Portland Trail Blazers vs Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors showed their class in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals by taking down the Portland Trail Blazers 116-94. Game 2 commences on Thursday, May 16th at 9:00 PM EST at Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA. Broadcast is available on ESPN.

How to Watch

What: Portland Trail Blazers at Golden State Warriors

Where: Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA

When: Thursday, May 16th at 9:00 PM EST

How (TV): ESPN

Series Standing: 1-0 GSW

Portland Trail Blazers (Away)

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%

The Portland Trail Blazers didn't make quite the impact they hoped for when they took on the Golden State Warriors on the road in Game 1. They went down by nine at half time, but a massive fourth quarter by the Warriors sealed their fate.

The Blazers were able to put together a team effort overall, but they were unable to slow the incredible pace of the Golden State Warriors.

Should Portland hope for a different result in Game 2, they will have to find a way to slow the Warriors offense, while maintaining their own. To add insult to injury, the Blazers failed to convert on a number of open shots. They need to improve if they hope to earn a split before heading home.

Golden State Warriors (Home)

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%

No Durant, no problem for the Golden State Warriors. Golden State leaned on contributions across their reserve unit in order to limit the hot shooting of the Blazers up to this point.

The Warriors were unstoppable on their end as well. Led by Curry and Thompson, the Warriors shot over 50% from both the field and there a three-point line for the duration of the match.

 

 

Shooting so well is simply unlikely to trend for any team going forward, but the Warriors have shown some tremendous movement. They've exploited the Blazers bigs and it has opened up shots for their perimeter weapons. If it isn't broken don't fix it - they await the Blazers' adjustments.

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 Portland Trail Blazers look to rectify their mistakes as they aim to tie the series 1-1 in Game 2 before heading home for two games in Portland.

The Warriors look for a two-game cushion, as they enter Game 2 at Oracle Arena before a short two-game road trip.

What Is Portland's Defensive Plan?

The Blazers were heavily criticized for their defensive scheme after their performance in Game 1. Their drop-down defense is catered to assist the shooting-adept Warriors, which led to their fantastic 50% shooting night.

One would think the Blazers would take some cues from the Rockets as they switched everything and pressured the ball handlers into swinging the ball under pressure. Unfortunately, the Blazers don't have the bigs to sustain that model.

Enes Kanter and Zach Collins aren't fleet-footed enough to keep up with guards off of screens. Their best option is forward Al-Farouq Aminu, but leaving him at the five makes the Blazers dangerously small on the boards.

Turnovers Decided the Blazers' Night

Portland put together a brilliantly disciplined Game 7 outing against the Denver Nuggets with a disappointing Game 1 against the Warriors. They failed to take care of the ball which led to a number of easy baskets for Golden State.

In the first half alone the Portland Trail Blazers committed 13 turnovers against the Warriors. The starting five on their own accounted for 17 of the teams 21 turnovers on the match.

They will need to be more pragmatic with their passing and shot selection. The Blazers can score with the best of them, but lack of ball control can spell doom for even the most talented team. Damian Lillard, in particular, needs to improve, as he had 7 turnovers to his 6 assists.

Are We Watching the 2015 Warriors?

The Golden State Warriors touted a starting five of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Draymond Green, and Andrew Bogut. Save for Harrison Barnes, those are five of the six key players for the Warriors from their 2015 Championship run.

But it isn't just about nostalgia for the Golden State Warriors. This side is benefitting because of their familiarity with each other. Without Durant and Cousins on the court, these Warriors are moving the ball in classic fashion.

Curry had 36 points in Game 1 while Thompson contributed 26 on the game. The Splash Brothers were in full effect and will need to be for all of the minutes that Durant isn't on the court.

The Blazers Need Help

Not in the sense of their squad composition, but for their players who are being taken advantage of on the court. McCollum, Harkless, and Lillard are all struggling to overcome the Warriors' off-ball screens.

The Blazers chanced giving Draymond Green acres of space with the ball, as he is not the strongest shooter. However, his excellent passing ability merely carved the Blazers defense apart.

The Blazers were able to cut into the Warriors lead with gritty inside play, led by center Enes Kanter. However, it isn't enough to overcome their lack of awareness on the defensive end. They have failed to communicate as a unit defensively, and it cost them Game 1. Adjustments are sure to come in Game 2.

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 - Doubtful (Calf) - Kevin Durant is doubtful to play in Game 6 and will, at worst, return should the Warriors reach the Conference Finals.

X-Factors: Rodney Hood (POR) vs Kevon Looney (GSW)

It's a matter of offense versus defense in our X-Factor matchup going into Game 2. Looney has been brilliant for the Warriors off the bench - he's an excellent screener and switches well on defence. On the other side Hood is on of the only productive options for the Blazers off the bench, he'll need to impact the game even more.

Rodney Hood

Shooting Guard | 6-8, 206lb (203cm, 93kg) | Duke | Exp. 4 Years

11.2 PPG | 1.8 APG | 2.2 RPG | 0.7 SPG | 0.2 BPG | 0.3 TOV | .435 FG% | .356 3P%

Rodney Hood has come a long way from the Derozan-esque scorer he was touted to be during his time with the Jazz. In these playoffs, Hood has been an impact contributor off the bench for the Blazers.

In Game 1, Hood was solid. He shot 50% from the field to a total of 17 points on the evening while hitting two threes. He also excelled at weaving through the defense and getting to the free throw line seven times.

Hood is the Blazers' only scoring option off the bench that can create his own shot. While the Blazers aim to swing the ball, he has bailed them out on many occasions. They'll need even more offense from him if they want to overcome the Warriors.

Kevon Looney

Center | 6-9, 220lb (206cm, 99kg) | UCLA | Exp. 3 Years

6.3 PPG | 1.5 APG | 5.2 RPG | 0.6 SPG | 0.7 BPG | 0.6 TOV | .625 FG% | .100 3P%

Kevon Looney has been a godsend for the Warriors since DeMarcus Cousins went down with an injury in the first round. His athleticism has been incredibly valuable for a Warriors team who have struggled with ball-swinging offenses.

In his last game, Looney's contributions were understated if you were to only observe the box score. He only tallied 6 points, 2 rebounds, 3 steals, and a block, but contributed with his hustle and defensive awareness.

He had a defensive rating of 98 off the bench in 24 minutes of play and looks primed to continue his play. Lillard and McCollum are tough covers for any big off of screens, but Looney continues to do a tremendous job.

Portland Trail Blazers at Golden State Warriors Predictions and Odds

Things don't look great for the Portland Trail Blazers going into Game 2. Their shooting has been off and they allowed the Warriors to really find their range. It should be a gritty match.

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

Sportsbook POR Trail Blazers +7.5 GS Warriors -7.5 Link
888Sport NJ -110 -110
BetStars NJ -110 -110

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

Total Points

Sportsbook Over 218 Under 218 Link
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

Sportsbook POR Trail Blazers GS Warriors Link
888Sport NJ +275 -345
BetStars NJ +270 -350

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

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