Despite holding the lower seed, the Thunder were viewed as favorites coming into this series. The Blazers had been swept the last two years in the playoffs, so many thought this OKC team was destined for an easy win against Portland. It has been anything but easy for the Thunder, as the Blazers calmly hold a 2-0 series lead. With the series shifting back to Oklahoma, can the Thunder make things a little more even?
 Portland Trail Blazers (2-0) @  Oklahoma City Thunder (0-2)
After a solid start in the first quarter, the Thunder’s offense progressively got worse as Game 2 wore on. The Blazers played fantastic, especially in the third quarter when they scored 37, and easily rolled to a 114-94 victory to take a 2-0 series lead heading to OKC. The Thunder scored just 40 points in the second half, which isn’t good enough for a team that nearly won 50 games in the regular season. Tonight at home is a nearly-clean slate for the Thunder, but it is also a must-win to keep their season alive.
The Blazers easily won Game 2 behind stellar performances from Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Lillard scored 29 and CJ added 33 as the two combined for more than half of Portland’s points. It was the defense of the Blazers that really stood out, as they held the Thunder to less than 41% shooting and just 94 points. Playing on the road tonight, it’ll be a tough task for the Blazers to repeat.
- Stellar shooting numbers: 42-90 (46.7%) from the field and 13-32 (40.6%) from downtown, good for a +24 margin from deep in Game 2.
- They were outrebounded, 47-44 and gave up 13 offensive rebounds, but they turned the ball over just 12 times to OKC’s 16.
- Enes Kanter was a non-factor after a huge performance the first game. He finished with just 6 points and 5 rebounds in 20 minutes, paling in comparison to the production of his matchup, Steven Adams.
The Thunder played a terrible game of basketball in Game 2. Sure, Paul George looked alright and Steven Adams had a solid game, but the team performance was nothing to be proud of. Russell Westbrook in particular had a rough game, but it was more than just his shooting woes that led their loss. The most glaring issue for OKC was their effort and defense, the primary reason why they won 49 games this year. 114 points is far too many for a team focused around two primary scorers. They’ll have a much better shot tonight in Oklahoma City.
- Atrocious shooting figures: 35-86 (40.7%) from the field and 5-28 (17.9%) from 3-point range. Westbrook shot 5-20, Jerami Grant shot 1-7, Terrance Ferguson shot 3-9, and Schroder shot 2-5. Yikes.
- Despite making only 35 field goals, 21 of those were made off an assist.
- Paul George’s shoot stroke looked much better in Game 2 as he finished with 27 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists on 11-20 shooting. Unfortunately for George, his defensive pressure is nowhere near where it was towards the middle of the season, and he shot just 2-7 from deep to go along with 5 turnovers.
Pick: Portland +7.5
Game 3 finds us in a new arena and a golden opportunity for the Thunder to make the series closer. What that also means is that there’s a perfect game for OKC to squander, something they’ve become quite notorious for this season. If the Thunder do manage to win tonight, it will be a very narrow victory. Because of that, I have to pick the Blazers here tonight, even if they don’t end up winning. At the very least, they’ll cover the point spread if they lose. Expect Portland to win tonight.