NBA Starting Lineups and Match Prediction: Golden State Warriors vs Portland Trail Blazers - Game 4
- The Trail Blazers are not playing their game and cannot get into a three-point shootout contest with the sharpshooting Warriors.
The Golden State Warriors could wrap up their Western Conference Final Series with the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday, May 20th, 2019 in Portland. Playing without mega superstar Kevin Durant and center DeMarcus Cousins, the Warriors are once again proving that they are the NBA's best team as they chase a three-peat as NBA Champions.
They secured a stranglehold 3-0 series lead on Saturday night over the Blazers with a 110-99 victory, in Portland. The Warriors got a great performance out of star Stephen Curry with 36 points, six rebounds and three assists. He was supported by a triple-double of 20 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists from the relentless Draymond Green as well as 19 points from Klay Thompson.
The Trail Blazers' star players C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard struggled - combining for just 42 points and were 5/19 from three-point range in game three. Their only other player to score in double digits were Myers Leonard with 16 and Evan Turner with 12 points. Game four of this series will be played on Monday night in Portland.
Game 4 Starters: Golden State Warriors:
Expect head coach Steve Kerr to start Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Damian Jones, and Andre Iguodala.
Portland Trail Blazers Starters:
Expect Portland to start C.J. McCollum, Damian Lillard, Myers Leonard, Maurice Harkless, and Al-Farouq Aminu.
Expectations and match prediction:
During the regular season, the Blazers were judicious when it came to taking three-point shots. They were a modest 18th across the league in attempts with 30.5 per game on average, 17th in made threes while ninth in three-point percentage at 35.9%.
However in the last two games of this WCFs, they have hoisted up 74 threes - shooting 46% in game two but just 31.4% in game three. They are not playing their regular game and cannot afford to get into a three-point shootout contest with the sharpshooting Warriors.
Another area they need immediate improvement in, going into game four, is their secondary and bench scoring. Only four Blazers scored in double-digits with the bench only recording 33% of their total points throughout. Golden State didn't have a great three-point shooting contest in game three, but offensively they moved the ball extremely well and recorded 27 assists on 41 made field goals. It was Draymond Green leading the way with 12 assists.
The battle of the boards is an interesting aspect within this series too. Both sides have lost their main man at the center position - Portland lost Jusuf Nurkic on March 25 after he broke his leg, while DeMarcus Cousins sustained a quad injury in their first round playoff matchup and will be re-evaluated in a week's time.
In game three of this particular series, Portland were out-rebounded 42-31 overall and have been in two of their three defeats thus far. Zach Collins managed to grab eight rebounds in just over 20 minutes playing time for the Blazers, though his defensive efforts were ultimately to no avail.
At the moment, Portland are not shooting the basketball well - having shot 40% in game three. They showed their inability to close out the fourth quarter in game two when they had an eight-point lead, failing to make shots which cost them a late win. Now, they find themselves in a desperate situation facing elimination and an imminent end to a pleasant but unexpected run to the Western Conference Finals.
The Warriors meanwhile, are cruising and right where they were expected to be: just one win away from the chance to defend their title once more, becoming a tree-peat champion in the process. All signs point to a game four victory by a margin of five possessions.Published 19 May 2019, 11:51 IST