The Portland Trail Blazers visit the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday night.
Tuesday, May 14 at 9:00 PM ET
The Trail Blazers won Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Nuggets 100-96 last Sunday behind a game-high 37 points from CJ McCollum and 14 points and seven rebounds off the bench from Evan Turner. Damian Lillard finished with 13 points despite shooting just 3-for-17 from the field but he helped with 10 rebounds, eight assists and three steals.
According to sports analytics and strategy site Positive Residual, McCollum had a 29 percent usage and 30 true shot attempts, including 4-for-4 around the left elbow, where he drained the game clincher. Only two of the shooting guard's 17 made field goals were assisted and he also had zero turnovers and a memorable chasedown.
Sixth man Rodney Hood left the game in the third quarter due to a hyperextended left knee and he's questionable for this game. Evan Turner stepped up for Hood, scoring 14 points in 19 minutes after having just four points in the first six games of the series.
The Warriors beat the Rockets in Houston 118-113 in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals last Friday behind a brilliant shooting display from Klay Thompson and an epic second half effort from Stephen Curry.
After being scoreless in the first half, Curry had 33 points on 35 percent usage and 25 true shot attempts, including 3-for-4 at the rim, 4-for-11 from 3-point range and 11-for-11 at the free-throw line. He added four assists (all in high-value zones) against three turnovers (only one live-ball).
The Portland Trail Blazers are:
6-2 ATS in their last eight games when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game
27-12 ATS in their last 39 games when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game
5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings
The Golden State Warriors are:
2-7 ATS in their last nine games following a straight up win
1-4 ATS in their last five games after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game
1-4 ATS in their last five home games
1-4 ATS in their last five games when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game
1-4 ATS in their last five home games against a team with a winning road record
0-6 ATS in their last six games following an ATS win
Kevin Durant will miss at least the first two games of this series but the Warriors proved they can still beat anyone, anywhere. With KD out, the Trail Blazers have to at least win one of the first two games and steal home court advantage.
The Trail Blazers have to control the pace and slow things down to clamp the Warriors down in the half court. Portland is more comfortable at a slower pace and they have to make Golden State play at their rhythm.
NBA Pick: Trail Blazers +7.5
Check odds here: http://bit.ly/jazzonaff