It’s a bittersweet game tonight: sure, we get to see the Golden State Warriors take on the Portland Trailblazers and Oakland’s own Damian Lillard, but this will be the last Warriors game for over a week.
The All star break can’t come soon enough for this Warriors squad.
Although the Warriors are in first place, they are barely hanging on to it - sitting only a half game ahead of the Houston Rockets (who hold the tie-breaker advantage should both teams finish with the same record). Beyond that though, these guys just look fried. It makes some sense when you consider that this is their fourth straight year grinding all the way through the playoffs - only this time there’s no shiny new addition like Durant, and nothing left to prove.
On top of all that, the NBA pushed the beginning of the season up by two weeks or so, but didn’t adjust the timing of the All Star break. On the plus side, that means that when they return to action on the 22nd against the Clippers, the Warriors will only have 20 games left in their season before the playoffs start!
Green back in, McCaw broke his wing
After missing a game with a sprained thumb, the Warriors are saying that forward Draymond Green will be available to play tonight.
Unfortunately, because it’s the 2017-18 season, we also lost a young player who had been working hard trying to improve. Turns out, five games in five nights may not have been the best idea.
This would seem to be the play Patrick McCaw fractured his wrist -- fighting through a Tyson Chandler screen late in first half vs Suns, clearly favoring it after pic.twitter.com/DxYuE9vzGc— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) February 14, 2018
The Warriors are tentatively estimating that McCaw will miss at least four weeks (they say he’ll be “evaluated” at that time) - but thankfully the All Star break will work in his favor here with the well-timed midterm break removing one week of active game time from that equation.
The Blazers will want this game badly, in the crowded Western playoff race a win can vault the Blazers to fifth place in the seeding, while a loss would drop them down to 9th. The Warriors? Welllll, let’s just say that I’m hoping they care at least a little bit about heading into the All Star break off a win.
Much love to all of you all, and Happy Valentine’s day from all of us at GSOM!!
Warriors 117 - Blazers 105