a hot streak of their own. The team has won five of six, and will look to put a Boxing Day loss to the Denver Nuggets behind them and get back on the winning track.

With the adrenaline pumping and fans cheering from start to finish, this game is bound to be a barnburner.


Time: Friday, December 28, 10:30 p.m. EST

TV: Time Warner Cable Sportsnet, KGW HD

Records: Portland Trail Blazers (14-13) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (14-15)

Betting Line: Portland (+9), Los Angeles (-9)

Injuries: Wesley Matthews (hip, out), Steve Blake (abdomen, out)


Key Storyline: New-Look Lakers Seek Vengeance for October 31 Loss at Portland

When the Lakers faced the Trail Blazers early in the season, Mike Brown was still the team's head coach. The failed Princeton offense was in full swing, and Portland was just wiping the floor with their veteran opponents. To ...

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