NBA Starting Lineups and Match Prediction - Portland Trail Blazers vs Golden State Warriors - Game 1
15th May 2019, 6:30AM IST
Oracle Arena, Oakland, California
Head to Head (Playoffs only):
Total Games: 9 games
Won by Golden State Warriors: 8 games
Won by Portland Trail Blazers: 1 game
The Golden State Warriors face the Portland Trail Blazers in the first game of the Western Conference Finals in the Oracle Arena.
The Warriors reached the conference finals after a grueling semi finals win over the Houston Rockets, which they won 4-2 and beating the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round, 4-2 as well.
Their main man, Kevin Durant, went down with a calf strain and is not expected to play in the first 2 games of the series.
Portland Trail Blazers, on the other hand, had a very tough first round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder whom they swept aside in a solid 4-1 series win.
The semifinals was a monumental 7 game series against the 2nd seed Denver Nuggets, who the Blazers managed to beat 4-3 in one of the most entertaining playoffs this season.
Golden State Warriors: Forward Kevin Durant is out with a calf strain while Center DeMarcus Cousins is also out with a quad injury. Center Damian Jones is also out with a pectoral injury.
Portland Trail Blazers: Guard Rodney Hood is considered day to day with a knee injury. Center Jusuf Nurkic is out with a leg injury.
Players to watch out for:
Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors):
Steph has been having one of his most underwhelming playoff seasons in a while. With Durant taking charge as the team's primary offensive threat, Curry has taken a backseat.
His numbers have been great even though he has not quite been at his best in these playoffs, with constant double teams and tough defense putting him off his game.
Curry is averaging 24.3 points per game in under 37 minutes on the court in this post season, but he has not been shooting at his best, averaging 44.4% from the field.
He is also averaging just 37% from the field and has not been able to get it going. Curry still has 5.7 rebounds and 5.1 assists.
With Durant missing from Game 1 and the bench having no options that can fill such a gaping hole, Curry needs to step and play at MVP levels to prevent the Warriors from falling so early.
Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers):
Damian Lillard has been one of the best players in the playoffs this season and has come up with the goods right when the Blazers needed him the most.
The Blazers were always considered dark horses this season and have finally overcome a spate of bad matchups in the last 2 playoffs to reach a conference final against the Warriors.
None of this would be possible without their All Star Guard, Damian Lillard. He has averaged 28.4 points in 40.7 minutes per game.
Lillard is shooting 43% from the field, almost similar to Curry and has been shooting 37% from beyond the arc as well.
Lillard has 6 rebounds and 4.8 rebounds per game and the Blazers will be hoping that he will be able to lead to NBA finals glory against a wounded Warriors team.
Predicted Match Lineups:
Golden State Warriors: Stephen Curry (G), Klay Thompson (G), Andre Iguodala (F), Draymond Green (F), Andrew Bogut (C)
Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard (G), CJ McCollum (G), Maurice Harmless (F), Al-Farouq Aminu (F), Enes Kanter (C)
Predicted Match Result: Golden State Warriors to beat the Portland Trail Blazers
The Golden State Warriors are missing a key star in Kevin Durant for Game 1, but possess enough quality in Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green to keep the Portland Trail Blazers at bay.
It will be a really close game to call as both teams are matched up really well and it can be anybody's game come matchday.