The National Basketball Association finale on Wednesday night is schedule to tip off at 10:30 p.m. ET, February 14, an event that could result in a Valentine’s Day massacre. The Moda Center has typically been a favorable venue for Portland but they have lost 11 straight overall to the Golden State, including a first-round sweep in last season’s playoffs. Free NBA Pick to Click: Warriors -6 over Trail Blazers.
Portland suffered their first loss at Moda Center since late December in a defeat at the surging Utah Jazz on Sunday. The Blazers current form will find avoiding a second consecutive loss even more difficult tonight against a Warriors team that has owned them recently.
Portland All-Star guard Damian Lillard is carrying the team offensively. Lillard scored 50-points in a win at Sacramento two games back and followed that with 39 points versus Utah, albeit in a loss.
The Golden State (-6, 226) coaching staff has all but turned over the scheme and play calls to the players. Point guard Stephen Curry was allowed to call some plays in Monday night’s 129-83 win over the Phoenix Suns. Head coach Steve Kerr turned the play huddles over to his players, primarily Curry, in what resulted in a rout of the Suns.
“I told them the other night after the last game (on Saturday) that we were going to do it,” Kerr said in the post-game presser. “It’s their team. I think that’s one of the first things you have to consider as a coach. It’s not your team, it’s not (general manager) Bob Myers’ team, it’s not (owner) Joe Lacob’s team”
It is worth mentioning that the Phoenix players verbalized that they felt coach Kerr giving up control of the game to his players as a sign of disrespect.
“I told (Phoenix coach Jay Triano) afterward that it had nothing to do with being disrespectful,” Kerr said. “It had to do with me reaching my team. I have not reached them for the last month. They’re tired of my voice. I’m tired of my voice. It’s been a long haul these last few years and I wasn’t reaching them, and we just figured it was probably a good night to pull a trick out of the hat and do something different.”
The inconsistent play of guard CJ McCollum has resulted in the Blazers having to depend far too much on Lillard’s scoring. And the injury to C Jusuf Nurkic (back, hip), who left Sunday’s loss to the Jazz, is devastating to the Blazers chances tonight. Nurkic is questionable for tonight late NBA featured event.
The Warriors rout of the Suns came with All-Star F Draymond Green (finger) resting. Green was inactive on Monday but is expected to dress and start tonight in Portland.
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Free NBA Pick to Click: Warriors -6 over Trail Blazers