With the NBA season about to resume and the playoffs just around the corner, teams are looking ahead to potential postseason matchups. That includes the Los Angeles Lakers, the current top seed in the Western Conference.
TNT's Charles Barkley recently made waves suggesting the Portland Trail Blazers would beat the Lakers in the first round if they play, and veteran Danny Green had to admit his team would prefer to avoid the Blazers in the first round. The 6-foot-6 swingman shared why the Lakers view Portland as a bigger threat than teams like the Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans on the latest episode of Inside the Green Room.
Transcript via Silver Screen and Roll:
“I wouldn’t say that we fear anybody, but if we were to choose to have a first round matchup, I think we’d probably lean away from Portland… They have more experience, they have Dame (Lillard), they have C.J. (McCollum)… They have a lot of threats and they have a lot of experience.”
According to Green, the veteran experience of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum makes the Blazers more dangerous against the Lakers than young teams like the Grizzlies and Pelicans:
“I’m not saying those other teams don’t have threats, but they are a bit younger. Memphis is very young. (Fans and the media) want to see the New Orleans matchup, of course they want to see Zion, LeBron and AD, and of course that would be an exciting matchup for the fans, but for us realistically we probably see Portland as more of a threat because of their experience. Those other two teams are very good, but Portland is probably more of a threat to us because of their experience.”
Lillard has expressed similar sentiments in the past, displaying his own confidence in his team’s chances of beating the top-seeded Lakers.
Whether it's going to be the Lakers against Lillard, Ja Morant, or Zion Williamson remains to be seen. The Blazers are ninth in the West at 29-37, while the Lakers are 49-14 and comfortably ahead for that No. 1 seed.