The Blazers crushed the Warriors on Saturday by 25 points. Can Steph and company fire back, or will their painful start to the season continue?
Catch this game live at 930 AM Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Golden State Warriors (2-3, 0-1 at home)
The Warriors got crushed in the first leg of their back-to-back match-ups with the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday, 123-98. It snapped a two-game winning streak and kept their league-worst defense right in the gutter.
Stephen Curry provided offense as per usual, tallying team-highs 26 points, eight rebounds, and five assists. Also maintaining the theme are the shooting woes of the two starting wings: Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre, who collectively shot 9-for-24 from the floor. The team’s heart-and-soul, Draymond Green, made his season debut in the contest but was almost non-existent. He was 0-for-3 for zero points across 17 minutes – he grabbed four boards and dished out four assists, though.
Expect Curry to continue to do the heavy-lifting. He’s averaging 26.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 6.6 assists, 3.6 threes, and 1.6 steals per game on the season, and still the only reliable option on the group. You’ll have a hard time expecting a solid outing from both Wiggins and Oubre, but who knows? Maybe tomorrow’s the day.
The Warriors are averaging 108.2 PPG this season.
AWAY TEAM: Portland Trail Blazers (3-2, 2-1 on the road)
The Blazers returned in the win column in that one-sided victory on Saturday. They were blazing from beyond the arc and went 20-for-43 overall, half of which came from Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
The Lillard and McCollum Show was in full display as the duo combined for 62 points on 52.4% shooting. They facilitated nicely as well and collectively had 12 assists. Help from the supporting cast, meanwhile, came from future Hall-of-Famer Carmelo Anthony, who scored a season-high 18.
While Dame (25.2 PPG) and CJ (career-high 28.0 PPG) are sure to deliver the fireworks, Portland should hope for more healthy contributions, particularly from starters Jusuf Nurkic and Robert Covington. The two are having an uneventful 2020-21 campaign thus far as both are only averaging in single digits, with the latter only shooting 32.3%.
This will be closer than the previous meeting. Expect another big-scoring night from Curry and possibly a more involved James Wiseman, who should have an interesting clash opposite the out-of-shape Nurkic and the defensively-challenged Enes Kanter.
Lillard and McCollum’s numbers will remain the same, but I see the Warriors taking a close game, 118-115.