Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:58 AM

G2 - Blazers at Warriors

Playoff Results | Conference Final Odds | Conference Final Predictions

Western Conference Finals – Game 2
No. 3 Portland at No. 1 Golden State (ESPN, 9:05 p.m. ET)

2018-19 Regular Season (Tied 2-2, Over 2-2)
Nov. 23 - Warriors (-1.5) 125 vs. Blazers 97 (Over 218.5)
Dec. 27 – Blazers (+8.5) 110 at Warriors 109 - OT (Under 227)
Dec. 29 – Warriors (-5) 115 at Blazers 105 (Under 226)
Feb. 13 – Blazers (+2) 129 vs. Warriors 107 (Over 235)

Some (or most) may argue that we’ve already witnessed the Western Conference Finals as the Warriors eliminated the Rockets in six games. Golden State is now three wins away from a fifth straight Western Conference title as the Warriors took care of the Trail Blazers in Game 1 on Tuesday, 116-94. The Warriors easily cashed as 7 ½-point favorites and did so without the services of Kevin Durant.

Golden State closed out Houston without Durant and jumped out to 1-0 lead over Portland with KD sidelined as he continues to nurse a calf injury. Durant will likely miss Game 2, but the Warriors’ squad that went to a pair of NBA Finals without the former Thunder star showed they just were fine in Game 1. Golden State led by seven heading into the fourth quarter, but outscored Portland, 39-23 in the final 12 minutes to improve to 17-1 in playoff series openers under Steve Kerr.

Only three Warriors posted double-figure scoring numbers in Game 1, led by Stephen Curry’s 36 points, which included nine three-pointers. After being held scoreless in the first half of the series clinching win at Houston, Curry has scored 69 points in past six quarters, while Golden State actually converted more three-pointers (17) in Game 1 than free throws (15).

Five Blazers scored at least 10 points in the opener, but Portland will not beat Golden State if the backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum continue to combine for 36 points. McCollum put up 17 points after a pair of terrific performances in the last two wins against Denver in the second round (67 points), but Lillard continued to struggle from the floor. The Oakland native did lead Portland with 19 points, but nine of those points came at the foul line, while Lillard shot 4-of-12 and is 7-of-29 in the past two games.

Total bettors were expecting fireworks in Game 1 as the number closed as high as 221 after an opener of 218. The lean was incorrect and Portland’s inability to connect from the field helped the ‘under’ connect easily. For Game 2, the oddsmakers sent out an opener of 218 and the betting public hasn’t shown a lean one way or another as of Wednesday evening.

Chris David of offered up his total thoughts on the second installment from Oracle Arena. He said, “Playing in the Bay Area in the playoffs has proven to be much more difficult than a regular season game and Portland felt that wrath on Tuesday. The result wasn’t surprising, considering we just watched a more offensively skilled Houston team crumble three times in the conference semifinals after winning there twice during the regular season.”

“Including the 94 points scored in Game 1, Portland has been held to 101.7 PPG in their last seven trips to Oracle. It’s safe to say that they’ll need to eclipse that average to steal a road win in this series or put on a phenomenal defensive effort. Is it possible? In their three playoff road wins, the Trail Blazers gave up 96, 90 and 98. In the four losses, 120.5 PPG and that includes the 116 allowed on Tuesday.”

The one positive from the opener for the Blazers is that they got to the free throw stripe 31 times in the loss and they made 27. Another positive for Portland is that it’s bounced back strong off poor shooting nights. Since the All-Star break, the Blazers have been held under 100 points five times which includes Game 1. In the following contest, the club has scored 117, 132, 140 and 119 points. The shots are going to be there, just a matter of making them and I believe Portland will in Game 2. My lean would be to the Blazers Team Total Over (105),” David added.

The Blazers have lost 14 of their past 15 trips to Oracle Arena since January 2014 as NBA expert Tony Mejia checks in with his take on Game 2, “The Blazers are likely to change things up from a personnel standpoint, so keep that in mind when betting Game 2. Enes Kanter was productive on the boards and the low block, but the Blazers still had to compensate for his lack of defense with how they defended the perimeter. With Rodney Hood moving around better than expected after Sunday’s knee injury, get used to see him in three-guard lineups and don’t be surprised to see Moe Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu out there as the Blazers go small. The more mobile Zach Collins should continue to see major minutes, so we could see a faster pace with more ball handlers and shooters out on the floor.”

Since failing to cover all four Game 2’s of the playoffs in Kerr’s first season in 2015, the Warriors own a 10-4 ATS mark in Game 2’s dating back to 2016. Granted, one of those non-covers came in an outright defeat to the Clippers in the first round as 13 ½-point favorites, 135-131. Portland has put together a 1-6 record in its last seven Game 2’s after losing the series opener, but the lone victory came in the second round at Denver.

You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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