Dave Essler | NBA Sides Fri, 02/19/16 – 10:05 PM
864 POR 9.0 (-120) vs 863 GSW
Analysis: There are plenty of “9’s” out there but I’ll use -120 because my guess is there may not be and I hate hooks. We’re of course going to pay a huge premium for Golden State – and in this case Portland hasn’t lost a game (they were actually on a 8-1 run going into the break, so confident here) but nine points since the back end of a B2B at Philadelphia over a month ago. Prior to that – their next and perhaps worst loss of the season was at home to these Warriors in early January by 20 points. They’ll be motivated for sure. Teams that are rhythm teams like GS CAN tend to get out of sync with a huge layoff. What I really like here is that Portland has been playing defense, only allowing one opponent to score more than 106 points in their last eleven games – and they’re #3 in the NBA in fewest fast break points allowed. The Blazers are ninth in opponents FG’s made per game and they’re third in the league in offensive rebounds, something Golden State has actually allowed at a fairly high rate. This is the first of six straight road games for the Warriors, and they’ve got one tomorrow at the Clippers – so perhaps SOME looking to “the next one” here – we’d like to think. This is the first of four straight home games for Portland, who has tomorrow off and is 16-11 at home this season. I love their chances here with Lillard and McCollum both averaging over 20+ per game, and having Crabbe and Aminu as options as well. They’ve got more offensive firepower than one would think – yes, the Warriors are the Warriors and they’ve got “what’s his name” and Klay Thompson. They’ll get theirs but I like the Waôrriors bench here to keep this game close. No, it would not surprise me if Portland won outright, but nine points is just too many.