- When: Friday, October 21 at 7:30 p.m. Pacific time
- Where: Oracle Arena - Oakland, CA
- Coverage: Television - CSN Bay Area, NBA TV | Radio - 96.7 The Game
The Western Conference Semifinals ended a little more than five months ago, yet it seems like a distant memory with the 2016-17 NBA regular season around the corner. Despite eliminating the Portland Trail Blazers in five games, the series was incredibly close as Stephen Curry was inactive through the first three games with a knee injury, and Dub Nation waited with bated breath for his return.
The Portland series was a simpler time—a relatively drama-free precursor to the near-meltdown in the Conference Finals again the Oklahoma City Thunder—where Klay Thompson and Draymond Green shined on a national stage without the presence of the two-time MVP. Curry’s return was marked by a pedestrian performance in regulation followed by the greatest overtime performance in not only playoff, but also NBA history, as he poured in 17 points and set the stage for an elimination game at home.
Since then, Portland has made some interesting acquisitions, including signing former Warrior Festus Ezeli, who will not be suiting up for tomorrow’s game. Shabazz Napier, another offseason addition, and Meyers Leonard are also not expected to play.
For the Warriors, Coach Steve Kerr will not play Anderson Varejão, presumably to limit the veteran’s minutes and to avoid aggravating the back issue that prevented him from playing for his native Brazil during the Rio 2016 Olympics.
The Warriors are coming off a four-game win streak and look to build off a tremendous performance against the Los Angeles Lakers, where they notched 34 assists on 44 made baskets. Although just a preseason game, expect the Warriors to get up for this matchup, in part because of the recent history between the teams, but also because the Trail Blazers are a good, competitive team looking to reach new heights this coming season.