Let's not get ahead of ourselves, but...
The NBA has released the 2019-20 playoffs schedule and even though the Portland Trail Blazers still must either win Saturday vs. the Memphis Grizzlies, or win on Sunday if Memphis can pull out the win Saturday, it’s hard not to at least glance at the Western Conference First Round matchup.
The First Round will tip-off on Tuesday.
No. 1 Los Angeles Lakers vs. Play-in winner of Portland or Memphis (All times are PST):
- Game 1: Tuesday, 6 p.m.
- Game 2: Thursday, 6 p.m.
- Game 3: Aug. 22, 5:30 p.m.
- Game 4: Aug. 24, 6 p.m.
- Game 5: Aug. 26, TBD
- Game 6: Aug. 28, TBD
- Game 7: Aug. 30, TBD
But first, the Trail Blazers and Grizzlies will battle it out at 11:30a.m. PST Saturday on ABC and then if necessary their second play-in game will be Sunday at 1:30p.m. PST on ESPN.
And hey, the Trail Blazers are heavy favorites to win Saturday’s game, so there’s no harm in looking at the First Round schedule. Right?
According to Caesars, the Trail Blazers are -6.0 point favorites.
Just as we are looking at the first round schedule, the national pundits are already talking about a potential LeBron James and Damian Lillard series.
FSI’s Chris Broussard said he thinks Portland “has a 10 percent chance of beating the Lakers” in the first round.
The Trail Blazers definitely have the national media members on their side when it comes to Saturday’s play-in game.
ON FS1’s Undisputed Friday, Shannon Sharpe gave his thoughts on Saturday’s matchup between the Blazers and Grizzlies:
The way Dame is playing… It’s going to take a herculean effort [from Memphis] and Ja [Morant] hasn’t shot the ball well the last three games. – Shannon Sharpe on Undisputed
While Skip Bayless mentioned that Grizzlies Ja Morant is not ready to outplay Lillard in a play-in game.
And just a friendly reminder, Lillard is averaging 51.3 points and 9.0 assists in his last three games.
Morant is averaging 19.0 points and 9.9 assists in the NBA restart.
[Listen to the Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon and special guest Kevin Love]: