After an epic run, the Portland Trail Blazers forced their way into the NBA playoffs and will face off against the Los Angeles Lakers. Damian Lillard has played like he’s the best offensive player in the league right now and stopping him will have to be the Lakers’ top priority. He just was named MVP of the seeding game and Anthony Davis had a strong reaction to his recent string of games.
“He’s balling right now,” Davis said of Lillard. “He’s hot. He’s doing whatever he’s doing, whatever he can do to make his team win. … Playing a ton of minutes. … You guys do your best to contain him and take away some of his tendencies. But they also have all the dawgs to make the plays as well so they’re a tough opponent. But everybody knows what level he is on his mindset.”
Though the Lakers should be big favorites to win the series, Lillard is more than capable of leading his team to an upset win. Los Angeles hasn’t been particularly good at stopping him this year so it should be a very interesting series to watch.
Davis Believes Blazers Are a Good Team
Before the NBA season was suspended, the Blazers didn’t look anything like the team that made the Conference Finals last season. They were well under .500 and needed to turn things around to stay in the playoff race. They were able to do that in the bubble but still finished the season with more losses than wins. Regardless, Davis thinks that they’re a good team.
“They were playing well,” Davis said. “They’ve been playing extremely well. They did everything in their power to make the playoffs. They’re a good team. They’re hot right now. It’s definitely going to be a test for us but a good test. We’re going to be ready to go out there and compete.”
The Lakers played Portland a number of times during the pre-suspension season and Davis is stressing the importance of studying every game they’ve played them in while also studying their bubble games.
“We have to focus on the nine games that they played here in the bubble, while still looking at what we did do to get those wins against them during the regular season,” Davis said.
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Davis Talks Pressure of Playoffs
Davis went to the playoffs plenty of times with the Hornets/Pelicans but never made it far. He’s now heading into the playoffs with championship expectations for the first time in his career. Davis claims the pressure isn’t getting to him.
“I’m fine with it,” Davis said. “It’s no problem for me. Makes it a little bit more exciting more fun to go out. More exciting for me to go out and try to compete and all the pressure that people talk about for our team, just try to go out there and prove them wrong.”
Fortunately for Davis, he has a teammate like LeBron James now who will take on most of the pressure. The big man hasn’t been known as one of the more clutch players in the NBA. The Lakers will need him to change that if they’re going to win the title.