Just a week ago, Colin Cowherd was highly skeptical of the Los Angeles Lakers. So much so, the popular radio host though the Portland Trail Blazers had a shot at upsetting the Western Conference's No. 1 seed in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
A week later, Cowherd is backtracking on his prediction. He now believes the Los Angeles Lakers won't have much of a challenge against Portland in the first round.
The Trail Blazers have had a much tougher path to the NBA Playoffs compared to that of the Lakers. To be frank, Los Angeles' mediocre play in the Orlando bubble can likely be attributed to the fact the Lakers clinched the Western Conference's No. 1 seed three games into bubble play.
Meanwhile, the Trail Blazers have had to fight for their playoff lives, winning back-to-back do-or-die games in thrilling fashion last week. That expended energy and focus could be the difference in the Lakers-Trail Blazers first round series, according to Cowherd.
Cowherd doesn't think the Lakers will have much of a challenge against Portland in the first round, contradicting his former prediction.
"They're exhausted. They are shot," Cowherd said regarding the Trail Blazers. "They get a couple of days off for the Lakers, but Nurkic looked shot the last three games. Dame, the energizer, played really well. But at some level, this is a lousy defensive team on their good days. . . . I'll have to revisit my prediction on this one."
Cowherd's right. Fatigue will play a major factor in this series. The Lakers have had the benefit of rest these past few weeks.
Portland's been in survive-and-advance mode since the beginning of bubble play. We'll see how Portland's fatigue plays a role against the rested Lakers starting Tuesday in Game 1 of the series.