Portland Trail Blazers (3-3) at Golden State Warriors (1-5)
November 4, 2019 - 7:30 p.m. PT
Blazers injuries: Jusuf Nurkic (out), Pau Gasol (out), Zach Collins (out), Hassan Whiteside (probable), Rodney Hood (probable)
Warriors injuries: Klay Thompson (out), Stephen Curry (out), Kevon Looney (out), Jacob Evans (out), Draymond Green (out), D’Angelo Russell (update: out)
How to watch on TV: NBCSNW
How to stream: Blazer’s Edge Streaming Guide
Radio: 620 AM
SBN Affiliate: Golden State of Mind
Afternoon update: Russell has now been ruled out tonight, too.
The Portland Trail Blazers have a chance for some payback for the Western Conference Finals as they prepare to face off against a Golden State Warriors team missing all four of its leading scorers. Portland could use the win after falling in the Rose City to the Philadelphia 76ers 129-128 on Saturday. Damian Lillard racked up 33 points and 9 assists, but also 7 turnovers as the Blazers could not hold a 17-point lead. Rodney Hood had 25 points before leaving with an injury in the fourth quarter.
Golden State remained winless at home with a 93-87 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday. Eric Paschall did what he could, contributing 25 points, but the Warriors committed 18 turnovers and were out-rebounded on the offensive glass 16-4.
What to watch for
- Don’t fall into the trap game. It is clear that this is not the same Warriors team that won three titles recently. They have been devastated by injuries to a frankly horrifying extent. There are few fan bases that can sympathize more than Portland’s. With that in mind, the Blazers need to beat the team in front of them. Losing to a team without nearly all of its weapons would be inexcusable.
- Time for the second unit to shine. The Blazers have an extreme advantage in depth for this game. Being able to keep the pressure on with the crew of Simons, Bazemore, Labissiere, and Hezonja will both allow Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum to rest, and help the squad gel. Portland’s priority should be getting a large enough lead to allow rest for the starters as much as possible.
- Little goes a long way. This may be the first game we see rookie Nassir Little in regular season action. Coach Terry Stotts has been reluctant to allow rookies any meaningful minutes during his tenure, but Little could be an answer for wing depth on the second unit. Getting him up to speed against any NBA team in regular season action, even one as depleted as the Warriors are, would be helpful in his development.
What they’re saying
Daniel Hardee of Golden State of Mind had praise for D’Angelo Russell’s play despite the Warriors lacking pieces around him:
Russell scored 30 points, which believe it or not, is the highest scoring game any Warrior has had this season. He shot a tough 9-for-24 from the field, with more than a few coming of the heavily contested variety, but he was instrumental in carrying Golden State’s offense in key spurts.
Daniel Lubofsky of Hoops Habit talked a possible trade between Golden State and Miami for Russell as the Warriors may look to trade off assets:
A two-way athletic forward with play making chops, it wouldn’t be crazy to see Justice Winslow fill the role left by Andre Iguodala to an extent. Kelly Olynyk could be the floor-spacing big the Dubs have rarely had during this era of excellence. Perhaps Goran Dragic could energize a second-unit that currently ranks 29th in scoring. Bob Myers would essentially be trading a dollar for four quarters, but he’d also be shoring up a lot of the deficiencies that are plaguing the once invincible Warriors.