Warriors Defeat Trail Blazers in Game 1 118-106; Game 2 on Tuesday
The Golden State Warriors kicked off their second round series against the Portland Trail Blazers with a bang Sunday afternoon in Oracle arena. The Warriors got off to a fast start with a 20 point lead to end the first quarter. This game was never in question as they delivered a dominant performance from whistle to whistle.
There were times when the Blazers seemed to be getting back into the game, but they were never able to get it back to single digits once the Warriors established such a lead. Without Steph Curry, the other stars for Golden State stepped up with Klay Thompson contributing 37 points and Draymond Green notching a triple double. The do-it-all forward/center for Golden State is a jack of all trades and brings it every night regardless of whether he needs to shut down a center, forward, or guard as well as contributing on the offensive end and on the glass. He finished the game with 23 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.
Golden State’s high tempo offensive and high pressure defense looks like they are going to create matchup of nightmares for Portland. The length advantage was obvious from the start and dictated the pace of the game. One of the biggest advantages for Golden State is their depth. It allows them to go toe to toe with anyone in the league and win regardless of the opponent, flow, or type of game. With so many players able to contribute offensively and defensively, they are better equipped to be successful without the MVP of the league than any team in recent memory.
For Portland, star Damian Lillard finished with a solid stat line of 30 points and 5 assists, but wasn’t able to carry the load for Portland early on to weather the storm of the Warriors. At the half, he and fellow star C.J. McCollum were both held to single digits and shot a combined 3/18, while Thompson and Green were dominant for the Dubs. A game 1 loss in Southern California was to be expected, but Game 2 should provide a much better indication of what this series will be like.
How the Blazers respond will tell whether this series may go to game 6 or 7 or if the Warriors will make quick work and sit back and wait for the winner of the Spurs and Thunder series.
Game 2 at Oracle Arena is Tuesday, May 3 at 10:30. Reigning MVP Steph Curry is not expected back, but says he is optimistic about returning by game 4 on May 9 in Portland. With or without him, the Warriors are clearly the superior team and should advance to the Western Conference Finals. One can’t help but wonder what this series would be like if the Clippers hadn’t lost Chris Paul and Blake Griffin and defeated the Blazers in Round 1.
The Blazers are an up and coming team that surprised many by even making the playoffs. Playing with house money, they don’t have to deal with high expectations and the pressure that the Warriors have upon their shoulders and that should aid them as this series continues.
(Warriors Defeat Trail Blazers in Game 1)