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The Golden State Warriors are looking to take a commanding 2-0 series lead over the Portland Trail Blazers. The Warriors won the first game at home, 116-94.
Blazers need backcourt to lead the charge in Game 2
Heading into the Western Conference Finals against the Warriors, the Blazers had carried plenty of momentum having won the final two games of their second-round matchup against the Denver Nuggets that was topped off by a Game 7 win on the road. However, all of this was put aside after they suffered a discouraging blowout loss in Game 1 on Tuesday night with Golden State cruising past them in comfortable fashion. Portland was unable to get anything going at any point, especially in the second half being outscored 62-49 alone while they shot just 36.1 percent from the floor and 25.0 percent from 3-point range in the contest. The Blazers simply couldn’t get anything going offensively that primarily saw their backcourt struggle to set the tone on that end of the floor as they each had their own issues putting up points in the game. Guard CJ McCollum was coming off a 37-point outing in Game 7 against the Nuggets but followed that up with just 17 points on 7-of-19 shooting including going 1-of-5 from distance.
— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) May 15, 2019
Meanwhile, things didn’t fare better with All-Star point guard Damian Lillard in his homecoming game as he had 19 points but shot 4-of-12 from the floor and committed seven turnovers. Following the game, Lillard also voiced that he had plenty of difficulties getting his shot off against the Warriors defense. There were some clear issues here offensively that the Blazers will have to amend if they have any hope of evening up the series in Game 2. They were simply outplayed in the second half, but did have thing manageable in the fourth quarter down single digits, but were unable to get stops or anything going offensively. If Portland hopes to have a shot to top Golden State on Thursday night, it will have to start with the play of their backcourt leading the charge. This has been the focal point of their offense and will continue to be so the rest of the playoffs. Ultimately, it is the only way they have an opportunity to squeeze past the Warriors on the road.
Warriors finding their stride behind Curry’s play
The Warriors carried their momentum from the second round series against the Houston Rockets into Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals putting together a convincing win on their home floor on Tuesday night. This entire charge was led by All-Star point guard Stephen Curry picking up where he left off against the Rockets as he notched a game-high 36 points behind a playoff career-high nine 3-pointers in the blowout win. This performance also tied him with Ray Allen for the all-time mark with four postseason outings with at least eight makes from beyond the arc. Curry had his way throughout the contest as he was able to get great looks from distance against the Blazers that allowed Golden State to cruise to a win on their home floor. There was some quiet concern about his hand that he injured in Game 6 against Houston that he admitted was giving him nagging pain, but his performance on Tuesday night seemingly put all that to bed.
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) May 15, 2019
With Kevin Durant out for what could be this entire series, Curry will continue to assume the unquestioned title as their top scoring option on the floor. It’s a role that has been more than comfortable with well before the arrival of Durant. His production will pace the Warriors as the entire flow of things goes through his performance on the floor. At the same time, Klay Thompson more than held up his own with 26 points in the contest. Thompson has excelled in a more prominent offensive role over the last couple of games that will remain the case in the series as his and Curry’s production will be the leading factors offensively for the Warriors. With Golden State seemingly able to get what they wanted offensively in Game 1, it sets the table for them to continue on this path on Thursday night especially with the Blazers’ backcourt struggling to find their footing offensively against their defense. In other words, the Warriors should be in line to grab a commanding 2-0 series lead before things shift to the Moda Center.
- Warriors are 5-1 ATS in their last six games against Northwest division opponents.
- Warriors are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 Conference Finals games.
- Warriors are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games against a team with a winning % above .600.
- Trail Blazers are 1-4 ATS in their last five games playing on one day’s rest.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Warriors proved in Game 1 that their offensive flow was too much for the Blazers to handle. This time around, it will be a closer contest but it appears that Curry has found his stride in the playoffs and he should once again pace Golden State to another win. The Blazers are also 9-23 ATS in the last 32 meetings in Golden State.
Prediction: Golden State -8
Full-Game Total Pick
The Warriors certainly helped up their own end of things in this equation, but what was concerning was the lack of efficiency shooting from the Blazers with their backcourt struggling to get it going. It should also be noted that the under is 4-1 in the last five meetings in Golden State between both teams.
Prediction: Under 218