Portland Trail Blazers vs. Golden State Warriors Game 1 Preview
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA
When: Sunday, April 16, 2017, 3:30 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ABC
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Betting on the Portland Trail Blazers
The postseason rematch between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Golden State Warriors came one round early this season. The Blazers caught fire pretty late into their campaign before securing a playoff spot as the West’s eighth seed to try and avenge their five-game Western semifinals series loss to the Warriors last year.
You can expect a lot of surprises from this new-look Portland squad of the second half. Even though the team lost all four regular-season meetings against the Warriors (2-2 ATS), those contests were held well before it made a trade with the Nuggets for center Jusuf Nurkic. Since the deal, the Blazers won 17 of their last 23 games, which is the best record for any team during that span.
Unfortunately, Nurkic, who’s averaging a double-double of 15.2 points and 10.4 rebounds in 20 games as a Blazer, missed the last eight regular-season games with a fractured leg. Although the Bosnian big man appears ready to make his return in Game 1 at Oakland, we have yet to see how much Nurkic’s involvement (or lack thereof) will impact Portland’s overall gameplan in the series.
That being said, the lion’s share of Portland’s offense will once again revolve around the NBA’s best backcourt tandem of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, with pairing leading the entire league with a combined average of 50 points scored per contest during the regular season. However, we’re not even certain if sizzling performances from both Lillard and McCollum can match that of Golden State’s top-heavy roster. Which now leads us to…
Betting on the Golden State Warriors
There was no record-breaking regular season for the Golden State Warriors this time out, but the fact remains that they’re still the best basketball team on the entire planet. Heck, the just became the only team in NBA history to post three-consecutive 67-win seasons.
Did we really expect anything less from Golden State this season? The team led the lead again with 115.9 points and 30.4 assists per game, and it also has a top-10 defense led by Defensive Player of the Year candidate Draymond Green continuing to harass the opposition.
That goes without saying that the Dubs can easily match Portland’s electric backcourt duo with their own trio of sharpshooters, with defending MVP Stephen Curry, spalsh brother Klay Thompson and prized offseason acquisition Kevin Durant each good for over 20 points per game this season. By the way, the Warriors were the only team during the regular season with a double-digit positive point differential of 11.6.
And unlike the Blazers, Durant’s lengthy time off from a significant knee injury is of distant memory already. KD returned from his 19-game absence and logged no less than 27 minutes of playing time in Golden State’s final three regular-season games and finished with double-double stat lines in two of those contests.
If that wasn’t enough, it’s also worth noting that the Warriors have won nine-consecutive games in Oakland against the Blazers (7-2 ATS) by an whopping average of 15.4 points.
The Warriors (-14.5) blitz the Blazers early in the series with a convincing 122-105 win.
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