It’s never an easy chore to go into Los Angeles and play the Lakers.
But meeting them when they are on a four-game losing streak is certainly something extra to worry about.
Pretty sure LeBron James doesn’t take such things lightly, even though the team has the built-in excuse of Anthony Davis being injured.
The Lakers have also been without starting guard Dennis Schroder during those four games, but it is believed there is a possibility he will clear COVID-19 protocols in time for the game against Portland.
“it's going to be a challenge,” Coach Terry Stotts said. ”They've lost a few in a row. They want to get back on track, I imagine.
”They got beat last night pretty handily by Utah, so I think it's going to be a pretty motivated team, I think LeBron will be a very motivated player.
“I expect a very competitive team.”
But the Lakers are a different squad without Davis, their all-star forward-center.
“As far as without Anthony Davis, it certainly changes their team. Without a doubt, his versatility to be able to play both the four and the five, to space the court, to post up, to have another great player on the floor when LeBron is not on the floor -- not having Anthony Davis has had an impact on their team.”
Carmelo Anthony has been going head-to-head with James for his entire career and he knows the challenge ahead.
“Any team that has LeBron on it, you have to come ready to play,” Anthony said. “I mean, you know his level of focus that he's going to have, you know his attention to detail, you know his IQ for the game -- he makes everybody better around him.
“So we understand that it's not like ‘Oh, they don't have AD and we'll go in and get the game.' We still have to come down with a winning mentality and try to get this one.
“This is this is not an easy one.”
Against LeBron, it hardly ever is.