The Portland Trail Blazers are fully in “life after C.J. McCollum” mode, breaking up his longtime partnership with alleged second greatest shooter in NBA history Damian Lillard. Portland ran into the Golden State dynasty three different times in the postseason, winning only a single playoff game in that span.
They’ve reconfigured their team around Lillard with Anfernee Simons and Jerami Grant in major supporting roles. Currently they have a record of 18-16, coming off a win over the Charlotte Hornets.
Meanwhile the Golden State Warriors are also coming off a win over the Hornets (the gift that keeps on giving) and have a record of 18-18. They’ve also reconfigured their team, partly due to injuries to greatest shooter of all time Stephen Curry and All-Star Andrew Wiggins, and also because they’re integrating a new rotation of role players.
Golden State Warriors vs Portland Trail Blazers
December 30th, 2022 | 7:00 PT
Watch: NBC Sports Bay Area, NBA TV | Listen: 95.7 The Game
Andrew Wiggins remains out against the Blazers tomorrow night. There’s a sense this could be his final missed game. JaMychal Green is now listed out with a right lower leg infection. He had been in health and safety protocols.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 30, 2022
The subject of the role players has been a major subject in Dub Nation, partially because there’s consternation over replacing the void left by sparkplug guard Gary Payton II. GP2 was a major contributor to Golden State’s championship run last season, playing elite lockdown defense while scoring opportunistically with flair.
As the son of Hall-of-Famer and Oakland native Gary Payton, he did the family name proud in the Bay. That also got him paid by Portland in the offseason.
That’s got fans still pining for his impact, especially since a straight line can be drawn from the Warriors not paying for him to retain other assets like...James Wiseman?
"They don't have Otto Porter Jr. and Gary Payton Jr. because of James Wiseman...This is a huge deal."— KNBR (@KNBR) November 15, 2022
- Marcus Thompson w/ Papa & Lund on James Wiseman getting sent to G League
But did you know GP2 has yet to play a game for the Blazers this season as he recovers from a core injury? AND he’ll miss Friday’s contest unfortunately. In his absence guys like Donte DiVincenzo and Jonathan Kuminga are getting a chance to step into those shoes.
Steve Kerr and the coaching staff doing a phenomenal job these past 3 games.— Dr. Nirav Pandya, M.D. (@DrNiravPandya) December 29, 2022
Who ya got, Warriors or Blazers?
This poll is closed
Warriors, they don’t lose at home
Portland, Damian Lillard is back home in the Bay and will be on fire!