In spite of a 121-109 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of their Western Conference playoff series, the Portland Trail Blazers have plenty to like with respect to their performance. Clearly, the real issue for the Blazers was Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum detonating for a combined 75 points. The most elevated scoring backcourt in the league, Portland’s team produced points from everywhere throughout the court— frequently going right at Curry and Klay Thompson.
The Blazers likewise played a strong defensive game. Despite the fact that it sounds interesting to credit a team’s defensive effort subsequent to surrendering 121 points, this game saw a strong collaboration, including potentially McCollum’s best defensive game as a professional.
The Blazers—without center Jusuf Nurkic and intensely mismatched on times—hung in for the first seventy five percent of this game, giving fans the hope that they can, in any event, make this series to some degree competitive. In spite of this ethical triumph, Portland has some few modifications that they have to make for Game 2.
Since Nurkic’s status is up in the air, there’s no genuine motivation to comment on the most proficient method to incorporate him, until we know he’ll be playing. Clearly, however, the Warriors would even now be the clear top picks with Nurkic dynamic, he, at any rate, drives Golden State to the course of action in an unexpected way. Be that as it may since we don’t know whether or when he’ll be active, we’ll need to stick a pin in that.
Start The Physicality
As Lillard said in his post-game remarks, the team that starts physicality gets the advantage of the whistles, as well as more effectively ready to set up and maintains momentum. In the final quarter the previous evening, the Warriors turned up the physical part of their defense and tore open a tight game.
The Blazers need to figure out how to blend it up a little bit themselves. This won’t be the least demanding assignment for them; they’re playing fantastically undersized and, as we as a whole know, their most physical player may not be accessible in this series by any means. However, Portland needs to tell Golden State that they’re here to play playoff-style ball. Al-Farouq Aminu, Maurice Harkless, Evan Turner, and even Noah Vonleh must be set up to blend it up on defense.
This implies bodying up on Kevin Durant before he gets the ball, attempting to get Draymond Green stuck in a potential foul or conceivably teasing him into accomplishing something moronic, and not being reluctant to foul hard in the lane. Not to state, they ought to take dirty moves at each player who drives down the line at the same time, in the playoffs. In case you’re going to foul a person, it should be sufficiently hard that you know he’s not going to wrap up. He may even mull over driving the path once more.
Teams that constrain the issue with their physicality frequently get the opportunity to be vindicated in the playoffs. Despite the fact that Portland isn’t the most physical team by far, and could end up stuck in an unfortunate situation, this is a risk worth taking against such a skilled Warriors team.
Find Points From Somebody Other Than Lillard/Mccollum
Portland’s backcourt blast was a delight to watch, yet didn’t come without its drawback. Whatever is left of the team combined for 35 points in under 31 percent shooting, and Evan Turner had more than 33% of that aggregate independent from anyone else. That is not going to complete it against a Warriors team that set up 116 points per game amid the regular season.
Harkless and Vonleh both had opportunities close to the rim where they turned out poorly solid; Aminu was a calamity, Allen Crabbe vanished. Credit is because of the Warriors’ defense, however, a great deal of this torment was self-caused. Crabbe could just get one field goal in 22 minutes? Aminu expected to spill into the teeth of the resistance? Coach Terry Stotts needs to get inventive in making sense of how to get his supporting cast great looks and, similarly as critically, they will need to be willing to take them. Without mentioning names, some few Blazers seemed as though they were playing anxious with the ball in their grasp.
Ideally, some couple of changes within the Blazers’ sets and several days to give the butterflies a chance to settle down, will prompt an alternate outcome. Despite the fact that the playoffs are an alternate creature and we’ve seen some stunning exhibitions throughout the years, Portland most likely can’t depend on 75 a night from Lillard and McCollum. Regardless of the possibility that they move up their game over the regular season, and average a combined 60 a night in this series, that leaves 55 to 60 points that need to originate from elsewhere.
What’s more, not on account of he may kick you in an exceptionally awkward place. Draymond Green is the complete self of the Warriors and a solid candidate to usurp Kawhi Leonard as the Defensive Player of the Year. Green exceeds expectations as a help defender, particularly, so it will be basic for the Blazers to represent him under all circumstances. Numerous circumstances in Game 1 appeared just as Green got the Blazers off guard, he came in the paint for a block, avoidance, or shot-modifying verticality.
Vonleh, Aminu, or Leonard hitting from the outside would offer assistance. It won’t keep him out of the paint, however, in the event that Green needs to mull over abandoning one of those folks on the edge, that half-stride has a significant effect. Much the same as teams playing defense should know about where Curry is at all circumstances, Portland should know about Green playing free safety, and be set up to make the additional pass out of the lane while penetrating.
Taking all things together, the Blazers played and additionally can be sought after 38-40 minutes on Sunday. The Warriors are a genuinely extraordinary team and it takes close immaculate execution to beat them. Portland hung in and gave fans an engaging game. On the off chances that they want to take one in Oracle, they’ll have to keep up the things they did well and effectively make the conformities listed above. While it’s simpler said than done, we’re eager to perceive how the team responds today by 10:30 PM.