Everyone loves Portland. Everyone hates Oakland. Good. They can keep the love we’ll take the Dubs. Yesterday, the Golden State Warriors sonned the Portland Trailblazers in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals, 118-106. Don’t be deceived by that scoreline (impressive though as it is) the game was over in the first-quarter.
Before last week, the presumptive match-up in this series was the Warriors v. the Clippers. In a world where Steph Curry didn’t injure his knee and Chris Paul didn’t break his hand and Blake Griffin didn’t injure his leg, that would have been a satisfying contest that the Warriors would have won in 6. But, the Clippers gonna Clip and so they’re once again on an early vacation. Rest up, boys, there’s always next season! Instead, we got the Blazers, led by Oakland’s native-son, Damian Lillard. Should a Blazers game be on at a bar, you’ll hear exhortations like “Do it for the Bay, Dame!” The Bay Area loves this kid. He’s one of our own.
Until he plays the Warriors.
In a way, yesterday, Dame did do it for the Bay, by deciding not to show up until the fourth-quarter of his 30 points, 12 came in the first three quarters. Oof. It wasn’t just him; the Blazers as a team looked completely out of their element for most of the game. To be fair, the Warriors had four days rest, while the Blazers had one. Plus, you know, that whole Best-Record-Of-All-Time thing. But when Klay Thompson scores 18-points in the first-quarter and your entire squad scores 17, you’re gonna have a bad time.
So this Warriors team is pretty good. All five starters scored in the double-digits. Two of them, Bogut and Barnes, got a double-double (yummy). One of them, Draymond, messed around and got a triple-double. One of them, Klay, scored 37-points. And Livingston once again let us know that everything’s gonna be alright. Can you imagine if this team could add the greatest shooter of all-time, an MVP-caliber player who scores 30-points on a nightly basis? By God, the Warriors would be unstoppable! If only we could find such a player
In a strangely extended interview during gameplay on yesterday’s broadcast, Steph said his rehab is coming along nicely and thinks he will be available to play sooner rather than later. Of course, everyone would agree that if Klay and Dray & Co. continue taking care of business as they have been, they can sweep this series and Steph won’t have to test his knee until we see the Spurs in the next round. The Blazers, of course, will have something to say about that. Portland is so cute, isn’t it?
P.S. Shout-out to the producers of yesterday's half-time show on ABC. The background music started with Souls of Mischief, ended with A Tribe Called Quest, and had some Gangstarr and Pete Rock & CL Smooth sprinkled in between. When those songs came out, I was in middle school. And now I'm sad.
Western Conference Semi-Finals
Golden State Warriors (1) v. Portland Trailblazers (5)
Warriors lead series 1-0
Sunday, May 1: Warriors WON (118-106)
Tuesday, May 3: Warriors at home, 7:30 PM, TNT
Saturday, May 7: Warriors at Portland, 5:30 PM, ABC
Monday, May 9: Warriors at Portland, 7:30 PM, TNT
Wednesday, May 11: Warriors at home, TBD
Friday, May 13: Warriors at Portland, TBD
Monday, May 16: Warriors at home, TBD