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Preview: Undefeated Warriors face Blazers in final preseason game

CAN THEY WIN ‘EM ALL?

Golden State Warriors v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

Hey, are you a Bay Area sports fan who believed in the San Francisco Giants but is dumbfounded after they were eliminated by their rival Los Angeles Dodgers? Lick your wounds by latching on to the most dangerous sleeper in the NBA; the Golden State Warriors!

Who: Golden State Warriors vs Portland Trail Blazers

When: Friday, October 15th, 2021 @ 7PM PT

How to Watch: NBC Sports Bay Area

How to Listen: 95.7 The Game

Injuries:

Warriors: Klay Thompson (out, Achilles), James Wiseman (out, knee)

Blazers: Damian Lillard (out, rest), Anfernee Simons (thumb, out), Nassir Little (hamstring, out), Cody Zeller (nose, out)

The Warriors haven’t lost this preseason. If they want to close their exhibition games out with a perfect record on the eve of the 75th anniversary of Golden State hoops, they’ll need to knock off the winless Portland Trail Blazers.

A big part of the reason they’re struggling to rack up wins may have something to do with their defense. Here’s an update on that, from our blog buddies at Blazers Edge after a recent loss to the Phoenix Suns:

The Blazers are pretty good at the point of attack. They’re adequate after the initial pass following, as their first rotation is usually crisp. After that, they’re hopeless. They seem to have no idea how to adjust as a team after that initial defensive move. One more pass yields an open three for the opponent. If the Blazers close, one pass after that yields a dunk. And all that happens when the Blazers were trying on defense.

Phoenix got a disturbing number of dunks and alley-oops out of their halfcourt offense in this game...literally the easiest shots imaginable. This should never happen against a team with defensive backbone, particularly when the same team is giving up open threes. If the Blazers are not guarding the arc and not guarding the rim, what exactly ARE they guarding?

In all fairness, the Warriors were the ones who started this testing of Portland’s new defense. After all, it was the beginning of guard Jordan Poole’s preseason rampage when he tore Portland apart earlier this preseason.

The most important thing for both clubs is to escape this contest without any major injuries before the real games start. But a win over the Blazers would be a nice salve for the wounds of Bay Area fans who saw their Giants lose last night.