The Portland Trail Blazers will travel to Oakland, California on Tuesday for their 1st game against the Golden State Warriors. The Trail Blazers defeated a good Denver Nuggets team in 7 games. The Warriors eliminated an overrated Houston Rockets team in 6 games.
Both Portland and Golden State are coming into the Western Conference Finals, less than 100%. Kevin Durant missed Game 6 against Houston and is expected miss a few more games with a calf injury. Rodney Hood left Game 7 with a back injury and never returned.
Portland Trail Blazers : Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are averaging over 53 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists combined in this postseason. Enes Kanter and Hood have been great late season acquisitions. Kanter is averaging 13 points and 10 rebounds per game. Portland’s bench can score with anyone on any given night. When Seth Curry gets hot, he is one of the best shooters in the NBA.
Golden State Warriors:
To the Warriors credit, they won Game 6 in Houston, without Kevin Durant. The Former Texas Longhorn has been their best player all season. Durant is averaging 34 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in the playoffs. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have struggled at times, but they are still averaging 24 points and 18 points per game. Draymond Green has been a triple/double waiting to happen. The Former Michigan State stand out is averaging 12 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. Kevon Looney and Andre Iguodala have both been a pleasant surprise as starters or off the bench.
This is going to be a high scoring series. I expect every winning team to score over 105 points each game.
If Durant plays… I like the Warriors in 6. But, I don’t think he will. Lillard and McCollum need to continue to average 50 points per game between them. Portland’s bench should outplay the Warriors bench.
Finally, Golden State’s lack of depth will come back to haunt them.
If KD misses more than 2 games, take the Portland Trail Blazers in 6.
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