Even without Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins, the Golden State Warriors managed to put Portland away in Game 1 to take a 1-0 series lead. This series is a classic showdown between two of the best backcourts in the entire league, but the Splash Brothers clearly got the best of Portland’s duo in the first match. With another game played in Oakland, can the feisty Blazers steal one before heading home?

[3] Portland Trail Blazers (0-1) @ [1] Golden State Warriors (1-0)

Game 1 was actually fairly close between the two teams until the fourth quarter. After just three quarters of play, the score was 77-71 in favor of the Warriors. A 39-23 outburst in the final quarter was more than enough to quash any efforts Portland made to get back into the game. This game was a clear sign that the Dubs are fully capable of playing excellent basketball on both sides of the court without their second MVP, although 2015 should’ve been enough to tell us that. The Warriors are due for a playoff series loss sometime soon, but it looks like it may not happen against Portland. Then again, we’ve still got (potentially) 6 more games to play.

Portland

Honestly, the Blazers weren’t terrible in Game 1, but they didn’t play anywhere near well enough to win a game on the road. It wasn’t entirely Lillard’s fault, but his high turnovers and low shooting percentage are suspect for the man that has been the forefront of Portland’s playoff success this year. Lillard will definitely need help to beat the Warriors, and he got that in Game 1, but he didn’t bring his best effort to help the Blazers actually win. Simply put, if Portland is going to win tonight, Damian Lillard must play better.

 

  • What a disastrous offensive showing in Game 1. As a team, they shot 30-83 (36.1%) from the field, 7-28 (25.0%) from downtown, and had 21 turnovers. To their credit, they did have 21 assists, but that was largely overwritten by poor shooting and high turnovers.
  • Portland needs to dominate the rebounding game against a smaller Golden State squad. They collected 47 compared to 42 from the Warriors, which is a win, but not enough to make a difference.
  • Where would the Blazers be without Rodney Hood? He continues to amaze, scoring 17 points off the bench in Game 1. The rest of Portland’s bench? Just 11 points.
  • Lillard had a quiet showing the first time around, finishing with 19 points, 4 rebounds, and 6 assists. To his detriment, he did had 7 turnovers and shot just 4-12 from the field.

Golden State

The Warriors were fantastic on both sides of the court, holding Portland to just 36% shooting while also outscoring them by 22 points. Most of the win can be attributed to Curry, Thompson, and Green, but they also had significant production off the bench. What really hammered the nail in the coffin was the +30 point discrepancy from 3-point range, more than covering the margin of victory. Curry might not be as lights out as he was in Game 1, but there’s a good chance you’ll see another great showing from the Warriors’ role players.

 

  • Another sizzling offensive performance from Golden State. They shot 42-84 (50%) from the field, 17-33 (51.5%) from beyond the arc, and finished with 30 assists as a team.
  • The Warriors were very active on defense, finishing with 13 steals and 8 blocks helping to force 21 turnovers from Portland.
  • With extra minutes available due to injuries to KD and Boogie, Golden State’s bench stepped up big with a total of 36 points from 7 different players.
  • The unsung hero continues to be Draymond Green. He had another quietly superb performance in Game 1 with 12 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and 3 blocks.

Pick: Golden State Warriors -7.5

There is no doubt the Blazers have been the most exciting team of the 2019 NBA Playoffs, but it seems their magical journey may be nearing an end as they’ve run into the brick wall that is the Golden State Warriors. We can always wonder what could have been if Jusuf Nurkic was healthy and playing, but at the same time, the Warriors are similarly short-handed. While the Blazers are likely to take at least one game at some point during the series, it isn’t likely for that to happen in Oakland. That means your best bet is on Golden State winning tonight to take a 2-0 series lead.

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