The Western Conference Finals are set to kick off this week, and we have a terrific matchup on tap. Golden State will be a heavy favorite coming into this series, but the Portland Trail Blazers won’t be an easy team to get through. These two teams played each other four times during the regular season and each team won twice. This is going to be a high-scoring series with some of the best players in the World on the floor.
The Warriors came into the playoffs as the top seed in the Western Conference, and they have played like it. Golden State put together a terrific performance in eliminating the Houston Rockets in game six on Friday night. Portland went on the road to Denver for a game seven on Sunday and were able to find a way to win. The Trail Blazers are the number three seed in the West. Golden State is an -8.0 point favorite in the series opener.
Depth a Key For Warriors
The Golden State Warriors are playing without a pair of starters in Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins, but that didn’t slow them down against Houston. Andre Iguodala went 5-8 from the three-point line in the series-clinching game, and Kevon Looney has played great off the bench. Looney is averaging 7 points per game as a reserve, but also provides amazing energy when on the floor.
The “Splash Brothers” will have to pick up the scoring with Durant out of the lineup, and that wasn’t a problem for them in game six against the Rockets. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have both struggled with their shooting throughout the playoffs, but they got hot at the right time. The duo combined for 11 three-pointers in that win and Curry poured in 33 points, all in the second half.
Blazers Getting Tremendous Guard Play
Portland is led by Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, and these two players have been putting on an absolute show throughout the playoffs. Lillard and McCollum have combined to score more than 50 points per game, and they have the ball in their hands a ton for the Blazers. McCollum usually plays second fiddle to Lillard, but he had 37 points in the game seven win over the Nuggets. These two superstars can both shoot it well, and they will challenge the Warriors defense.
The Trail Blazers are playing without center Jusuf Nurkic, but they have gotten some contributions from the rest of their big men. Enes Kanter is averaging 13 points and 10.6 rebounds per game in the postseason and should have his way against the Warriors. Shooting guard Rodney Hood is averaging 10 points per game in the playoffs after not playing much during the regular season. Portland is a scary good team that is playing with a ton of confidence.
Warriors Roll in Game 1
Portland had to gut out a tight game seven victories over the weekend and now head into one of the toughest places to play in the NBA. The Trail Blazers will be competitive in this series, but that won’t be the case in the series opener. Golden State knows that they must win at home, and they will roll over the Trail Blazers in game one. Bet the Warriors -8.0 over Portland in the series opener.