The Blazers won 123-98 against the Warriors in their last meeting on Friday, behind a milestone game from each of their starting guards, and the latter is now hellbent on returning the favor.
The first half of the 2020-21 NBA season schedule can be viewed here.
Fixture - Portland Trail Blazers vs Golden State Warriors | 2020-21 NBA Season
Date & Time - Sunday, January 3rd, 8:30 PM ET (Monday, January 4th, 7:00 AM IST)
Location - Chase Center, San Francisco, CA
Damian Lillard became the second player in franchise history to score 15,000 points when he scored 34 against the Golden State Warriors on Friday. He joined Clyde Drexler as the only members in the exclusive club.
C.J. McCollum also made history on Friday when he scored 28 points, becoming just the second player in league history to score at least 25 points over the first five games of a season. The Portland Trail Blazers’ opponent, Stephen Curry, accomplished the feat twice before.
When the two teams meet for the second time in three days, the Warriors have to be more ready for the duo.
Curry, for his part, could shoot better. He made just 4-of-12 from 3-point range, though he finished with 26 points for the night.
Portland Trail Blazers Preview
The Portland Trail Blazers are 3-2 this season and are looking to go two games above .500 on Sunday.
Lillard and McCollum have been carrying the bulk of the offensive load for the Blazers as usual, although they need more contributions from the rest of the team.
Former All-Star Carmelo Anthony chipped in 18 points during the win against the Warriors. He will have to consistently contibute at least 15 points per game for the team to be successful.
Key Player - Damian Lillard
As good as Damian Lillard was in the Golden State Warriors game, he has not been shooting the ball as well as he has in the past. This season, C.J. McCollum has taken over the Portland Trail Blazers' scoring leadership from Lillard.
Though he probably doesn’t mind his backcourt mate upstaging him in the scoring column, Lillard could improve on his field goal percentage, which is currently at 42.9 percent (he was making 46.3 percent last season). His 25.2-points-per-game average would be his lowest in five years if the season were to end now.
Portland Trail Blazers Predicted Lineup
G Damian Lillard G CJ McCollum F Derrick Jones Jr. F Robert Covington C Jusuf Nurkic
Golden State Warriors Preview
It’s been a messy season for the Golden State Warriors, who are 2-3 to start the 2020-21 campaign. Each of their three losses have been by 25 points or more. With Draymond Green playing his second game of the season, the Warriors’ defense should significantly improve… eventually.
It will be interesting to see what coach Steve Kerr will do differently against the same Portland Trail Blazers team from last Friday. Playing on their home floor for the second straight game should help.
Key Player - Kelly Oubre Jr.
All eyes will be on Kelly Oubre Jr. (8.2 points per contest) until he shows that he was worth being traded for the Golden State Warriors’ conditional 2021 first-round draft pick and 2021 second-round pick.
So far this season, Oubre hasn’t lived up to the 18.9-points-per-game stats that he put up last season with the Phoenix Suns.
Stephen Curry needs help, especially with Klay Thompson out for the season once again. It’s time for Oubre to step up big time now that his Golden State Warriors are playing at home for the next several games.
Also Read: What is Stephen Curry’s Net Worth?
Golden State Warriors Predicted Lineup
G Stephen Curry G Kelly Oubre Jr. F Andrew Wiggins F Draymond Green C James Wiseman
Blazers vs Warriors Match Prediction
Based on how the Golden State Warriors have played thus far this season, this looks like another win for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Until Draymond Green gets his conditioning right and Kelly Oubre Jr. starts playing with his future contract on the line, the Warriors will fall victim to the Portland Trail Blazers for the second straight game.
C.J. McCollum is on a roll, and all indications point to him continuing his current hot streak. Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic are steadily getting into midseason form, and Blazers coach Terry Stotts has his team focused on getting back into the postseason.
Expect a Blazers win, although we know it’s anybody’s ballgame come tip-off time in the NBA.
Where to watch Blazers vs Warriors
For international audiences, the game will be available on livestream via a subscription to NBA League Pass.
Published 03 Jan 2021, 09:58 IST