The Golden State Warriors are now up 3-0 in the Western Conference finals over the Portland Trail Blazers. The defending NBA champions have outscored Portland by a total of 36 points through the first three games.
The Golden State Warriors look primed to make another run at the NBA Finals despite missing key players Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins, and possibly Andre Iguodala, who is now listed as day-to-day after making the game-winning defensive play in Game 2.
Trail Blazers Try To Make History
The Trail Blazers are trying to do what has never been done before. No team in the history of the NBA has come back from being down 3-0 in a series. The Trail Blazers have the benefit of playing at home for the next game, and they will need all the help they can get to survive against the defending champions.
Not everything has been as bad as it sounds for the Trail Blazers so far. They did hold significant leads at halftime of the last two games. It is clear that this is a team that can hang with the Warriors. The problem has been the Warriors’ huge surge in the third quarter of each game. The Warriors outscored the Blazers by 15 in the third quarter of Game 2 and by 16 in Game 3. The Blazers hanging in games with the Warriors is great, but unless they can step it up and steal a game away from the Warriors, they will be playing their last game of the season on Monday night.
Warriors Firing On All Cylinders
As for the Golden State Warriors, their injuries have not slowed them down at all. In fact, the Warriors have been more efficient since Durant’s injury. Seth Curry called the Warriors “harder to defend without Durant,” according to ESPN. The Warriors have now won 27 of their last 28 games without Kevin Durant in the starting lineup.
Steph Curry led the Warriors in scoring in the last two games with 36 and 35. As long as Curry remains unstoppable, the Warriors will be the favorite to win the championship for the fourth time in the last five years. The Golden State Warriors looked like they could be stopped at a couple of different points earlier in the playoffs, but now, it would be surprising to see them drop any games from now to the end of the postseason.
What to expect
The Warriors will be looking to finish the sweep of the Trail Blazers on Monday, and I don’t see any reason why they won’t be successful. Portland has a great team this year, Damian Lillard has been almost perfect through the playoffs so far, and he has had possibly more help on the rest of his team than he has had his entire career.
Unfortunately, it takes more than that to stop a team full of All-Stars with a history of winning championships. Even with the injuries to Durant, Cousins, and Iguodala, I would not expect the Warriors to slow down at all. My take is the Warriors and the over to take the sweep in Game 4.