No Kevin Durant. You thought this would go differently. I thought this would go differently. For the first time in years, it seemed like there was a serious chance we could see someone other than the Dubs in the Finals.
Steph. Freaking. Curry.
The former MVP has been an absolute machine since KD went down with injury. Game 1, he popped off with 36 points, six boards, and seven assists. Much of the same in Game 2 with 37/8/8.
Warriors Show Depth
Many of the old names on the Warriors squad showed up once they went down big to Portland in Game 2. Former Finals MVP Andre Iguodala came up big in the final seconds. Draymond Green had 16 points and 10 rebounds and has averaged a double-double since Durant left the lineup. Klay Thompson hit 50% of his three-point attempts during Thursday’s game.
Steph’s brother Seth said earlier this week that the Warriors are harder to guard WITHOUT Kevin Durant. That statement seems to be holding a lot of weight. With Durant in the lineup, it seems like a lot of us forget just how deep the Warriors are. Kevon Looney contributed 14 points and seven rebounds. Jordan Bell threw in 11 points of his own in only 13 minutes off the bench. Even Jonas Jerebko came into the game and helped with seven rebounds.
Blazers Still Have Life
It’s not all bad news for Portland. This might be a bad start, but this season the Trail Blazers haven’t been all that great on the road, posting a regular-season record of 21-20 away from the Moda Center. However, inside those four walls, they are great. 32-9 at home during the regular season. They get to return home, and it has already been reported that Durant will miss both Games 3 and 4.
Games 3 and 4 will be a major chance for the Trail Blazers to get back into this series. They’re averaging over 13 points a game more at home than on the road.
The big stat that may help them get back into this series is the one thing that makes Golden State so great: the 3-point shot. While they shot well in Game 2, in the first game, the Blazers were 7 of 28 from beyond the arc. Portland goes from a 33% three-point shooting team on the road, to almost 40% at home.
They shoot better, and they play better defense. They grab more rebounds, both offensively and defensively, as well as force more steals on home court.
Warriors Stay Hot
While the numbers are all better at home for the Blazers, the Warriors are firing on all cylinders. Steph Curry is en fuego once again in the postseason. At a clip of 71.3 true shooting percentage, it’ll be hard for Portland to stop him.
That’s a scary thought. Even scarier is the Warriors are getting 2.5 points in this game. Portland may very well get their first victory of this series, but the Warriors should keep it close at the very least.
Pick: Golden State Warriors +2.5