Today we hope for better things.
Who: Golden State Warriors (2-3) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (3-2)
When: 5:30 p.m. PT
Where: Chase Center, San Francisco, California
TV: NBA TV and NBC Sports Bay Area (available through fuboTV)
Projected starting lineups:
Warriors: Stephen Curry, Kelly Oubre Jr., Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, James Wiseman
Blazers: Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Derrick Jones Jr., Robert Covington, Jusuf Nurkic
Warriors: Lost to Blazers 123-98
Blazers: Beat Warriors 123-98
Warriors: 100.7 offense (30th), 115.2 defense (29th), -14.5 net (30th)
Blazers: 111.1 offense (9th), 113.3 defense (25th), -2.2 net (19th)
The Warriors have played two bad teams and three good teams. They have two wins and three blowout, non-competitive losses.
I’ll let you figure out how those shook out.
If the Warriors want to make noise in the Western Conference this year, then they need to figure out how to compete with good teams. Two days after getting the carpet pulled out from under them against this same Blazers squad, the Dubs get another chance to prove that they can hang with Portland.
Players to watch
Warrior to watch: Steph Curry.
Curry has been getting flak this year for not being the player he once was. But if you ignore the icy cold three-point shooting, he’s been playing some of the best basketball of his career.
You shouldn’t ignore the icy cold three-point shooting, of course, but it’s probably safe to say that the best shooter in NBA history didn’t turn into Russell Westbrook over night.
The Warriors need Curry to be a dominant force, and he can be if his three starts dropping.
Blazer to watch: CJ McCollum.
McCollum torched the Dubs on Friday by making his first four triples of the night. Containing Damian Lillard is an impossible task, which means the Warriors need to rely on not letting other players beat them.
Matchup to watch: James Wiseman vs. Jusuf Nurkic.
Wiseman didn’t look great during Friday’s game, and admitted that he needed to be more aggressive and get into the paint with greater regularity. Portland has had an awful defense this season, and Wiseman needs to take the issue to them and get to the rim.
He also needs to avoid foul trouble while defending a very crafty player in Nurkic.
Keys to victory
- Steph Curry has to shoot efficiently, and make some threes
- Andrew Wiggins needs to be a difference-maker on offense
- James Wiseman can’t live outside the paint
- Draymond Green has to have an impact
OK Dubs. Do the damn thing.