Facing the Blazers (Part 2)

Game # 36 GSW (19-15) @ Portland Trailblazers (21-13)
GSW: (Road) 11-8     Blazers: (Home) 16-3
Tip-off: 7:00 pm PST     Venue: Rose Garden

STANDING: Golden State Warriors: 3rd Pacific - 8th West
                    Portland Trailblazers: 2nd NoWest - 7th Pacific

GAME PREDICTION: Golden State Warriors (19-15) - 44.4%
                              Portland Trailblazers (21-13) - 55.5% (+ 1.2)

Comparable stats (raw numbers)

Golden State Warriors (34 games)                            Portland Trailblazers (34 games)

PPG:  108.1 (2nd) - 3,675 pts made                         96.6 (17th) - 3,283 pts made
FG%: 45.0 (15th) - 1,358/3,020                              46.2 (8th) -  1,218/2,639
3-pt%: 35.0 (16th) 324/926                                    38.6 (4th) - 223/ 578
FT%: 73.7 (20th) -  635/826                                   76.1 (13th) -  624/820
RPG: 12.6 (5th) - 1,443 (O:428/D:1,015)                10.1 (24th) -  1,361 (O:345/D:1,016)
TOPG: 13.88                                                          13.88
Ast/TO - 1.66                                                         1.64
Pts in paint: 44.5 ppg (1,513 pts made)                   39.4 ppg (1,340 pts made)

PPG: 106.8 (30th) -  3,630 pts allowed                     95.7 (8th) - 3,254 pts allowed
FG%: 45.9 (23rd) - 1,317/2,872                              44.5 (9th) -  1,251/2,809
3-pt%: 36.1 (19th) - 226/626                                  33.5 (6th) - 211/629
FT%: 74.8 (12th) - 750/1.030                                 76.7 (25th) - 541/705
RPG: 29.9 (20th) -  1,631(O:463/D:1,168)               29.9 (19th) - 1,426 (O:430/D:996)
TOPG: 17.41                                                          13.08
Steal/game: 8.74                                                   5.65
Pts in paint:42.3 ppg (1,438 pts allowed)                 42.0 ppg (1,428 pts allowed)

Portland had the home advantage and they are number 3 in the league in home wins;  Boston - 16-1, San Antonio - 17-2,  Portland and Dallas are tied at 16-3. On the other hand, the Warriors were 6th in winning road games; Boston - 13 -2, Orlando - 15-5, Hornets - 14-5, Detroit - 13-5, Phoenix - 13-6 and Golden State Warriors 11-8.

The last time the two teams met at the Rose Garden in Portland last Dec. 12, Warriors were 12-9 while the Blazers were 9-12. The Warriors lost their 5th road game, 95-105 and both teams were missing the services of one each of their starters, Warriors in Ellis while the Blazers in Aldridge. But the glaring stats of that game was the personal fouls: Warriors 25; Blazers 13. The Blazers made 23/30 (76.7%), while the Warriors 12/13 (92.3%). True, the Blazers have a higher FG % (46.3%) 38/82 against the Warriors (40.0%) at 35/87 but that was negated to the 3-pt shooting of the Warriors, making 13/35 (37.1%) while the Blazers did converted 6/18 for (33.3%).

Giving credit where credit is due, the Blazers played an inspired and all around basketball especially Outlaw and Roy and it was only marred by what I believed was poor officiating. Most of us Warriors fans have a high tolerance of excuses when it comes to Warriors' losing (12 yrs in the doormat makes one immune), but when the Warriors are playing 5 against 8, someone had to shout FOUL! And it is the work of referees Bennie Adams, Matt Boland and Dan Crawford that awarded 30 FT to the Blazers and only 13 to the Warriors. "I'm still trying to figure out what's considered a foul and what's not considered a foul," said Stephen Jackson, who drew a technical foul in the third quarter and fouled out in the fourth. "I need to read the players' manual. I'm confused right now." None of it made a difference, as the Warriors couldn't come up with stops - or at least ones that weren't negated by a whistle.
The vaunted 4th quarter game of the Warriors did not work against the Mavs and Hornets. Instead, they were outplayed, out-hustled and out-scored by the in the 4th quarter Mavs 32-14 while the Hornets 32-18 at the 3rd quarter. On the other hand the Blazers out-last the Bulls in double OT 115-109 and Utah 36-22 behind the sweet shooting of Webster who hit 10 straight in a row including 3 3-pointers. He made 24 pts in that 3rd quarter enough not to noticed the sitting of Roy who only played 9:27 minutes due to bruised tailbone suffered from the Bulls game.

The Warriors have to start fast and early and make their 30 points/quarter objective for them to score over 100. They are 18/9 when the score over the century mark and 8/15 when they cannot score over 100. They have limit the Blazers below 100 points as they are 11/2 when they do and 5/8 when they can not score over 100. The Dubs have to get points with their bench as they were outscored 33 - 56 the last time. It would be interesting to see if Nellie will match Wright to Aldridge. Wright will not stop Aldridge but surely because of his length he can change some of his shots. The last time they were outscored at the paint 26-36 by the Blazers while the Warriors averaged 47.52 ppg in the paints before the game at Portland. They have to go to the rim as almost 40% of their point productions are in the paints.

The Warriors especially the team captains must control their emotions even if the officiating calls are not going their way. Sometimes, it helps as when Nellie was ejected at the Houston game, but most often than not it affects their game decision making and put the team in jeopardy which is almost always detrimental to the result of the game. Having said that, if the Warriors have to make the necessary game plan adjustments and execute them properly at both ends of the court and if the bench will contribute their fair share; then Warriors by 5.

Go Dubs

See also Facing the Blazers (Part 1)

This FanPost is a submission from a member of the mighty Golden State of Mind community. While we're all here to throw up that W, these words do not necessarily reflect the views of the GSoM Crew. Still, chances are the preceding post is Unstoppable Baby!

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