The Golden State Warriors will be playing at home for the first time in the 2020-21 NBA Season against the Portland Trail Blazers on New Year's Day. Both sides are currently sitting at 2-2 after the Warriors bounced back to win twice against the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls.
The Blazers have had a tough start to the year, facing four of the Western Conference's top six last season. Therefore, coming out with two wins is a step in the right direction if they are to improve on their finish of 8th seed in 2020.
Fixture: Portland Trail Blazers vs Golden State Warriors | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Friday, January 1st, 10:30 PM ET (Saturday 9 AM IST)
Venue: Chase Center, San Francisco, CA
Portland Trail Blazers Preview
The Portland Trail Blazers have had a mixed start to their season. Facing four Western Conference playoff rivals, the Trail Blazers have recorded decent wins against the Lakers and Rockets but have suffered 20+ point losses to the Clippers and Jazz.
On New Year's Day, they travel to San Francisco to face the Warriors as part of a double-header and will be hoping they can secure two wins against a weaker, inexperienced Golden State side. Coach Terry Stotts will be hoping for more consistent scoring from his team if they are to remain on course for the postseason.
Key Player - CJ McCollum
Often undervalued and overlooked, CJ McCollum has consistently averaged over 20 points for the Portland Trail Blazers over the past five seasons. Behind his backcourt partner Damian Lillard, the shooting guard is one of the main reasons the franchise has been doing so well.
Currently, he is leading the Portland Trail Blazers as their standout performer after their opening four games. McCollum is averaging 28 points and 6.3 assists, proving his worth after his name was spread in NBA Trade Rumors linking him with a move for James Harden.
Portland Trail Blazers Predicted Line-up
G Damian Lillard, G CJ McCollum, F Robert Covington, F Derrick Jones Jr., C Jusuf Nurkic
Golden State Warriors Preview
After being overpowered by superior opposition in their opening two games, the Warriors then returned two victories on the road against the Bulls and Pistons. With one of the greatest NBA shooters of all time, the Golden State Warriors can expect to beat some of the worse teams in the league but will struggle against those with deeper benches.
Their defense has been particularly leaky to begin the season, however, fans will be excited about the impressive start to his NBA career that James Wiseman has enjoyed. Selected No. 2 overall, Wiseman is averaging 12.5 points and 5.8 rebounds so far and could be the traditional big man the Warriors have been craving.
Key Player - Stephen Curry
Steph Curry's fitness will be pivotal if the Golden State Warriors are to have a successful season without fellow shooter Klay Thompson available. Curry is aware that most of the offensive output will be on him this year and is already living up to the demand.
The point guard has averaged 26 points and seven assists in the opening four games and is shooting 100 percent from the free-throw line, having taken 26 so far. Despite a video circulating from Curry's practice of him scoring 103 consecutive threes, the 32-year-old is yet to heat up from downtown. However, in the Golden State Warriors wins so far, Curry has shown that he doesn't need to rely on his three-point accuracy alone, having 30+ points in each.
Golden State Warriors Predicted Line-up
G Steph Curry, G Kelly Oubre Jr., F Andrew Wiggins, F Juan Toscano-Anderson, C James Wiseman
Trail Blazers vs Warriors Match Prediction
The Trail Blazers have multiple pieces that can hurt the Warriors' inferior defense. However, if they fail to get going as what happened against the Clippers, the Golden State Warriors could make a game of it. With Steph Curry, there is always a chance that the Warriors can stay in the game, though the ability of the Portland Trail Blazers should prove too much in this fixture.
Where to watch Trail Blazers vs Warriors
The Portland Trail Blazers matchup with the Golden State Warriors will be shown on NBA TV and NBC Sports Northwest. For international fans, you can stream the game live with an NBA League Pass.Published 01 Jan 2021, 04:21 IST