Blazers/Warriors Pre-Thoughts


Looking to head into a much needed All-Star Break with some momentum, the Blazers will travel to Oakland to officially end the first half the season at Golden State. This is the third and final matchup between the two teams with both teams having split, winning on their respective home courts.

And let’s cut right to the chase today ladies and gentlemen. I don’t have the best of feelings about this game. Let me explain.

The Blazers are tired. Not quite ‘I’m taking care of a baby tired’ but definitely ‘college girl whose been partying all weekend’ tired. You could see it last night. And playing a second game in two days isn’t going to cure that at all. This is probably last team you should play with tired legs, especially with the way they have been playing this month. But that’s for later. There’s always a possibility of the thoughts “It’s the last game before the All-Star Break, the second of a back-to-back…” Nate has been really good at having the guys ready save for a few exceptions, but there’s a fear of the Blazers not showing up tonight. We’ve played a mature brand all year but after not showing up in OKC I have to have a little fear. They looked tired last night against and like Coup said if they play lethargic and sloppy tonight it will be a thrashing.

Reason #2? No one is really talking about it but the Warriors have absolutely been on fire this month. Especially in the Oracle Arena. They are 3-1 at home this month with the only loss coming against San Antonio in overtime. By one point. Not too shabby if I’d say so myself. Check the numbers they have put up at home this month: 105 (SA), 124 (PHX), 116 (Utah) and 144 (New York). Granted none of those teams are defensive powers…but…actually… neither are we right now. We seem to have left our defense in El Segundo. If we bring that defense from last night to Oakland it will be a track meet and the Warriors will be the Jamaican National Team. We’ll be the US. Zing. Stephen Jackson has been a monster this month, averaging 28.4 points, 9 assists, shooting 47% from the field and 48.3% from behind the arc. Yucky. Maggette’s a beast and is averaging 19.6, Crawford’s up around 16 and Monta Ellis is getting back into a groove. If it weren’t for their horrendous start, I’d be scared of the Warriors making a second half run. But I’m more afraid a camera will cut to Don Nelson and he’ll be sneaking a swig of scotch in.

Also we haven’t won a game in Oakland since 2004. That win was 16 days before the Pistons/Pacers brawl. Damn right?

Keys to success:

  • Avoid the tired legs. It’s going to take a full 48 of effort to compete with the Warriors. We’re the superior team if we want to be. If we think we can just show up and play, it will be a long night. We bring some effort to the table, we going into the All-Star Break with a smile on our faces. Along with this is cut the sloppy play out from last night. Rare that we play sloppy but let’s not do it on the road.
  • Don’t fall into the Golden State trap. Don’t let them run. Don’t let them out-score you. Don’t let them get easy buckets. Don’t let them out-hustle you. Don’t let it turn into a shoot-out. It sounds simple and obvious but it’s key we don’t fall into the trap if we want the win.
  • Win the battle of the boards + use the inside advantage. Especially with no Biedrins in the house we should be able to get second shots, attack the basket and get to the free throw line. No need to settle tonight. Turiaf is active but he can only do so much. I’m staring right at you LaMarcus.

And that’s that. Worried but confident, at the very least we’ll learn something about this team going into the All-Star Break.