Portland Trailblazers vs. Golden State Warriors Preview and Pick

Portland Trailblazers +1 (6-4) at Golden State Warriors -1 (4-6) O/U 203.5 10:30 PM ET Tuesday November 18, 2008
By Jason Green at Predictem.com

Tonight the Blazers travel to the Bay Area to play the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors have won 2 of their last 4 games after a bad start and the Blazers have won 3 of their last 4 and now have Greg Oden back in the middle. This season the Warriors are 2-3 at home and the Blazers are 3-4 on the road. This game should be a barnburner, as Golden State really likes to run and heave up a ton of shots and the Blazers are young and can keep up.

Basketball bookies have the Warriors as 1-point favorites with a total around 203.5 points. Even though the Warriors are the favorites they are posted at +135 as home dogs and the Blazers are posted at -155 as away favorites.

The Warriors come onto this game after beating the Clippers on Saturday night 121-103. The high scorer in that game was an unlikely one, as undrafted rookie Anthony Morrow went for 37 points on 15/20 shooting. In that game every Warriors starter scored in double figures. For the game the Warriors were shooting lights out, as they were 48-94 from the field for a FG% of 51.1%. On defense the Warriors actually played some defense, holding the Clippers to only 36/91 shooting for a FG% of 39.6%.

The Blazers come into this game after beating the Minnesota T-Wolves 88-83. In that game the Brandon Roy was the high scorer going for 24 points on 9/18 shooting. Greg Oden came off the bench to score 13 points and grab 8 boards. For the game the Blazers shot 33/75 for a FG% of 44%. On defense the Blazers allowed the T-Wolves to shoot 34/77 for a FG% of 44.2%.

The Warriors are the 2nd leading scoring team in the league (104.4 ppg) with Nellie’s run and gun style of play. The Blazers rank 21st in the league in scoring (94.6 ppg), but are shooting a higher FG% than the Blazers. The Warriors are averaging just over 10 more shots per game than the Blazers. The Blazers have a higher FT% and a higher 3-point FG% than the Warriors. Speaking of the long-ball, the Warriors have not been knocking them down, as they are shooting at a 29% clip from beyond the arc.

The Blazers are in the middle of pack in terms of defense, as they rank 14th in the league (96.2 ppg). Now let’s talk about the Warriors defense, which can be summed up in one word: terrible. They rank 29th in points allowed (105.2 ppg) and they are allowing their opponents to shoot over 45% from the field. Because the Warriors run so much they give up a lot of easy buckets, as their opponents are averaging a whopping 14 more shots a game than the Blazers. Both teams are decent at hitting the glass, as each has around an even rebound differential.

This season the Warriors are 5-5 ATS and the Blazers are 6-5. In terms of Over/Under games the Warriors are 9-3 while the Blazers are 7-5.

On the injury front SF Corey Maggette is day-to-day for the Warriors while the Blazers are reporting no significant injuries.

In the last couple of years the Warriors have had the Blazers number at home, as they have won 6 straight at home against Portland by an average of 14 points.

Stephen Jackson is scoring 22.1 ppg for the Warriors and he should be a happy camper now that he just signed a 3-year extension. If the Warriors have found a diamond in the rough in rookie Morrow, they will be tough to beat with 2 legit scoring options that can light it up. AND, they will be even that much better when Monta Ellis returns.

This will be a big game for Oden, as he will match up with the Warriors Andris Biedrins who has a double double in 16 straight games. If Oden can contain Biedrins it will give a huge advantage to the Blazers, as they can spread the D and cover the perimeter more cutting down on fast break points of Golden State.

The Warriors will have to rebound the ball well and play good half court D to be successful in this game, neither of which is their strength.

Brandon Roy creates match up problems for the Warriors and if he is let lose on the run he may have a huge night.

The game may come down to Morrow and if he is legit or he is just a one game wonder.

Jason’s Pick: The Blazers should win this one if the fatige from being on the road for so long doesn’t kill them. Look for them to pull out a win here as their bench is deep and they’ll surely be using it tonight.