The Dubs are halfway to the NBA Finals, this despite the fact that they have not yet had Kevin Durant play. Both of the Splash Brothers have stepped up with him out, taking the game over whenever the team has needed it. These unpredictable Warriors won 73 games prior to KD’s arrival, and here they are again.
Portland, on the other hand, had Game 1 in the palm of their hand and were ready to tie the series. A 15-point halftime lead, however, evaporated pretty quickly. They took the lead with just over a minute left on a Seth Curry three ball, but they couldn’t get another stop, nor would they score again. And that was that.
The Portland Trail Blazers are a -2.5 point favorite to take Game 3, with the over/under set at 221.
Their bench finally decided that their time to start contributing points was upon us. BOTH Kevon Looney and Jordan Bell scored in double figures, providing them with numbers that they have not had all series. Nobody else had more than one basket, but McKinnie and Quinn Cook each knocked down a shot in the fourth quarter. That played a big part in them keeping the game as close as it could be, while their opponents had no answer for them all second half long. Curry shot just 4-14 from beyond the arc but had 37-8-8.
To keep it going into Game 3, the Warriors just need to keep it simple. Curry and Klay will have their opportunities to knock down shots, and quite simply, that is exactly what they will have to do. Draymond was all over the court on both ends, including five blocked shots on defense, so he’ll be looking to make a similar impact. And if Andre Iguodala covers Damian Lillard, there will be problems.
If you expected Meyers Leonard, Seth Curry, and Evan Turner to play the entire fourth quarter, you are a psychic. This is what they did to close out Game 4 against Oklahoma City around CJ and Dame, and it worked for the most part. Turner did a nice job getting inside towards the hoop, while Meyers had seven points in the frame. Seth Curry was on fire on offense, and his defense was significant. But they weren’t getting enough stops as a collective unit. Their backcourt scored 45, but it is clear that a strong start won’t win them games; a strong finish will.
To get a Game 3 win, they will have to come out of halftime with more energy. Golden State is not a team who can be stopped out of the break, because Steve Kerr always makes the perfect adjustments. They cannot allow the hard screens GS sets to lead to all those open looks.
Blazers take Game 3
You read that right. Portland is going to give their home fans at the Moda Center something to cheer about. A win in the WCF! They lost this series when they played in it two decades ago, but it isn’t time to think about the offseason, yet.
Free Pick: POR -2.5
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