Portland Trail Blazers (13-15) at Golden State Warriors (23-4)
Dec. 17, 2016, 7:30 PST
Watch: NBA TV, CSN NW; Listen: Rip City Radio 620 AM
Blazers injuries: Al-Farouq Aminu (doubtful), Festus Ezeli (out)
Warriors injuries: David West (doubtful), Zaza Pachulia (questionable)
SBN Affiliate: Golden State Of Mind
Fresh off an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the Nuggets, the Trail Blazers head to Golden State to face a dangerous Warriors offense. Portland has played in six road games so far in the month of December, but they’ve only achieved victory once in that span. Meanwhile, the Warriors have started to hit their stride, resulting in a three-game winning streak.
Tonight’s contest features two of the most potent offenses in the league. Golden State is currently averaging 117.3 points per game, which is good enough to claim the No. 1 spot on the NBA leaderboard. The Trail Blazers aren’t far behind though, as their 110.1 points per game comes in at No. 4 in the standings. Despite impressive scoring totals, the Trail Blazers’ lack of defense has prevented them from winning consistently.
Judging by the style of both these teams, this contest is destined to be a blowout or a shootout. Portland allowed Denver to hit nearly half of their attempts from beyond the arc on Thursday night, which is bad news when you consider that Golden State is the No. 6 ranked team in 3-point percentage.
Beyond the perimeter concerns, the Warriors are deadly in transition. Even a slight miscommunication can result in an uncontested shot for Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, or Kevin Durant. In the Nov. 1 meeting, Portland surrendered 22 fast break points to Golden State. If the Trail Blazers can’t find a way to stick to their assignments, the Warriors could easily add to that total.
As challenging as this game might seem to fans in Portland, the Warriors do have some flaws. Golden State’s frontcourt was already thin to start the season, but a string of recent injuries has resulted in the enigmatic JaVale McGee securing a spot in the starting rotation. Coming off a solid 17-point performance against the Knicks, the inconsistent big man is due for a few boneheaded plays tonight.
Outside of the slight advantage at the center position, things get gloomy fairly quick for the visiting team.
Portland has allowed its opponents to reach at least 120 points seven times since the Warriors first did so at the start of November. A 40-point performance from Damian Lillard couldn’t keep the Trail Blazers within striking distance on Thursday, so the margin for error in this game is incredibly small. Regardless of the final score, fans of both sides will get to enjoy two of the most efficient offenses in the NBA go against each other.
Blazer’s Edge Night 2017
Want to assist us in sending 2,000+ underprivileged Portland-area kids to a Trail Blazers game this spring? Check out Blazer’s Edge Night 2017 for information on how to get involved, and help spread the word!