clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Portland Trail Blazers at Golden State Warriors Preview

New, comments

The Blazers are once again hosted by the Warriors with Portland hoping to finish its California road trip on a winning note.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Golden State Warriors Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors (2-3) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (3-2)

Tonight the Portland Trail Blazers will play the Golden State Warriors at the Chase Center for the second time in three nights. Portland trounced the Warriors on Friday night, winning 123-98 in a game that was all but over by the end of the third quarter. The Blazers will head home after this fourth and final game on this California sojourn, hoping to wrap it up with a 3-1 record.

Sunday January 3 - 5:30 p.m. PT
How To Watch: NBCSNW, NBA TV, or see games all season on fuboTV, follow on ESPN+, or the ESPN/Disney Bundle*
Blazers Injuries: Zach Collins (out), Rodney Hood (out), Nassir Little (questionable)
Warriors Injuries: Klay Thompson (out), Marquese Chriss (out), Alen Samailagic (out), James Wiseman (probable)
SBN Affiliate: Golden State of Mind
*Blazer’s Edge receives a commission when you subscribe through these links.

What To Watch For

  • Which Melo? There are two versions of Carmelo Anthony on this Blazers team. One that works on the post, stops ball movement and takes contested, lower percentage shots. The second Melo waits on the wing and takes open, high-percentage catch and shoot jumpers. The second Anthony is what the Blazers got in the Orlando Bubble and at the Chase Center on Friday — let’s hope he stays.
  • Does CJ’s hot streak continue? CJ McCollum is on fire. Let’s hope nobody throws water on him. He’s averaging almost 30 points over his first five games, keeping the offense ticking over, especially when Damian Lillard’s shot isn’t hitting.
  • Will the Steph Curry of old return? Steph Curry has less to work with this season, with Klay Thompson injured, Draymond Green another year older, and Andrew Wiggins unable to fill the void. Curry is a generational player but on Friday night hit 33 per cent of his threes with minimal impact on the result. If Curry steps up tonight, the Blazers will have a harder time of it.

What Others Are Saying

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said it would take some time for veteran forward Draymond Green — who played his first game of the season against the Blazers on Friday — to return to form, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN.

“Draymond just looks like he’s getting his wind,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the game. “He looked like a guy who missed training camp and has been working his way to get onto the floor. It looked like an exhibition-style game for him; and that’s not a criticism, it’s just where he is physically. He got a really tough break coming into the season with the COVID protocols, and so it’s going to take him some time. I’m glad to have him back, and he needs a few games under his belt to get that conditioning and that rhythm, but there’s no question it’s going to take some time.”

However, Brady Klopfer at Golden State of Mind, said the Warriors play improved on both sides of the ball when Green was on the floor.

“The offense took it’s sweet time showing up as well, in part because the defense didn’t create opportunities. Still, you could see some improvements. The ball moved substantially better with Draymond Green on the floor, and the defense was far more active (Green only played 18 minutes, though he grabbed four rebounds and assists in those minutes). Curry got it rolling in the second half, and finished with 26 points on 9-for-20 shooting (4-for-12 from deep), 8 rebounds, and 5 assists, with only a single turnover.”

Tony Pesta of Blue Man Hoop said the Warriors’ season is likely to get worse before it gets better with the team currently sitting on a 2-3 record.

“It feels weird being on the other side of destructive offenses, but this is where the Warriors are at right now. They are weak and vulnerable without Klay Thompson and even Draymond Green’s return won’t do much to stop them from being rattled in the upcoming weeks.”

“The Dubs don’t have to worry about dethroning elite teams just yet. Instead, they need to prove they can be more competitive and prepare themselves for a crucial stretch towards the middle of the season. Their playoff hopes will rely heavily on how they perform after this gauntlet they are about to run through.”