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Golden State Warriors vs Portland Trail Blazers Prediction & Match Preview - October 4th, 2021 | NBA Preseason 2021-22

Golden State Warriors vs Portland Trail Blazers in the 2018-19 NBA season [Source: USA Today]
Golden State Warriors vs Portland Trail Blazers in the 2018-19 NBA season [Source: USA Today]
Kunal Sethi
ANALYST

The Portland Trail Blazers will host the Golden State Warriors to kick off their 2021-22 NBA preseason campaign. The two teams are playoff rivals and have had some intense matchups over the years. So their preseason duel is also expected to be an enticing one.

The clash will see two of the NBA's greatest shooters, Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard, lock horns.


Match Details

Fixture - Golden State Warriors vs Portland Trail Blazers | NBA Preseason 2021-22.

Date & Time - Monday, October 4th, 2021; 10:00 PM ET (Tuesday, October 5th, 7:30 AM IST).

Venue - Moda Center, Portland, OR.


Portland Trail Blazers Preview

Damian Lillard (left) and CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard (left) and CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers made very few improvements in the offseason. They let go of Carmelo Anthony and Enes Kanter, while acquiring Cody Zeller, Tony Snell and Ben McLemore, among others. The biggest change in the Blazers' locker room is their head coach, as Terry Stotts was replaced by Chauncey Billups, five-time All-Star and the 2004 NBA Finals MVP.

One of the major things to look out for in the preseason is the Portland Trail Blazers' defensive rotations. Many pundits believe that coach Billups would improve the team's defense and manage the minutes of the bench better. Jason Quick of The Athletic reported in this regard:

"Nassir Little has been superb in the first two days of practices, and Anfernee Simons is being thrust into prime point guard moments, a source tells The Athletic's Jason Quick."
Portland Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups wants to see minutes reduced for Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum trib.al/8d4JNRZ https://t.co/DkKvcNdnY0

Nevertheless, it seems the Portland Trail Blazers are headed towards another mediocre campaign in the 2021-22 NBA season.


Key Player - Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2021 NBA playoffs
Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2021 NBA playoffs

Damian Lillard will face the pressure to put up huge numbers in yet another season because the front office failed to surround him with decent talent. There was serious speculation about his future in Portland. But he cleared all such doubts when he posted on Instagram with the caption "Back for more...#RipCity is my city".

Damian Lillard needs to have another MVP-caliber season for the Portland Trail Blazers to help the team be among the top seeds in the Western Conference.


Portland Trail Blazers Predicted Lineup

G - Damian Lillard, G - CJ McCollum, F - Norman Powell, F - Larry Nance Jr., C - Jusuf Nurkic.


Golden State Warriors Preview

Golden State Warriors' Media Day 2021
Golden State Warriors' Media Day 2021

The Golden State Warriors enter the 2021-22 NBA season with championship aspirations.

GM Bob Myers and the front office made significant additions in the offseason, with veterans like Otto Porter Jr. and Nemanja Bjelica joining the bench. They also drafted Jonathan Kuminga (7th) and Moses Moody (14th) in the 2021 NBA Draft, and also announced a reunion with the 2015 Finals MVP, Andre Iguodala.

Klay Thompson's return is also on the horizon, and the Golden State Warriors are expected to be one of the top four seeds in the Western Conference. They currently have the fourth-best odds of winning the 2022 NBA championship, and Stephen Curry is one of the early favorites for the MVP award next season. Only time will tell if their blend of rookies and veterans will work out. But the preseason would be the ideal opportunity to get some rhythm and figure out rotations.

Moreover, coach Steve Kerr said Draymond Green passed his physical tests with flying colors and 'looked great'. The 31-year-old forward immediately jumped into the Golden State Warriors' training sessions. However, his status for preseason games is still uncertain.

Finally, Andrew Wiggins can play in the preseason home games, regardless of his vaccination status, as the COVID-19 law in San Francisco doesn't kick in until October 13th.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr did not specify the reason for Andrew Wiggins' absence today ('he's under the weather'). Of note: Wiggins would need to have gotten a COVID-19 vaccine by Friday to play in the 10/15 preseason finale at Chase Center.

Key Player - Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry at the Golden State Warriors' Media Day - 2021
Stephen Curry at the Golden State Warriors' Media Day - 2021

Two-time MVP Stephen Curry is entering his 13th season in the NBA, and is expected to put on another show like last year.

The Golden State Warriors superstar led the league in scoring last season, registering 32 points per game and breaking several records along the way. Although he is 33 now, Curry is likely to participate in the preseason games because he usually does so, albeit with limited minutes.

With training camp underway at Chase Center, Steph Curry is back to draining a flurry of 3-pointers at Warriors practice. warriorswire.usatoday.com/2021/10/01/wat…

Golden State Warriors Predicted Lineup

G - Stephen Curry, G - Andrew Wiggins, F - Jonathan Kuminga, F - Otto Porter Jr., C - James Wiseman.


Warriors vs Trail Blazers Match Prediction

The Golden State Warriors are the marginal favorites to win the game because of their superior lineup. Even without Klay Thompson, the rest of the players like Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins and Otto Porter Jr. could do enough damage.

The Portland Trail Blazers do feature Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, so this match could be a close one down the wire. However, both coaches are expected to keep the minutes of their stars to a minimum.


Where to watch the Warriors vs Trail Blazers game?

The Golden State Warriors vs Portland Trail Blazers game will be nationally broadcast on NBA TV, and will also have local coverage on ROOT Sports. The match can be streamed live with an NBA League Pass as well.

Moreover, fans can tune in to the radio at Rip City Radio 620 and 95.7 The Game to listen to the game's live commentary.


Also check out: Complete NBA Preseason TV Schedule for 2021


Edited by Bhargav
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