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NBA on TNT: Trail Blazers Host the Lakers in Late Game

Trail Blazers Basketball

King James Makes Lakers Debut Against Trail Blazers

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers meet on Thursday at Moda Center. TNT has the most anticipated debut game of any in recent memory of the NBA. Everyone in the world will be watching to see this game play out.

Tipoff is set for 10:30 pm EST.

Oddsmakers opened the Trail Blazers as -3-point favorites versus the Lakers, while the game’s total opened at 220. The line stayed steady, but the total is up to 223.5.

LeBron James makes his highly anticipated team debut in the season opener for both teams. James signed a four-year, $153.3 million contract as a free agent last July. King James looks to boost the fortunes of the once-proud franchise.

James has played in the NBA Finals in each of the past eight seasons but it seems highly improbable that the Lakers. The Lakers have five straight losing seasons under their belt.

A turnaround that includes getting past the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference seems unlikely.

Lakers Just Look to Improve in All Facets of the Game

The first task facing Los Angeles is figuring out how to beat the Trail Blazers. Portland has won the past 15 meetings and figure to be a playoff team again this season.

The Lakers were 35-47 last season and figure to be greatly improved. Becoming a playoff team is not that big of a reach with the talent they have brought in.

Los Angeles signed veteran point guard Rajon Rondo and center JaVale McGee. That adds some veteran presence into the starting lineup and perhaps shorten the time period it takes to win.

One young building block expected to take a step forward this season is Brandon Ingram. The small forward who was the No. 2 pick in 2016 and averaged 16.1 points last season.

Lonzo Ball begins his second season as a backup to Rondo. Much to his psychopathic daddy’s chagrin.

Trail Blazers Have Become Perennial Playoff Team

Portland finished 49-33 last season and look to get past the 50 win mark barrier this season.

Portland is looking to make the postseason for the sixth straight season. There still is a sense of regret over last season’s poor showing. The New Orleans Pelicans recorded a four-game sweep of the Trail Blazers in the first round.

That was the biggest shock of the NBA playoffs and has to leave a bad taste in the mouth of the players and coaches.

Damian Lillard has averaged more than 25 points per game in three straight seasons. C.J. McCollum has topped 20 in three consecutive campaigns.

The Trail Blazers won last season’s three meetings by an average of 3.7 points. This is not last years Lakers team so the jury is out.

SF Maurice Harkless (knee) is questionable for the opener.

PREDICTION: Trail Blazers 119, Lakers 111

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Next up:
Los Angeles home to Houston Saturday, October 20
Portland home to San Antonio Saturday, October 20

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Dirty

Dirty has been an employee or owner of some of the top online sports gambling forums since 1998. He worked at EOG.com from it's inception until 2008 when he left and opened GamblingIQ and then in 2012 opened Handicappers Hidaway. He has written hundreds af articles over the years and always has his "Dirty Dozen" College Football poll up starting the first week of October.
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