Los Angeles Lakers: The magic number to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers

Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images) /

There is one magic number that the Los Angeles Lakers should strive towards.

With a blowout 111-88 win on Thursday night, the Los Angeles Lakers moved to 1-1 in their opening-round NBA Playoffs matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers.

The first game was not a great one as the Lakers made it a competitive game throughout, overcoming a big early deficit, but played poorly down the stretch to lose the game. They shot 15.6 percent from three in that game.

Game 2 was much better as the Lakers shot the ball much more respectively, had a big game from Anthony Davis and played fantastic defense. They were helped (a tad) by Damian Lillard hurting his finger, but it was still a great overall defensive showing.

The Lakers held Lillard and CJ McCollum to a combined 31 points, which is absolutely incredible. The Lakers do not even need to play that good of defense every night, as the team has a magic number that every fan should be keeping track of.

The Los Angeles Lakers’ magic number is 60.

If the Los Angeles Lakers can hold Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum to a combined 60 points every night then they stand a good chance to win the game. That is a lot of points out of a duo, but with the way the team has been stopping the other role-players as well as the overall talent gap in the Lakers’ favor, all the team has to do is limit, not even completely contain the Blazers’ backcourt.

Daniel Preciado first made this claim on the brand-new Lake Show Life podcast.

We reviewed the Game 2 throttling by the Lakers and discussed whether or not the purple and gold could capitalize and build upon this momentum to take definitive control of the playoff series.

Some other talking points from the episode include:

Review of our purple and gold players

Before the series, we both named one purple and gold player to watch for. A purple player is a role player on the Blazers that the Lakers need to limit to be successful. Essentially, the Lakers have to bruise them up a little (hence purple) to succeed.

A gold player is a role player on the Lakers that needs to thrive for the team to succeed. Our gold players were Alex Caruso and Danny Green; our purple players were Jusuf Nurkic and Hassan Whiteside. So how are they performing?

Is this a new LeBron James?

LeBron has looked a little different in the first two games so I raise the question: is this a new type of LeBron James? Is it just the playoff matchup? Is he easing into being “playoff LeBron”? Or is it merely coincidental?

Betting lines preview and prediction

We give our final score prediction for Game 3 of the series (tip-off is at 5:30 p.m. PDT on Saturday) as well as our picks against the spread. The Lakers open as seven-point favorites.

Four lessons from the Game 2 win. dark. Next

If you do have a chance to listen to the latest episode be sure to leave us a review on Apple Podcasts! Your feedback means the world to us. Go Lakers!