The Los Angeles Lakers are in serious trouble after dropping Game 1 of their opening round playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers. They still have LeBron James and Anthony Davis and can win the series, but everyone thought the Blazers were a threat and the Lakers were in trouble before the series and that was proven true on Tuesday night.
LeBron James had a historic performance, but it didn't matter. The Lakers were pitiful from 3, making just five of 32 three-point attempts. Anthony Davis was particularly ineffective taking shots outside the paint. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who started and played 29 minutes, shot oh-for-nine from the field and finished with one point, one rebound and one assist.
And the Blazers didn't even really play that well. Damian Lillard was good, but didn't go crazy like he had during a few of the seeding games. CJ McCollum was fine. Carmelo Anthony had a quiet double-double and Jusuf Nurkic dominated the boards, but was in foul trouble. Gary Trent Jr. made no impression in 31 minutes.
So yeah, there's room for improvement on both sides and the Lakers have to win four of six games. And they don't even have three home games they can count on. Not that a game seven in Los Angeles would have been anything more than a welcome challenge for Lillard.
Even if the Lakers do win the series, which they should since (again) they still have LeBron James and Anthony Davis, they have been far from the dominant team they were before the season was postponed. Out of all 16 playoff teams, they were the only team to fail to score 100 points in their playoff opener. The bubble games have been extremely high-scoring for the most part. The Lakers are the only team who seem to want to play at a slower pace. If they get past the Blazers, the Rockets or Thunder will be waiting to run them into the ground. It's not going to get any easier.