News broke today that newly acquired Lakers big man, DeMarcus Cousins, tore his ACL in a workout in Las Vegas.
Video of the injury has been acquired by TMZ:
This is just another in a string of terrible injuries Cousins has suffered in a short time span:
Boogie has torn his Achilles, quadriceps and ACL in the last 566 days. Awful.— Yaya Dubin (@JADubin5) August 15, 2019
The league, and certainly LeBron James and the Lakers, will not be the same without Cousins in the mix. In a revamped West, any injury has a ripple effect across the Conference where just a few wins can mean the difference between home court advantage, the right match-up or a deep playoff run.
The Blazers are scheduled to take on the Lakers 3 times this season. The first coming on Friday, December 6th at Moda Center. Another home game follows on Saturday, December 28th and finally a single road game at Staples Center on Friday, January 31st. Yes, they still have LeBron and Anthony Davis, but the loss of Cousins shouldn't be overlooked. Prior to the Cousins injury, the Lakers were sitting at about 4 to 1 to win the NBA Title making them one of the Top 3 teams along with the Clippers and Bucks. The Blazers come in at around 33 to 1 depending on where you pull the odds from.
In the end, the Lakers odds in the West probably won't significantly change because of this. It makes three games on the Trail Blazers schedule just a little bit easier and with two games vs. LA being at home a chance to take the season series is certainly possible. It will make life for the Blazers front court in Hassan Whiteside, Zach Collins, and Pau Gasol a little bit more manageable in those games vs. LA, as they will already have their hands full with Davis.
All that said, the Trail Blazers are still projected at about a #7 seed, but we know how Damian Lillard and company like to prove people wrong.