Team Records: Portland (11-2) at Golden State (8-5)
Game Info: 7:30 PM-TV on CSNNW, Radio on 620 AM
Vegas Line: TBD
The Skinny: The Blazers look to further prove that their hot start is no fluke as they look for a rare road win against the Warriors. The Warriors have lost only once at home this season, to Memphis in OT a few nights ago, and have won pretty much all their other home games handily. Both teams are playing on the second half of a back to back tonight.
Last Season: The Warriors swept the season series 4-0, only the second time in series history they have done so.
Projected Warriors Lineup:
PF-David Lee (Florida-9th Season) 17.4 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 2.2 APG.
SF-Andre Iguodala (Arizona-10th Season)-13.5 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 6.3 APG.
C-Andrew Bogut (Utah-9th Season)-7 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 2.3 APG
SG-Klay Thompson (Washington State-3rd Season)-20.6 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 1.5 APG.
PG-Stephen Curry (Davidson-5th Season)-19.9 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 8.7 APG.
Player to Watch-Stephen Curry (pictured at right) – When Curry first made it to the NBA, many scouts wondered if his lack of size would limit his NBA potential. As we all know, they were wrong. Perhaps the best pure shooter in NBA history, Curry has blossomed into a budding star. He is also a decent defender and a good rebounder for someone his size. He has become a solid passer as well, and with Golden State’s feared lineup of shooters, is able to quickly find an open player if he isn’t able, or doesn’t want to, shoot. The only real downside for him at this point is his health, but as long as he can remain healthy he remains one of the best PGs in the NBA today.
Did You Know?: The Warriors are looking to reach the postseason this year in consecutive years for the first time since the early 90s.
Song of the Day: “When I Come Around” by Green Day-Green Day hails from the East Bay and so I thought it appropriate to feature one of their songs. Enjoy:
Portland: Out-PG CJ McCollum (Foot)
Golden State: Out-C Festus Ezeli (Knee), C Ognjen Kuzmic (Hand), SG Toney Douglas (Leg), Questionable-C Jermaine O’Neal (Groin/Knee), PG Stephen Curry (Concussion).
Golden State’s Game:
These ain’t your old Warriors. Sure they still play fast on offense, take lots of 3s and score lots of points but now they play defense as well. On offense, almost everyone on their team can shoot and make 3s at almost any time, and as a result they can score lots of points really quickly if their shots are dropping. On defense, they are currently ranked 4th in defensive efficiency, are aggressive and force you to shoot and make tough shots from all parts of the floor. Perhaps most importantly, they do an excellent job limiting you to one shot on offense. If you want to know why Golden State is a title contender, it is not, in fact, their offense, but their defense. Three pointers might not fall some nights but as long as you can play defense you should be able to stay close enough to win and the Warriors do.
The Bottom Line:
Portland wins if: They make their 3 pointers. The Warriors are a stingy team from deep and as Portland relies heavily on the 3, if they can make their deep shots, they should be snatch a rare win in Oakland.
Golden State wins if: They hold Portland under 100 points. The Warriors are going to score a lot of points and at their pace if they can keep Portland under the century mark, they should win.