Golden State Warriors vs Portland Trail Blazers Game 3: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

What: Golden State Warriors at Portland Trail Blazers

Where: Moda Center in Portland, OR

When: Saturday May 18th at 9:00 PM EST

How (TV): ESPN

Series Standing: 2-0 GSW

Game 2 Recap:

Golden State Warriors (Away)

Head Coach: Steve Kerr {All-Time 322-88 | GSW}

Season Record: 57-25, 1st in the West

Projected Starting Five: (G) Stephen Curry – (G) Klay Thompson – (F) Andre Iguodala – (F) Draymond Green – (C) Andrew Bogut

Top Performers:

  • G Stephen Curry – 31.3 MPG | 25.0 PPG | 7.8 RPG | 5.3 APG
  • F Kevin Durant – 33.5 MPG | 28.8 PPG | 5.0 RPG | 5.3 APG
  • G Klay Thompson – 35.3 MPG | 18.3 PPG | 1.3 BPG | .476 3P%

The Golden State Warriors took care of home in their first two games of the series. Without two of their greatest weapons, the Warriors put forth a team effort to claw back to victory.

While the match between the Curry brothers was on the tongues of everyone, it was the play of the Splash Brothers that took the spotlight. They dominated the game from the field and Curry’s court vision was key in regaining the lead.

Golden State enters enemy territory when they take on the Portland Trail Blazers for Game 3. They almost arrived with a split for the series, so the Blazers’ confidence is surely sky-high.

Portland Trail Blazers (Home)

Head Coach: Terry Stotts {All-Time 440-417 | ATL, MIL, POR}

Season Record: 53-29, 3rd in the West

Projected Starting Five: (G) Damian Lillard – (G) CJ McCollum – (F) Maurice Harkless – (F) Al-Farouq Aminu – (C) Enes Kanter

Top Performers:

  • G Damian Lillard – 25.8 PPG | 6.9 APG | .369 3P%
  • G CJ McCollum – 21.0 PPG | 3.0 APG | .375 3P%
  • C Enes Kanter – 13.1 PPG | 8.6 RPG | .577 3P%

To say the least, the Portland Trail Blazers collapsed. When the Warriors started to up their game, the Blazers were unable to respond and hold off their pursuers. McCollum and Lillard starred on the score sheet, but were inefficient overall.

After leading for the majority of the first half, the Blazers lost the third quarter by fifteen points. It primed a late Golden State run, while a turnover by Lillard late sealed their fate.

Returning home, the Blazers hope to enjoy some reprieve on their home court. With the crowd in their favour and some familiar sight lines, the Blazers are hoping to win take their first win of the series.

What’s At Stake?

Recent history aside, the Blazers have dominated the Warriors. In 225 regular season games, the Portland Trail Blazers lead the historical series against the Golden State Warriors 125-104.

It’s a different story when it comes to the NBA Playoffs though. These teams have met twice before in the playoffs, in 2016 and 2017.

The Golden State Warriors look to put the Blazers on the edge by going up 3-0 on the series.

The Portland Trail Blazers are still looking for their first win of the series as they face off with the Warriors in their first home game of the Western Conference Finals.

The Warriors Need A Good Start

While the Golden State Warriors were able to storm back and take Game 2 from the Blazers, they struggled to make an impact for the majority of the game. In particular, their slow start was a task for them to overcome.

The Warriors were outscored by two in the first quarter and by thirteen in the second quarter. The were able to overcome the deficit by outscoring the Blazers by fifteen in the third, but the trend of their slow start is not promising.

It will be difficult for the Warriors to fight back in every game. On the road against the Blazers, facing a roaring Portland crowd, the Warriors need a strong start to mitigate the difficulties of late-game heroics.

The Blazers Were Overwhelmed

Leading the Warriors by fifteen at halftime, it seemed as if the Blazers were in the drivers seat going into the second half of Game 2. Led by McCollum and Lillard, it seemed as if their offence was unbeatable.

Though, after going 9-17 from the field to a 26 point first half for Lillard and McCollum, they finished the match 15 of 39 for a combined 45 points on the match. Cued by Draymond Green, the intensified Warriors defence was too much for the guards to handle.

The two have proven that their offence can beat any defence. However by being forced into difficult shots with no outlet, the two spelled doom for their team. At home for two matches, the star backcourt needs to reign in their decision making if they hope to take their first win.

