The Golden State Warriors are the two-time defending NBA Champions, and they looked like it in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. Golden State blew out the Portland Trail Blazers in the series opener by a score of 116-94. The Warriors will now try to protect home-court advantage again and take a 2-0 series lead.
Portland came into this series with a ton of confidence, but they are going to have to regroup in a hurry after struggling in Game 1. The Trail Blazers knocked off the Denver Nuggets in Game 7 in their previous series, but that momentum did not carry over. Golden State reached the conference finals by dispatching the Houston Rockets. The Golden State Warriors are -8.0 point favorites in Game 2 of the series.
No Durant, No Problem For Warriors
The Warriors have been without Kevin Durant in their last two games, but that hasn’t seemed to slow them down. Golden State has turned back the clock and is relying on the “Splash Brothers” to carry the team on offense. The Warriors are definitely missing Durant’s 34 points per game in the playoffs, but they have a ton of weapons. Golden State has put up 117 points per game in their two wins without him.
Stephen Curry is a former NBA MVP, and Klay Thompson is one of the best shooters in the game, and they have been on fire of late. The duo combined for 12 three-pointers in the Game 1 victory and put on a show against the Rockets as well. Portland was giving the shooters a ton of room to operate, and they made the Blazers pay. Look for Curry and Thompson to combine for at least 50 points again in Game 2.
Blazers Need Their Stars to Shine
The Portland Trail Blazers have a pair of All-Star guards as well, but they didn’t show up in the series opener. CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard have combined for more than 52 points per game so far in the playoffs but had just 36 between the two of them in the series opener. Lillard and McCollum are going to have to find a way to neutralize Curry and Thompson if they are going to even up this series after two games.
Rodney Hood was questionable for Game 1, but he put up another terrific performance for the Trail Blazers. Hood poured in 17 points off the bench but was once again the only real weapon off the bench for Portland. Enes Kanter and Zach Collins are going to have to be a force in this game as well. Kanter and Collins combined for just 18 points in the series opener and didn’t do much to slow down the Warriors offense.
Golden State Wins Game 2
Portland was supposed to be a worthy opponent in this series, but that wasn’t the case in Game 1. Golden State blew the game wide open with their shooting, and they should do it again in Game 2. The Trail Blazers aren’t done yet, but they aren’t winning on the road at Oracle Arena. Bet the Golden State Warriors -8.0 over the Portland Trail Blazers.