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Portland Trail Blazers vs. Golden State Warriors Preview

The Blazers will try to capitalize on Monday’s victory with a win in their penultimate game before the All Star break.

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Portland Trail Blazers v Golden State Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers (19-14) vs. Golden State Warriors (19-16)

The Portland Trail Blazers got back on the winners list on Monday night. Tonight they face Wardell Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors, testing their re-found form against players with championship pedigree. Can they take the same energy into tonight and tomorrow’s bout with the Sacramento Kings before earning some much needed rest and relaxation this weekend? Well, except for Damian Lillard, Robert Covington, and Anfernee Simons who are all headed for All Star festivities in Atlanta.

Wednesday, March 3 - 7 p.m. PT

How to watch on TV: NBC Sports Northwest, ESPN, or see games all season on fuboTV
Blazers injuries: Zach Collins (out), CJ McCollum (out), Jusuf Nurkic (out), Harry Giles (day-to-day)
Warriors injuries: Klay Thompson (out), Marquese Chriss (out), Alen Smailagic (out)
SBN Affiliate: Golden State of Mind

What To Watch For

  • RoCo. Robert Covington’s Harvey Dent-like shooting showed its good side against the Charlotte Hornets. He went eight for eight from the field, including five for five from three, before missing his final few shots, while notching up 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks. Will we see the shooter Portland deserves against Steve Kerr’s crew?
  • How does one contain Steph Curry? The Warriors point guard has been putting up Damian Lillard-like numbers, averaging 29.5 points a game, his best since his last MVP run in 2015-16. The Blazers have some questions to answer, namely, is this a Derrick Jones Jr. or a Gary Trent Jr. assignment?
  • Dame’s minutes. Portland has been missing some important pieces so no one should be surprised that Lillard is averaging more than 35 minutes a game this season. He played 35 on Monday and 42 against the Lakers. We all know Damian is a law unto himself but at what point is he being overcooked, especially given his busy schedule in Atlanta this weekend?

What Others Are Saying

Brady Klopfer at Golden State of Mind asks whether the Warriors will look to bring center DeMarcus Cousins back to San Francisco after he was let go by the Houston Rockets.

“Why would the Warriors be interested? For as talented as James Wiseman is, the Warriors are still mostly lacking a big man who can go and get them a bucket. Cousins is still a player that you can feed the rock to, and have him get you a decent shot.”

“Is there any chance of this happening? I don’t see it. Maybe if Wiseman or Looney were to suffer a season-ending injury, but even if that happened I think the Warriors would rather just commit to playing small ball, and maybe throwing some crazy minutes at Alen Smailagić.”

Steph Curry believes opposing teams are still targetting the Warriors following years of beat-downs the Dubs laid on the league during the championship era, writes Marcus White of NBC Sports.

“Curry surely expects the Blazers, whom the Warriors eliminated from the playoffs in three of the preceding five seasons, to bring their best effort Wednesday. He also wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Probably not,” Curry said when a reporter asked if he felt opponents’ intensity against Golden State would diminish as long as he plays for the team.”

Golden State of Mind’s Alex Hall discusses his rationale for why sometimes-maligned wing Andrew Wiggins might be on the improve.

“One key to remember is that he doesn’t need to be a superstar. The Warriors already have three of those when Klay Thompson comes back, and maybe they have another brewing in James Wiseman.

He just needs to be a good starting wing, the kind that salary cap rules wouldn’t have allowed the Dubs to sign outright in free agency, and anything beyond that is a bonus. A 40% deep shooter who can slash and finish, defend at least decently, and block shots would do nicely.”