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NBA Playoffs: Trail Blazers at Warriors Game 2 Preview

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Following a loss in Game 1 to the Warriors, the Blazers look to secure an away win.

NBA: Playoffs-Portland Trail Blazers at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers at Golden State Warriors (Series: 1-0 Golden State)

Thursday, May 16 - 6:00 p.m. PT
Blazers injuries: Jusuf Nurkic (out)
Warriors injuries: DeMarcus Cousins (out), Kevin Durant (out)
How to watch on TV: ESPN
How to stream: YouTube Live TV, Playstation Vue, Hulu Live TV, FuboTV
Radio: 620 AM
SBN Affiliate: Golden State of Mind

The Portland Trail Blazers lost Game 1 to the Golden State Warriors 116-94. The Blazers struggled on both ends of the floor. Damian Lillard led the team with 19 points, but he also had 7 turnovers. Both CJ McCollum and Rodney Hood put in 17 points apiece. Enes Kanter managed a double-double with 10 points and 16 rebounds.

The Golden State Warriors offense sliced and diced through the Blazers with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson at the forefront of their attack: the two scored 62 points between them. Curry paced Golden State with 36 points alongside seven assists, while Thompson registered 26 points, three assists, and two blocks.

Adjustments for Game 2

  • Manage turnovers. The Blazers had 21 turnovers in Game 1. That cannot happen if the Blazers expect to win against this Warriors team. The Warriors took advantage of every opportunity, and Portland gave them a lot. The Blazers need to play good, clean basketball.
  • Keep up energy and momentum. This has been an ongoing issue for the Blazers in the playoffs. Regardless of the schedule, they seem to wax and wane with each game. In the second quarter, the team started to look flat, and that lack of energy persisted into the second half. Though the Blazers kept it close until the fourth, a sense of urgency would’ve been encouraging to see.
  • Transition defense. This could have been just plain defense, and everyone knows it. Stephen Curry is dangerous — and so is Klay Thompson — if he is allowed to get out in transition to pull up at the three-point line. The Blazers’ defense needs to prevent the fast break to keep Curry and Thompson from opening up a full-fledged barrage from beyond the arc.

What they’re saying

Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle mentions how it has been to have Damian Jones come back to the roster:

“We had that extra roster spot because of our injuries, and we put him out there,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “Felt good to put him there the last couple minutes and see him do well. He’s been working unbelievably hard, and he’s such a great kid. So, it’s nice to see DJ back out on the floor.”

For the East Bay Times, Mark Medina describes how Klay Thompson is being more expressive this season:

“It’s not like he’s always stoic. He’s stoic a lot of the time, but he gets emotional at times, too,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said following the team’s film session on Wednesday. “He lets it all out. He’s a big-time competitor. That’s one of the underrated things that maybe people don’t see too often or realize what they’re looking at. He’s an unbelievably tough, gritty competitor.”

Thomas Bevilacqua of Golden State of Mind speaks to the role that Jonas Jerebko was able to play in Game 1:

This season, Jerebko has been a player who was able to stay on the court and get minutes against this Trail Blazers team (something I noted in our roundtable preview of this series). While he would be a liability against some teams, Jerebko’s deficiencies don’t hurt the Warriors as much when they’re playing against the Trail Blazers.