Andre Iguodala Is Like Fine Wine

You’d be forgiven if you didn’t know that Andre Iguodala occupies a place with the likes of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Tim Duncan as former winners of the NBA Finals MVP Award. However like those legends, Iguodala’s value fails to fade.

In Game 2 against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Warriors trailed for the majority of the match. Keyed by the defensive efforts of Jordan Bell and Andre Iguodala, the Warriors fought back to win the match. Including this game saving strip:

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by TalkSole (@talksole) on

 

With Kevin Durant ruled out for Games 3 and 4, the Warriors will be leaning on Iguodala more than ever. While the scoring load seems managed between Curry and Thompson, his defensive contributions will define his value as the series continues.

The Blazers Adjusted Their Defence

Despite what was an inspired retort to criticism about his defensive adjustments in Game 1, Terry Stotts made it a point to direct his team into a more successful defensive scheme.

For the majority of the match, it worked for the Blazers. Rather than swarming Curry on the catch, the Blazers bigs merely contested with a hand up in order to still have their balance to protect the paint.

Despite allowing 37 points by Stephen Curry, they forced him into 4-14 shooting from the arc with their adjustments on the screen and on the perimeter. If the Warriors can’t adjust, expect the Blazers to maintain their defensive stance.

Portland Trail Blazers Roster Notes

C Jusuf Nurkic – 25 Mar 2019 – OUT (Leg Fracture) – Nurkic will not return in the playoffs and could possibly miss all of next season with a compound fracture in his left leg.

Golden State Warriors Roster Notes

C DeMarcus Cousins – 17 Apr 2019 – Out (Torn Right Quad) – Cousins reportedly has a six-week timetable for return but may still sit out the remainder of the postseason.

F Kevin Durant – 8 May 2019 – Doubftul (Calf) – Kevin Durant is doubtful to play in Game 3 and 4 and will be reevaluated at a later date.

X-Factors: Jordan Bell (GSW) vs Enes Kanter (POR)

Jordan Bell and Enes Kanter are two multi-talented bigs that can change the game for their team in a variety of ways. While Bell is a defensive piece, Kanter occupies an attacking role for the Blazers. Their contributions will be vital.

Jordan Bell

Center | 6-9, 224lb (206cm, 101kg) | Oregon | Exp. 1 Years

3.3 PPG | 1.1 APG | 2.7 RPG | 0.3 SPG | 0.8 BPG | 0.6 TOV | .516 FG% | .000 3P%

The Golden State Warriors are relying on Bell more than ever in this playoff series. He has repaid them, with hard-work and efficiency on the offensive end.

In his last game against the Blazers, Bell had 11 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block in only 13 minutes of play.

His defensive versatility is perfect to combat the diverse Blazers offence. He maintains an in-between game that allows him to keep up with wings and battle with bigs. His contributions going forward will be vital to their success.

Enes Kanter

Center | 6-11, 250lb (211cm, 113kg) | Turkey | Exp. 7 Years

13.7 PPG | 1.7 APG | 9.8 RPG | 0.5 SPG | 0.4 BPG | 1.8 TOV | .549 FG% | .294 3P%

It is difficult to fault Enes Kanter for his last performance. A reliable low post scorer and rebounder, Kanters was rather ineffective in his 19 minutes against the Warriors.

The combination of pace and shooting of the Warriors limited Kanter’s contributions on the court. He contributed only 4 points and 5 rebounds in his 19 minutes. He disappointed, but the Blazers didn’t make it a point to keep him involved.

Due to Kanter’s observance of Ramadan, it is difficult to critique his fitness. For the Blazers, they need to keep him involved while he’s on the court to get the most production from him.

Golden State Warriors at Portland Trail Blazers Predictions and Odds

The Portland Trail Blazers have their backs against the wall with the Golden State Warriors up 2-0 going into Game 3. Home court gives the Blazers some reprieve, but the Warriors are too talented to take for granted home or away.

If you reside in New Jersey you can bet on the Blazers vs the Warriors with 888Sport and BetStars NJ. Here are the latest odds for the game. Good luck!

Point Spread

SportsbookGS Warriors +2POR Trail Blazers -2Link
888Sport NJ-109-112
BetStars NJ-118-105

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Total Points

SportsbookOver 221.5Under 221.5Link
888Sport NJ-112-109
BetStars NJ-110-110

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Money Line

SportsbookGS WarriorsPOR Trail BlazersLink
888Sport NJ+112-134
BetStars NJ+115-133

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER