While the Golden State Warriors head into game 5 with a chance to move onto the conference finals, the Portland Trail Blazers are still trying to recover from the Stephen Curry overtime experience.
Coming off the bench and not having too great of a shooting night, Curry became the guy who won the MVP this season putting unheard of shooting numbers. He scored an NBA-record 17 points in overtime to put the Warriors up 3-1 in a series that’s been a lot closer than that, but still puts the Warriors one win away from moving onward to their second consecutive conference finals series, returning home, where they’ve yet to lose in the postseason.
The Blazers aren’t the kind of team that gives up. They have fight in them. They have a smart coach. They defend well despite the numbers we’re seeing in this series (high pace makes that happen), and they Damian Lillard, who scored 36 points (on 30 shots) in the previous game, finishing with 76 points over the last two. You won’t find a single Portland player believing they’re heading towards what is most likely their final game of the season.
We played really well in Game 3 and got the win, Game 2 we played really well and we let that one slip away and then Monday we played really well again. They’re a championship team. We competed with them. We’re right there, we were one or two stops from winning the game. We let another one get away.
Confidence is one thing, but reality is another. The Blazers are the only team this season to beat the Warriors twice (once in the regular season, once in this series). However, the Warriors are 44-2 at home including the playoffs, and in order to somehow win this series, they’ll need to win twice inside the Oracle arena.
And slowing down Curry, something no one in the NBA has been able to do consistently, isn’t their only problem. The Warriors are excellent without him too. Draymond Green provided the bully factor once again in a tight spot for the Warriors, propelling them to a big win. Klay Thompson knocked down five 3-pointers. The Warriors just keep coming from all directions, and with Curry back on the floor, the Blazers seem a bit shorthanded when it comes to their ability of handling this offensive overload.
For the Blazers to get this series to game 6, a lot needs to happen. The Warriors? They just need an ordinary night, which is the more likely thing to happen.