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SportTrail Blazers vs. Warriors: Predictions, picks, TV schedule for Western Conference finals

02:25  13 may  2019
02:25  13 may  2019 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Trail Blazers vs . Warriors : The backstory. For the Warriors , the Western Conference finals are old hat. They’ve reached that stage five straight times now, winning the The Blazers , on the other hand, are treading new ground — the franchise has not reached the conference finals in 20 seasons.

Trail Blazers vs . Warriors : The prediction . It’s been an impressive run for Portland, and honestly, it was hard to see them getting past OKC in the first round with Nurkic out. But the Blazers have survived to this point, a solid breakthrough for a franchise that’s been frustrated in the playoffs in recent years.

Trail Blazers vs. Warriors: Predictions, picks, TV schedule for Western Conference finals © Provided by Perform Media Channels Limited

Trail Blazers vs. Warriors: Schedule, time, TV channel

Date Matchup Time (TV channel)
May 14 Game 1 at Golden State 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)
May 16 Game 2 at Golden State 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)
May 18 Game 3 at Portland 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)
May 20 Game 4 at Portland 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)
May 22 Game 5 at Golden State 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)
May 24 Game 6 at Portland 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)
May 26 Game 7 at Golden State 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Trail Blazers vs. Warriors: The backstory

For the Warriors, the Western Conference finals are old hat. They’ve reached that stage five straight times now, winning the previous four series with a record of 16-7. The Blazers, on the other hand, are treading new ground — the franchise has not reached the conference finals in 20 seasons.

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Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers is tonight. Be prepared for this Monday matchup with a preview that has the complete schedule , tip-off start time, viewing info, odds, updated 2019 NBA Playoffs bracket

The fact that the Blazers are still alive at this point is something of a miracle. It looked like their postseason future might be doomed back in late March when center Jusuf Nurkic — who had been so critical to the team’s offense this year — went down with a broken leg.

But Portland made quick work of Oklahoma City in the first round and somehow survived a seven-game marathon against the Nuggets despite trailing the series, 3-2, and falling behind by 17 points on the road in Game 7. This team has faced a series of gut-checks and keeps coming through.

There’s no gut check quite like going against the Warriors, though, even a Warriors team that is down a star player itself. The series and the rest of the playoffs for Golden State could be determined by who is healthy enough to put on a uniform. The Warriors are patiently waiting for Kevin Durant’s calf strain to heal, and there is a chance center DeMarcus Cousins (torn quad) could come back during the conference finals.

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West Conf Finals . Portland Trail Blazers vs . Golden State Warriors . You are here: BBR Home Page > Playoffs > 2019 NBA > Western Conference Finals .

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Durant has carried a major load all postseason, averaging 34.2 points on 51.3 percent shooting and 41.6 percent 3-point shooting. That’s helped to offset some inconsistency from Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. But Durant hurt his calf in Game 5 against Houston, and there’s just no knowing when he will be ready to come back.

The Warriors have the talent and know-how to beat Portland without Durant, but the injury narrows their margin for error. Golden State could get a boost if Cousins returns. Without Nurkic, Portland has leaned on backup Enes Kanter, who has played well but would have difficulty guarding Cousins.

Ultimately, this series will come down to the backcourts. Curry and Thompson came up big in Games 5 and 6 against Houston when Durant went out. Damian Lillard has had four 30-point games and one 50-point game in the playoffs, and when he struggled in Game 7 against Denver in the conference semis, fellow guard CJ McCollum came up huge, with 37 points on 17-for-29 shooting.

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We preview the Western Conference Finals schedule against the Blazers or Nuggets. The Warriors are headed to the Western Conference Finals where they will face either the Nuggets or Blazers . Golden State is hoping to have Kevin Durant back for the Western Conference Finals .

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There will be plenty of exciting scorers in this series, and that should make things entertaining. The Blazers would need an all-time upset to knock off Golden State, but anything’s possible — after all, few thought they’d still be around at this point.

Trail Blazers vs. Warriors: The key player

McCollum will be a key to the offense as Lillard’s running mate, but he’s going to have his hands full defensively with the assignment on Thompson. If Durant does not play, there’s a chance the Blazers can withstand an offensive barrage from Curry, but they can’t allow both Curry and Thompson to get going.

That will fall to McCollum, who defended Thompson on an average of 40.5 possessions per game in the regular season, allowing 11.0 points and 50.0 percent shooting from the field and the 3-point line. Those are generous numbers.

Thompson is averaging 18.3 points on 45.2 percent shooting, making 41.2 percent of his 3-pointers in the playoffs. With Durant getting hurt in Game 5 of the conference semifinals, Thompson notched 27 points in each of the Warriors’ last two games.

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Portland Trailblazers | Western Conference Finals Prediction I’ve done the East, now it’s time for West . It’s almost NBA Finals time and for these two teams, there is only one more series before they get Blazers vs Warriors , Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Western

McCollum is not much of a defensive player to begin with, but Thompson’s ability to space the floor and force McCollum into awkward closeouts will be especially challenging. He does not need to shut down Thompson altogether, but McCollum must force difficult looks and keep Thompson from going on one of his dangerous shooting streaks.

Trail Blazers vs. Warriors: Predictions, picks, TV schedule for Western Conference finals © Provided by Perform Media Channels Limited klay-thompson-ftr-052718.jpg

Trail Blazers vs. Warriors: The big number

111.8. The Warriors have survived the first two rounds of the playoffs, getting some good swings from the Clippers and KO-ing their nemesis, the Rockets, to reach the conference finals. But they’ve done it without playing the elite-level defense to which they’ve been accustomed in recent years.

Golden State was No. 1 in playoff defense last year, and No. 2 the previous season. The Warriors' regular-season defense has been slipping in recent years as fatigue sets in, but they’ve always been able to snap their defense back into place at this time of year.

Not this year, however. Golden State has a defensive efficiency of 111.8 points, which ranks 12th in the NBA.

Trail Blazers vs. Warriors: Xs and Os

One reason the Blazers wanted to integrate Nurkic into their offense more this season was to reduce the team’s reliance on the pick-and-roll in the playoffs. Generally, as defenses tighten up in the playoffs and opponents get accustomed to players’ tendencies and coaches’ play calls, the pick-and-roll becomes easier to defend.

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During the regular season, the Blazers ran the pick-and-roll 18.9 percent of their possessions, which was 11th in the league. That was down from 21.6 percent (third) last year.

With Nurkic out, though, the Blazers have had to scrap a lot of their revamped playbook and return the PNR. They ran it on 22.7 percent of their possessions through their first 11 playoff games, with pretty good success — Portland gets 0.92 points per possession on the play, which ranks fourth among playoff teams.

Because the Warriors have versatile, switch-friendly defenders, most teams don’t attack them with pick-and-rolls. They gave up an average of 14.6 points on the play in the regular season, seventh-best in the league.

The pick-and-roll will be a key, then. It’s Portland’s best offensive weapon, but it also happens to be the Warriors’ defensive strength.

Trail Blazers vs. Warriors: The prediction

It’s been an impressive run for Portland, and honestly, it was hard to see them getting past OKC in the first round with Nurkic out. But the Blazers have survived to this point, a solid breakthrough for a franchise that’s been frustrated in the playoffs in recent years.

Beating the Warriors, even if Durant is out, is a bit too much to ask, though.

Warriors over Trail Blazers, 4-2

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