trailblazers

Golden State Warriors vs. Portland Trail Blazers Preview and Prediction

A Season’s End

Tomorrow is the final day of regular season basketball, and for the Portland Trail Blazers, their season will come to an end.

The Blazers will have one last shot at ended this long 12-game losing streak as they take on the Golden State Warriors at home.

Matchup: Portland (33-48) vs. Golden State (45-36)
Venue: Rose Garden Arena
Time: 7:30 PM PT
Date: Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Portland will hold their final home game Wednesday night. The city of Portland would like nothing better but to end the season with a win. The Blazers will try to do so against a team still fighting for playoff seeding.

For Portland, a loss and a win by both the Toronto Raptors and/or Philadelphia 76ers will improve their chances in winning the NBA Draft Lottery, or at least improve their draft position. So this could be a bitter sweet moment if they end up losing.

Game Notes/How They Match Up

I would like to see all the starters come back for one more hurrah. LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews have all missed the past few games. They have been sitting out with minor injuries, and if they were on the verge of a playoff push, there is no doubt in my mind that they would be out there on the court.

So why not let them give Rip City one more show this season? Well, Batum has already been ruled out, but the other two haven’t.

The Warriors on the other hand will try to hold onto the 6th seed in the playoffs. They get the 6th seed with a win or a Houston Rockets loss. I don’t think seeding is too much of concern for them. I think right now it is more about the momentum going into the playoffs. They would like to come in feeling good, a win Wednesday night will do that.

Every team plays Wednesday night, by the way. A lot of action, it should be fun to watch.

What to Watch: Portland

Let’s assume that Portland will once again be without their three starters. Without them, teams are allowed to pay more attention to Damian Lillard. It brings to mind that if he would have went to a lesser team, one without all the scoring options that Portland has in their starting lineup, he may not have had the season he had this year.

Not to take anything away from the guy – he has had a phenomenal season. The scoring options just help his game as teams can’t key in on him.

Warriors vs. Trail Blazers

J.J. Hickson. Nice find. – (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

However, that hasn’t been the case over the past couple of games. Meanwhile, teams have been giving him fits, and he has struggled at times, as any other rookie would.

Portland will need more production out of their other players with their veteran starters sitting. Lillard can’t do it all himself. We’ll have to see who steps up to the challenge so that the Blazers can end this losing streak, and not have to wait a whole off-season to get the bad tastes out their mouths.

What to Watch: Golden State

Stephen Curry is on his way to setting a record in 3-pointers made in a single season. He is just 2 away from breaking the record, which was set by Ray Allen with Seattle in 2005-06. Allen made 269 3-pointers that season.

Aside from the record, the Warriors are just hoping to go into the playoffs on a good note. A loss to a  Blazers team that has been spiraling downward is not what they would like on their resume.

Key Matchup

Damian Lillard versus Stephen Curry is a fun match-up to watch. These two guys can fill it up on any given night. They have had some great games against each other already – Damian scoring 37 in their first regular season meeting and Steph scoring 39 in their last meeting. I see plenty more battles between these two in the future.

Lillard will look to have a great game tonight. He will have a lot of fans watching. Being from the bay area, all his fans back home will be watching from their respective homes, as well as all his newly found Blazers fans.

If nothing else about this game seems intriguing, this match-up has to do something for you.

Injury Report

Portland: OUT—Nicolas Batum, DAY-TO-DAY—LaMarcus Aldridge, Nolan Smith, and Wesley Matthews

Golden State: DAY-TO-DAY—Andris Biedrins, Draymond Green, and Andrew Bogut

Prediction

The streak ends!

Just playing. Sorry folks, but there are just too many holes in this lineup. If LaMarcus and Wesley play though, I say Portland has a real shot at winning this one. In fact, Blazers win 106-99 if they do.. But I don’t really think they will play. 

Blazers 92 – Warriors 100

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