Portland has had a fantastic season. They overcame losing one of their biggest players, went into the playoffs as a 3 seed that nobody was giving a chance to advance (including me) and are now staring down Golden State in the Western Conference finals. It is one of the best seasons that Portland fans have seen in almost 20 years. Now we may be looking at the end of this fantastic season as they are looking at an 0-2 deficit against the most dangerous team in the NBA.
Golden State has had its fair share of adversity to overcome this season as well, losing Boogie Cousins and Kevin Durant for the time being and apparently for the foreseeable future. (I personally think we may have already seen Kevin Durant in a Warriors jersey for the last time.) But, Golden State is still loaded with talent and found a way to overcome the injuries and Steph Curry’s lackluster play leading up to this series.
The Warriors are vulnerable right now but thanks to Dame and CJ shooting Portland out of both games so far and completely blowing a big lead in the first half of game 2, it may not matter. What does Portland need to do in order to win tonight and make this series a fight? They need to figure out how to activate “Dame Time.”
Golden State has done a great job so far of keeping Lillard out of his comfort zone and not letting him take over a game as he did against the Thunder in the first round of the playoffs. It also doesn’t help that Dame has been playing poor since that Thunder series, but Golden State certainly hasn’t given him an opportunity to get back to form. Golden State has forced him to play outside on the perimeter and is not allowing him to have any impact inside of the 3-point line.
When you think of the Warriors, you always think about their offense. The splash bros, Kevin Durant, flashy fast breaks, etc. But what doesn’t get talked about enough is their defense and it’s really showing it’s importance in this year’s playoffs. Sure, they still have more offensive firepower than most teams even with the injuries, but the defense has played exceptional and doesn’t get talked about enough.
So, with all of this being said, does Dame get it going tonight and get his Blazers into the win column for the series? I think so. So far for this playoff series, I have continued to say that the Blazers will get swept, but it only takes one surge from their backcourt to put them right back in the series. I look for them to do that tonight and make this a much more manageable 2-1.