The Los Angeles Lakers are hoping to finally put an end to their four-game losing streak on the road against the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Lakers are currently in the midst of their worst stretch of the 2019-20 NBA season after putting an emphasis on not to lose back-to-back games. They are now at the point in the season where minor injuries and overall team chemistry are starting to play a factor as evidenced by their second loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Christmas Day.
Of course, they are not the only ones looking to get back into the win column as the Blazers try to avoid a losing streak of their own after dropping their last two games. Despite losing a heartbreaker to the Utah Jazz, it is clear they have made some solid strides from their lackluster start to the season.
LeBron James suffered a bit of a setback during the loss to the Clippers when he revealed that he was kneed in the groin by Patrick Beverley and is now listed as questionable to play. However, he will play now.
Anthony Davis is also good to go after dealing with some soreness in his right knee.
Meanwhile, the Blazers can take solace in the fact they will be healthy after dealing with their fair share of key injuries to start the year.
There has been plenty of speculation regarding whether or not Los Angeles has enough outside of James and Davis to compete with the depth of some of the other elite teams in the Western Conference. Although they still lack a true third option on offense, Kyle Kuzma finally started to show some promise in his return from injury after dropping 25 points against the Clippers off the bench.
While the Blazers backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum remain as one of the more talented pairings in the NBA, the biggest storyline out of Portland has largely been fixed on the additions of Carmelo Anthony and Hassan Whiteside. Anthony has provided a much-needed spark since his arrival while Whiteside has started to make bold claims of establishing a bid for 2019-20 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. It is safe to say that both will be trying to make their presence felt in this All-Star-studded showdown.
Regardless, the priority for the Lakers will be fixed on ending this abysmal four-game skid while making remaining as healthy as possible.
Los Angeles Lakers (24-7) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (14-18)
7:00 P.M. PT, Dec. 28, 2019
Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN), 1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Avery Bradley
SG: Danny Green
SF: LeBron James
PF: Anthony Davis
C: JaVale McGee
Key Reserves: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma, Dwight Howard, Alex Caruso, Rajon Rondo
Projected Blazers Starting Lineup:
PG: Damian Lillard
SG: CJ McCollum
SF: Kent Bazemore
PF: Carmelo Anthony
C: Hassan Whiteside
Key Reserves: Anfernee Simons, Skal Labissiere, Gary Trent Jr.