The Portland Trail Blazers are back at full strength with Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins playing pretty well for them. They’ve put together some impressive efforts in the Orlando bubble and they’re considered the biggest favorite to land that 8th and last playoff berth in the Western Conference.
Their reward for that, however, would be facing off with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs, which isn’t the kind of prize you would expect after such a tough effort.
Even so, there’s a strong belief around the league that the Blazers could actually upset the Avery-Bradley-less Lakers in the bubble. As a matter of fact, it seems that even the Los Angeles Clippers feel that way and would love the Blazers to clinch that spot:
“It’s so obvious a notion that, apparently, Rivers heard his own players discussing it, either on the bench or in the locker room,” The Athletic’s Joe Vardon reported.
The Clippers want the Lakers to have to play Portland in the playoffs because they think there is a chance the Blazers could win, per @joevardon
“It’s so obvious a notion that, apparently, Rivers heard his own players discussing it, either on the bench or in the locker room.” pic.twitter.com/xOPH5tIgib
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) August 9, 2020
Ironically, the Clippers dealt a bit of a blow to the Blazers yesterday when they came back to beat them in the fourth quarter but Portland still holds a lot of chances to take down the Memphis Grizzlies for a playoffs spot.
It’s not a secret that the Lakers and Clippers are the teams to beat out of the West, so it’s normal to see Clippers players rooting for the Blazers to get the purple and gold out of the way for them. This time, it feels like anything can happen in the bubble.