Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#543 Portland Trail Blazers 217 vs.
#544 Golden State Warriors -300
Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 9:05pm EDT
Oracle Arena, Oakland
Written by Chris Kubala

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#543 Portland
#544 Golden State
61-34
66-29
51-44
41-53-1
50-44-1
46-49
113
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We’ve reached the semifinals of the NBA season and one series continues here in the city by the bay. The third-seeded Portland Trail Blazers take the trip down the west coast as they face the top-seeded Golden State Warriors in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals Wednesday night. Golden State cruised to an easy 116-94 win in the opening game of the series Tuesday night. The Trail Blazers own a 125-104 edge in the all-time regular season series though the teams split four games this year. In the postseason, the Warriors won both previous series and own a 9-1 edge in head to head playoff wins: that includes a sweep in the first round of the 2017 playoffs.

Portland Trail Blazers Hoping to Earn Split Heading Home

Portland was walloped in the opening game of the series against Golden State as apparently, they didn’t have enough gas in the tank after besting Denver in a back and forth Game 7 48 hours earlier. The Trail Blazers now have to come up with a win here to avoid heading home in a 2-0 hole. Portland’s last lead came at 5-2 and they were tied for the last time at nine with 8:15 to go in the opening quarter. The Trail Blazers were down four after the opening quarter, by nine at the half and six after three quarters before things unraveled in the fourth. Portland shot 36.1 percent from the floor, including seven of 28 from three-point range, and turned the ball over 21 times in the game. Damian Lillard led the Trail Blazers with 19 points and six assists in the loss.

The Trail Blazers come into this one 5th in the league in postseason scoring with 109.8 points per game. The Trail Blazers are 6th in the league in rebounding as they collect 46.7 boards a night. Portland is 15th in the league in assists with 18.5 per contest. The Trail Blazers are below average defensively as they come in 11th in the league by allowing 110.3 points a night. Portland is 10th in the league in field goal percentage by shooting 43.5 percent from the floor. The Trail Blazers are knocking down 11.1 three pointers a night, which is 6th in the league, while ranking 5th in the league by shooting 35.1 percent from downtown. Damian Lillard leads the way with 27.7 points plus six assists per contest in the postseason. CJ McCollum adds 24.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while Enes Kanter chips in 12.7 points plus 10.9 boards per contest. Rodney Hood was cleared after suffering a bone bruise in Game 7 against the Nuggets: he put up 17 points in Game 1. Portland needs more production from the rest of their bench group: beyond Hood, the other reserves combined for 11 points.

Golden State Warriors Seek 2-0 Series Advantage

Golden State pulled away late to put the boots to Portland and take the opening game of the series. The Warriors now look to take a 2-0 series lead as they took advantage of a couple of extra days of rest for a strong finishing kick. Golden State led by just six after three quarters before outscoring Portland 39-23 in the fourth to get the win. The Warriors closed the game on an 11-2 run over the final 3:27 to create the one-sided final score. Golden State shot an even 50 percent from the field, including 17 of 33 from three-point range, and overcame a 47-42 beating on the glass. Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 36 points, hitting nine three-pointers in the win.

The Warriors currently are 1st in the postseason in scoring with 117.9 points per game. Golden State stands 11th in rebounding with 42.8 boards per contest. The Warriors are 1st in the league by dishing out 28.4 assists a night. Golden State is below average defensively as they are 12th in scoring defense, allowing 110.8 points a night. The Warriors are 1st in the league as they are shooting 48.7 percent from the floor as a team this year. Golden State is 3rd with 12.5 triples a night while the team is 1st by sinking 38.4 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc. Stephen Curry is second on the team in the postseason with 25.2 points plus 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. Kevin Durant chips in a team-leading 34.2 points a night while Draymond Green (12.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, 7.8 assists) and Klay Thompson (18.8 points) have to contribute. The DeMarcus Cousins injury has taken a toll on the Warriors’ rotation as it has forced Steve Kerr to play Kevon Looney and Andrew Bogut more minutes than expected. Durant, who missed Game 6 against the Rockets and Game 1 of this series with a calf strain, is out for Game 2 and will be re-evaluated Thursday. That puts a lot of pressure on the unproven bench group as guys like Quinn Cook, Alfonzo McKinnie and Jonas Jerebko, along with Looney and Shaun Livingston, have to contribute while giving breathers to the Warriors’ stars. Golden State did get 36 points from the bench in Game 1: they could use another outing like that here.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Portland was overwhelmed down the stretch in the final quarter in the opening game of the series. The Trail Blazers have to hope that they can shake off that dismal closing stretch to get back on track. Lillard has to shoot much better than he did in Game 7 against Denver (three of 17) and in Game 1 against Golden State (four of 12) from the floor. Golden State will be without Durant once again and I’m not sold that the Warriors will get the bench production they had in the opener. The Trail Blazers know a win here is imperative: take the points and the visitors as they leave it all on the floor.

Prediction: Portland Trail Blazers +8

Full-Game Total Pick

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The opening game of this series, even with a one-sided contest as the end result, still fell under the number when all was said and done. Portland has recorded back to back unders on the total after going over the total in Games 3-6 against the Nuggets. Golden State has gone under the total in two of the last three games: Game 4 against the Rockets was a push, Game 5 was under the total and Game 6 went over before this contest. Will the teams come up with better defensive numbers to help keep another one under the total here?

The over is 4-1 in the Trail Blazers’ last 5 Thursday games, 4-1 in their last 5 games following an ATS loss and 25-9-2 in their last 36 games playing on 1 day of rest. Golden State has seen the over go 5-1-1 in their last 7 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game. The over is 19-8 in the last 27 meetings in Golden State: you have to think that Portland’s offensive attack is better in this one, helping push this one over the number.

Prediction: Over 218

Half-Time Side Pick

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Clearly, the fact remains that Portland didn’t have an effective answer for defending Curry in Game 1 as he buried nine three-pointers in the game. Golden State buried 17 triples in the contest and shot better than 50 percent from beyond the arc compared to Portland’s seven of 28 showing from three-point range. The Trail Blazers are going to have to get better shooting overall in this one from a variety of players. Even still, you have to think the Warriors ride their backcourt duo to the edge at intermission.

Prediction: Golden State Warriors -4

Half-Time Total Bet

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In the opening half of Game 1, Golden State held a nine-point edge at intermission. The offensive production wasn’t all that impressive as the Warriors put up 54 points while Portland mustered only 45. That was a second straight low scoring opening half for the Trail Blazers, who were down 48-39 in Game 7 against the Nuggets Sunday night. Both those games fell well under the halftime number for this contest and you have to think that the offenses warm up a bit here. This one just squeezes over the number at the half.

Prediction: Over 107.5

Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.