Prior to game three the Warriors hadn’t lost to the same team twice all season, but the Blazers took easy care of that. Heading into game four, the Warriors still haven’t have lost back to back games. Can the Blazers become the first team to beat them twice in a row as well?
According to Draymond Green, absolutely not. His comments after game three were dismissive, claiming that the Blazers were playing with doubt and the Warriors would win game four. Sure, I guess. I mean, give Damian Lillard some bulletin board material, that will definitely work out well in your favor.
But maybe Draymond is right, because the Warriors still have an ace in the hole. Steph Curry has been upgraded from doubtful to questionable for tonight’s game. There’s a slight chance, depending on how he feels during the pre-game workout, that he’ll suit up. Even operating at 50%, the MVP will change the landscape of the series dramatically. Shoot, if he Willis Reed-ed it, there’s no way the Warriors lose.
Portland lucked into a couple of tweaks that really worked in their favor in game three. Mason Plumlee, he of the stone hands and broken floater, got into foul trouble so Ed Davis soaked up some of his minutes. Moe Harkless missed some time with a sore hip and Gerald Henderson filled in perfectly. Going small with Davis in the middle was key—the floor was well spaced for pick and rolls while Dame ate up Golden State’s soft-ish coverage. Al-Farouq Aminu went supernova, CJ was CJ, and the outside shots were falling.
It’s hard to imagine much of an encore from his game three performance, especially when the defense will likely be keyed in on him, so Dame will need some help from the role players. Plumlee being able to make a shot from three feet would help, as would Aminu going near perfect from the field again. With Harkless limited due to a hip injury, there will be plenty of minutes for both Henderson and Allen Crabbe, and those two need to keep firing away from deep.
Steph Curry or no, a win tonight would put all the pressure back on Golden State. Portland has come back from a series down 0-2 once in the playoffs already. Stranger things have happened.