What We Learned From Warriors vs Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers needed to have big games from guards CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard if they were to have any hope of taking down the Golden State Warriors or at the least, making it a competitive series. Prior to the start of the series, Lillard even boasted that he was confident that Portland could take down the Dubs in six games. Coming off a stretch where the Blazers were nearly lights out in making the playoffs, it seemed that they had momentum going into the matchup for the second year in a row to make for an enjoyable series.
Reality is cruel however. The reality is that the Blazers just aren’t at the level of the Warriors yet.
Despite a series that saw Warriors head coach Steve Kerr go down with what his doctors described as an “illness” and missing forward Kevin Durant for Game 3 back in Portland, the Warriors turned to their previous playoff experience and proved equal to the upset-minded Blazers, taking the series in four games.
It seemed no matter what the Blazers tried, the Warriors had the antidote. In Game 1, Golden State was withstood McCollum’s career day and still managed to win the game by double digits.
The Warriors, showed championship resolve and wiped out the Blazers in front of their own crowd. If there were any questions about a malaise or hangover from last year’s loss in the NBA Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State made its first statement in erasing those doubts.
The Blazers showed composure and guts in finishing the season so strong in order to get into the postseason. The pairing of Lillard and McCollum also proved to be in the same elite-echelon of Warriors guards Klay Thompson and Steph Curry, matching them shot for shot for the majority of the series. Portland has a bright future and with a couple of free agent additions this offseason will continue to rise.
For as bright a future the Blazers have, the Warriors’ time is now; this series proved Golden State is just much better at the moment. With a motivated Curry, Draymond Green proving why he is a worthy candidate for Defensive Player of the Year again and role players like JaVale McGee playing outside of expectation, the Warriors are the team to beat for the present.