2019 Western Conference Finals Preview

Are the Golden State Warriors truly destined to win the Larry O’Brien trophy this season?
Photo Courtesy: Michael Kolch

By Da’Vince “Dino” Wright

Records Heading into the Series
Portland Trailblazers 53-29
Golden State Warriors 57-25

How did they get here
Portland played a grueling seven game series against the tough Denver Nuggets. The series featured a young scrappy Nugget team with an average age 25 years. At times the Trailblazers looked as if they had no answers for mid game runs by the Nuggets and playing from behind fared pretty well for the Blazers. Damien Lillard and C.J. McCollum now has the daunting task of stopping the Splash Brothers (Steph Curry and Klay Thompson) in a 7 game series.

Golden State played a rigid Houston Rockets team with James Harden shooting the lights out every game. Chris Paul lead the way with key baskets and passes to P.J. Tucker and Iman Shumpert to keep Houston close. The key to the series was the loss of Kevin Durant in Game 4. He was last year’s MVP of the Finals and he will be out at least the first conference final game and who knows how much after that.

Key Players
Portland has fire power from the point guard and shooting guards respectively. Damien Lillard is the undisputed leader of the Trailblazers and he’s averaging 25.8 points a game, while shooting 44.4% from the floor and 91.2% from the free throw line. He will get his chances to get to the charity stripe and get easy points to keep the Trailblazers close. C. J. McCollum in the last three games of the playoffs has averaged 33 points per game while shooting 42.4% from the floor and 89% from the free throw line.

Golden State needs no introduction to the world. This team is considered a dynasty while winning three of the last four championships. Steph Curry and his on and off three point shot will head line this series. If he’s off, the team struggles. On the other hand, if he’s on; the team is a +14 across the board. He’s averaging 27.3 points per game. Klay Thompson has to play his game. With the absence of Kevin Durant, he will get his touches. He’s averaging a quiet 22 points over the last four playoff games this season. Draymond Green has to control his emotions. He’s the glue on both ends of the floor. He will also be a key play for Golden State.

Prediction
The over/under for this game is 218.5 so take the under for the first game. The spread is +8 for the Trailblazers and -8 for Golden State. I’m taking Golden State by 10 for game 1. I see this series going 7 games. Final score for Tuesday night…

Warriors 110 
Blazers 96