“The Matchup People Want To See”: Former Rookie of the Year Wants to Take on the Los Angeles Lakers in the Playoffs

Published 05/27/2020, 3:56 AM EDT


The Los Angeles Lakers are sitting comfortably at the top of the Western Conference and have the second-best record in the league. But LeBron James and his team would have to wait until they can set foot on the court to continue their quest in winning the championship. 

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The Lakers are the team to beat in the West. Once the playoffs begin, the first seed will take on the 8th seed in the conference table as per the system that is being followed for many years now. Currently, the Memphis Grizzlies and the Portland Trail Blazers look to battle it out for the last playoff spot.

The Grizzlies have a one-game advantage plus a 32-33 record compared to the Blazers’ 29 wins and 37 losses. Ja Morant’s side would be hoping to make it to the postseason for the first time in two years. On the other hand, the Blazers have been consistent with their playoffs entry for the last five years. 

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When the season resumes, all the attention will be shifted towards Damian Lillard to carry his team over the mountain to reach the playoffs. Though it is no easy task, Lillard is an excellent player with every capacity to make it happen. The 2013 Rookie of the Year even made a bold statement on who he wants to face if his team enters the postseason battle. 

Damian Lillard wants to take on the Los Angeles Lakers in the playoffs

The 29-year-old wants to take on the best team in the West to prove his championship-winning caliber to the world. Lillard has played 58 games for the Rip City franchise this season and averages an incredible 29.8 points and 7.8 assists per game. 

Speaking to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the 6-foot-2 point guard showed no signs of retreating from a mighty challenge. In fact, he seemed more than ready to take on any team that comes his way. Speaking about the potential matchup between the Lakers and the Blazers, Lillard feels it would be a fan favorite.

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“I just feel like that would be the matchup people want to see,” Lillard told Yahoo Sports. “And not to say nobody wants to see Memphis, because they’re in the eighth and they’ve been in the eighth spot for a while. They’ve earned that. You can’t take anything away from Memphis. They play hard, they’re exciting and they’ve got a lot of young talent.”

But the Oakland native also feels that his team would be a better fit for the Los Angeles Lakers. “I feel like both series could be a little bit hectic for the Lakers, but I think more so us, because of the experience and where we are in our careers. Not too long ago, we played them in L.A. and obviously I had a great game and we won a close one, and in the playoffs, I’m sure they would come up with some type of game plan to not allow that to happen. But I want to compete. That’s what we want.”

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As mentioned by Lillard, the Trail Blazers won the most recent encounter between the two sides. The Lakers were humbled by Lillard’s 48 point game, which also included ten assists to his teammates. However, it is a playoff match-up we would all love to see. The Blazers have a young side who would definitely put the Los Angeles Lakers to a tiring test. Lillard is ready for it, and so are we!

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Arjun Athreya

2029 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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