LeBron James turn

The forward makes his playoff debut with the Los Angeles Lakers after missing the final rounds last season. Lillard's Blazers await (03:00).

LeBron-James-turn

The Los Angeles Lakers debut this morning (03:00) in the 2020 playoffs against the Portland Trail Blazers. It had been a long, long time since that phrase was written. The Los Angeles franchise returns to the final rounds for the title after a slow and heated walk through the desert. He has missed the last six in a row, the longest stage in his history (between 1960 and 2013 only four absences) and did not enter as the first in the Western Conference since 2010, when he lifted his last title with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol in court and Phil Jackson on the bench. In the 19 times he led the West at the end of the regular season, 9 times he took the ring. Not a bad precedent.

In 2010, LeBron closed his first stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He did it in the Eastern semifinals, against the Boston Celtics, in his last year of contract and with the second MVP of the regular season in his showcases (he is in the shortlist to conquer the fifth). The defeat hurt. The doors of reaching the NBA Finals were closing again and he changed his scene with that 'he took my talent to South Beach' that hurt so much in Ohio and gave so much to the League. In Miami he won his first two rings, then the third would arrive at his home, the first in the history of the Cavs, before heading to sunny California.First playoffs with the Lakers

And in his second season in Los Angeles, come his first playoffs with the Lakers, the 13th of his career, all in a row. In his 17 years in the championship, he has only missed three times: in his rookie and sophomore years, and in his debut with the Angelina franchise due to a groin injury (the longest of his career: 17 consecutive matches away ) and the missed bullet in the signing of Anthony Davis in February 2019 that hurt the Lakers and did not help the Pelicans at all. New Orleans gave in months later after a profound change in dispatches and another graceless season.

With Davis as a partner, LeBron is happy. Less scorer than in the last three seasons (25.3), the King finished the regular season as the NBA's top assistant with an average of 10.2. It was one of his great challenges and he has overcome it. The next is the ring with the Lakers, which would be the fourth in his career, which would put him at 35 years two behind Michael Jordan.

The danger of Portland

To get closer you will have to start at the foundations, the Portland Trail Blazers. The Oregon franchise reaches its final sixth rounds in a row after much suffering: ranked eighth and last after a tough climb in the Orlando bubble (6-2 record) and an agonizing play-in win against the Memphis Grizzlies. Damian Lillard (Florida MVP) is Terry Stotts' great asset and the defense, their biggest problem: they are the third worst in this restart with 119.9 points received per 100 possessions.

"They have playoff experience, chemistry. We need to have 10 eyes at the same time on them in every possession because they are dangerous (Dame and CJ). And then they have a hall of fame in Carmelo Anthony that can explode at any point in the game You must have that respect because you know what he is capable of, "says James. “They are not the typical eighth classified, I think they would not have been eighth if they had been healthy all year. That is my approach. I'm not going to come in as the first against the eighth, I'm going with the Lakers against Portland, "he continued. This morning, the game begins.



Photos from as.com
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