Los Angeles Lakers must find a way to slow down Damian Lillard

Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

On Friday night, the Los Angeles Lakers will be back in action against the Portland Trail Blazers, and the red hot Damian Lillard.

The Los Angeles Lakers will be back on the court for the first time since the passing of Kobe Bryant last Sunday. After wisely having the game postponed on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Clippers, Friday night will be an emotional one in the Staples Center.

Due to what will likely be a highly emotional game, it is hard to predict what the outcome will be. They could be extremely motivated and have one of the best games of the season, or they could be off their game and have a bad one.

While the Lakers will surely be trying to win this game in honor of Kobe, they will have the challenging task of stopping Damian Lillard.

As of now, Lillard is playing like one of the best players in the league of late, as he has been trying to carry a Portland team that has been ravaged by injuries this season.

In his last 10 games, Lillard is averaging 36.3 points, 8.4 assists, 5.0 rebounds, and is shooting just a tad under 50 percent from the field. This has been one of the best stretches of his career, and the Lakers will have their hands full trying to stop him.

For Lillard, he has scored over 45 points in three of his last five games, including 61 points in an overtime win against the Golden State Warriors. In his last game, Lillard was able to notch a big triple-double with 36 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.

While the Trail Blazers are getting a bit healthier in recent days, Lillard is just a great player who is in the zone now. With the Trail Blazers sitting six games under .500 right now, Lillard and the team knows that these games are starting to get very important for them if they wish to make the playoffs.

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It is going to be hard for the Lakers to completely stop Lillard with the way he is playing of late. However, forcing the ball out of his hands would certainly improve their chances of securing a victory on Friday night.