On Monday night, the Los Angeles Lakers are in Oregon to face the hometown Porland Trail Blazers.
For only the seventh time in 2014, the Lakers will take the floor on the back of a win. However, the last outing for the Lakers did not exactly provide a blueprint for victory. In that freak game, the Lakers scored 126 points, which was their season high. Setting a regulation game franchise record for made three-pointers and shooting 70 percent from behind the arc is hardly a formula that can be replicated.
A big part of the last win was Jordan Farmar, who likely will not be replicating his career-high 30 points on eight of 10 shooting on three-pointers. However, Farmar's high level of play has been undeniable over the past couple games. Although the 27-year-old remained on a minutes' restriction following two separate tears in his hamstring, Farmar is averaging 23 points on 58 percent shooting from the field. On three-pointers, Farmar is hitting an unbelievable 75 percent over those same two games.
Another Lakers’ player that has been on fire from long-range is new additions MarShon Brooks. Brooks arrived at the trade deadline and has displayed incredible maturity to make the most of his time on the floor. Brooks is averaging nearly 14 points per game off the bench, but his sharp shooting has raised some ebrows.
Brooks is shooting 89 percent from behind the arc and 60 percent from the field. Since arriving in LA, Brooks has only missed one three-point attempt and only failed to score in double figures in one of his five appearances.
Although Kent Bazemore may have attracted more attention with his size, athleticism and personality, Brooks is quietly proving he belongs in the league and on the floor.
On Monday in Portland, however, Brooks may find himself watching more of the game than he would like. Xavier Henry, who practiced on Sunday, is expected to play in Portland. After two months on the sidelines, Henry will return to the team and likely steal minutes off Brooks.
Since both Brooks and Henry are scoring guards off the bench, they fill a similar need. However, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni may opt to play the duo in tandem and reduce Jodie Meeks’ minutes. With Nick Young still out with a knee injury, Brooks and Henry playing in tandem appears likely.
Although wins and losses hardly matter at this point, the Lakers face a surging Blazers team that has won five games in a row and also beat the Lakers at Staples Center earlier in the season. LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard are the two stars for the third best team in the Western Conference.
Tip-off for the Lakers at Blazers is 7:00 pm Pacific Time.