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Lakers vs. Trail Blazers Preview: It’s Kobe Bryant Day

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The Lakers will be looking to get their first ever Kobe Bryant Day win.

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Graphic via Kendrew Abueg / Silver Screen and Roll

On August 24, 2016, Los Angeles City Council declared Aug. 24, or “8/24,” Kobe Bryant Day as a way to honor one of the greatest and most loyal players to ever don a Lakers uniform.

Since then, Orange County has also made August 24 Kobe Bryant Day, but now the day won’t be used to just celebrate Bryant’s career; it will also be used an opportunity to celebrate the life of Bryant, who tragically died in a helicopter crash in January along with eight other people, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.

The Lakers will honor Bryant by wearing their “Black Mamba” jerseys that they wore during the 2017-18 season on Monday against the Portland Trail Blazers. Ironically, the Trail Blazers were the first team the Lakers played after Bryant’s death. The Lakers lost that game 127-119. They’ll be hoping for a different result on Monday.

Following their 116-108 win on Saturday, the Lakers will look to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series with a win on Monday. The Lakers have looked solid over their last two games, but they still have room to improve, particularly on offense. They got better looks on Saturday as a result of LeBron James being more aggressive, but they still only shot 33.3% from 3-point range and made just 65.1% of their free-throws.

They’re good right now, but in order to to be the last team standing, they need to continue to build towards being great. Monday is another opportunity to do that.

The Lakers and Trail Blazers will tip-off at 6 p.m. PT on TNT nationally and Spectrum SportsNet locally.

Notes and Updates

  • Rajon Rondo (back spasms) has been downgraded to doubtful for Monday’s game. Rondo has yet to make an appearance for the Lakers in Orlando.
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (sore right knee), Anthony Davis (sore left ankle) and LeBron James (sore right groin) are probable to play in Game 4.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.