Blazers

Blazers Faced Golden Era Golden State in Game 1

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The date is May 14, 2015, the plucky upstart warriors are bringing in an era of basketball we’ve never seen before. Steph Curry is shooting the lights from three, breaking the record for three pointers made in a season. Draymond Green is the ultimate Swiss Army knife and Klay Thompson is a walking flamethrower.

 

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On the same day four years later, and all the aforementioned things are still true, with the Blazers experiencing it first hand. Game 1 of the 2019 Western Conference Finals is in the books with a 22-point Golden State rout.

They’re Back…

Portland faced the juggernaut Golden State was before the addition of Kevin Durant. And yet, they still had no answer for the splash brothers in last night’s series opener, as they combined for 62 points. Dame and CJ would merely combine for 32.

The Warriors chased the Blazers off their spots all night. Every time a man in the classic black, red and white striped jersey hoisted a shot, another in white was close enough to smell his cologne. The pressure Portland felt led them to shoot just 36% from the field and 25% from three. They would also turn the ball over twenty one times.

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They dared the Blazers to take shots in the paint only to be met with multiple defenders at the rim. On many occasions, Dame broke down the defense facing one defender and met three at the rim forcing him into a turnover. Lillard explained what that looked like for him in a post game interview; “Even when I was in isolation I was seeing 2 or 3 people.”

Golden State game planned for the Blazers. They even neutralized Enes Kanter, a guy that only Andrew Bogut has a chance of stopping in the paint.

What’s next for Game 2

Moving on to Game 2, the Blazers will need to make adjustments to the way they chase shooters off screens. Steph and Co. had spaces for days for many of their 17 made threes to flail their legs and hit nothing but air. Coach Stotts noticed the issue but didn’t have much of a response stating “When he [Steph Curry] had 33 in the second half were they [Houston Rockets] trapping then?”

If bringing their bigs up to trap on screens doesn’t seem to be the fix to the Warriors shooting 51.5% beyond the arc, who knows what will. Portland knows what the defending champs have in store for them and it’s time to make adjustments. Game 1 is over, but the series chugs along as Portland heads into Thursday’s Game 2 looking to erase Tuesday’s nightmare.

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