Team Records: Golden State (49-30) at Portland (52-28)
Game Info: 6 PM-TV on CSNNW, Radio on 620 AM
Vegas Line: Portland -4
Refs: Rodney Mott, Derrick Collins, Kevin Cutler
Playoff Picture: Portland has secured their spot in the 2014 playoffs. The Blazers currently sit in fifth place and would play Houston if the playoffs started today.
The Skinny: The Blazers look to continue their 7-1 run since LMA came back from injury as they host the Warriors in a game between two teams trying to avoid playing the Clippers in the opening round. Golden State needs a win to remain alive for the #5 seed while a win tonight for Portland would lock it up and likely make the season finale meaningless. Golden State is 3-3 in their last six games.
Last Time They Met: Klay Thompson hit a big 3 late to give the Warriors the win in a thrilling contest, winning by one in one of the more frustrating Portland losses this season.
Projected Warriors Lineup:
PF-Draymond Green (Michigan State-2nd Season)-6.2 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 1.8 APG.
SF-Harrison Barnes (North Carolina-2nd Season)-9.3 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 1.4 APG.
C-Andrew Bogut (Utah-9th Season)-7.4 PPG, 10 RPG, 1.6 APG
SG-Klay Thompson (Washington State-3rd Season)-18.4 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 2.3 APG.
PG-Stephen Curry (Davidson-5th Season)-23.6 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 8.5 APG.
Player to Watch-Andrew Bogut (pictured at right)-Bogut likes fightin’, he likes starting shit with opponents just to get them off their game or to get them ejected. Yet Bogut is far more than that. He is an integral cog to the Warriors hopes of any sort of playoff run this season. Bogut is a very good defender and rebounder on a team that needs both. He shoots a sizzling 63% from the floor, although only 34% from the line, and can block shots with regularity as well. He may be annoying but he serves a purpose and indeed an important one on the Warriors.
Did You Know?: The Warriors have made the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time since the 1991-92 and 1992-93 seasons.
Song of the Day: “Blazers are in the House” by the 1992 Blazers. Someone finally put this amazing flip side of the “Bust a Bucket” tape online. Enjoy:
Portland: Questionable-PF/C Joel Freeland (Knee)
Golden State: Out-C Festus Ezeli (Knee)
Re-Evaluating Golden State: Can They Make Any Noise?
To look at the Warriors this year is to wonder why they haven’t been better than they are this year. Yet, despite all that they appear to have a good enough roster to win but their own internal turmoil might get in their way The Warriors have been shedding assistant coaches like the Blazers were shedding GMs a few years back and they just don’t appear all there. Sure Curry and co will be just fine, especially if David Lee is truly healthy, but no team can make a real playoff run in the west this year without having their coaching house in order as well. The Warriors roster is not good enough to overcome this turmoil so they’d best get it straight soon or they’ll be making plans for fishin’ trips by late April.
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 win this.
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.