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Preview: Champs coming home after undefeated road trip to battle Oakland hero Damian Lillard’s Blazers

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The Dubs (minus Curry) head back to Oakland to handle some Town Biz against Oakland native Damian Lillard’s Blazers

NBA: Playoffs-Portland Trail Blazers at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Game information

Who: Golden State Warriors (21-6) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (13-12)

When: 7:30pm PST - Monday, December 11

Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA

How to watch: NBCSBA, NSNW

How to listen: 95.7 The Game

Enemy’s blog: The Blazer’s Edge

Injury report

Warriors: Stephen Curry (out, ankle) Patrick McCaw (questionable, nose) Zaza Pachulia (doubtful, shoulder)

Trailblazers: Jusuf Nurkic (out, ankle) Maurice Harkless (questionable, quad)

The World Champion Golden State Warriors just finished their first 6-0 road trip in franchise history, folks!

After more than a week away, the friendly confines of Roaracle arena should be a welcome sight for a team that is rolling despite injuries to Stephen “Unanimous” Curry and Patrick “Future-Hall-of-Famer” McCaw.

The Warriors won’t be the only players giddy to return to Oakland Monday night though. Damian Lillard, two-time All-Star point guard for the Blazers and legit rapper will be coming back home to rep for his original stomping grounds of East Oakland.

Struggling Blazers

Portland is on a noteworthy streak of their own: they just went 0-4 on their most recent homestand. Their last game was a tough loss to the Rockets and their (superior?) backcourt of James Harden and Chris Paul. Their struggles are, in part, due to the recent absence of their powerful giant, Jusuf Nurkic, who is nursing an ankle injury. Overall, this team has a playoff caliber roster and should eventually find a groove.

In this young season we can already see how much they have improved on defense under head coach Terry Stotts.

  • Last year they were ranked 21st in the league for overall defensive rating, now they are 6th (the Warriors are 3rd this season).
  • They are also 5th ranked in defending the three point arc, and are the 3rd best team at forcing teams to miss from the field. Golden State is ranked 8th and 1st respectively.

Don’t forget the raw offensive fire power they wield in Lillard and NBA 2K monster C.J. McCollum. Lillard is averaging 25 points and six assists against the Warriors for his career, and McCollum is averaging an alarming 28 points for his lifetime against Golden State, shooting a sizzling 42% beyond the arc.

Warriors can’t stop, won’t stop

The champs have found their groove despite frustrating injuries to Curry and McCaw. Kevin Durant is ripping off monster games in his broadened point-forward role, and the Strength in Numbers is in full effect.

These teams are quite familiar with each other, having met in the playoffs the last two seasons. The champs have gone a blistering 8-1 against Rip City in the postseason over those two series, including a bloody sweep to end Portland’s season last year. In regular season contests, the Warriors have won six straight.

Oddly enough, Curry missed the last Blazers v.s. Warriors regular season contest as well. Let’s all take a look back and remember what Durant did to Portland that evening (33 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists).

With the caliber of player that he is, I wouldn’t be surprised if the former MVP unleashed another vintage performance Monday night on Dame and C.J.’s squad. I’m looking forward to an up-and-down, high-octane battle in the Town!

Gold-blooded prediction: Warriors 112, Trailblazers 108