It’s going to be a sweep, it’s going to be a sweep! While most people and critics watching the NBA Western Finals keep on calling the series in favor of Golden State, I personally think is too soon for that. And while most will call me crazy, that’s okay! I usually don’t fit the norm!
In the spirit of full disclosure, I am not rooting for the Blazers or Golden State Warriors. I am simply a basketball fanatic since 1985 and a Lakers since. My loyalties are pretty clear yet I am following these series with as much passion as if a Gold and Purple win was on the line.
Having grown up in NorCal and being a proud resident in Rip City It couldn’t be any other way. With that said I am going to simply stick to the facts of the game.
Golden State Warriors winning three games on a row is what’s supposed to happen.
No one should be in shock or surprised Golden State has gone in and taken the wins. As a seasoned multiple NBA champion, frankly it’s expected! I’d be in shock if they hadn’t. In fact it’d be a major fail if they had not!
However, what we are failing to see are the things Golden State has fallen short on, which it’s plenty otherwise they would’ve truly neutralized the Blazers big easier wins and higher scores.
Yes scores win championships I’m the first one to say it all the time, but one cannot dismiss the amazing game the Blazers have played this season.
In fact not bad at all for a team that is far from seasoned when it comes to championship and is on an ever quest of finding their true identity and perhaps for the first time in 20 years are closer than ever to get to their goal. Yes, Golden State has taken the wins but it hasn’t been as easy as you think it should be for such an experienced team.
We cannot deny the Blazers in years past have had their troubles both as an organization and certainly the lack of wins. I personally have been a strong spokesperson for their lack of ability to close the deal, or as I like to call it “the choking effect”. However, having been following them very close this season, I have to say, the choke is on me!
The Blazers have not only shown a great game, but amazing commitment to what basketball is about and that my friends is the pleasant surprise me and millions of fans across the league are experiencing as we watch them battle the series that could re-define them from this day on.
What do the Blazers have that Golden State doesn’t? Damian Lillard
Having rooted for great players such as Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant I can tell you, you know you are watching a household name, when the three time champion’s strategy is mostly focused on one and only one player, in this case Damian Lillard. And of course as they should without a doubt!
We have seen this play many times before. Throw more than one defensive players at Lillard add just the right amount of pressure to force him make the shot regardless of how complicated it is or better, get him to pass to someone else for an almost for sure fail to score.
By double teaming him, they have taken his freedom to play at his best. A very unfortunate circumstance for a great player without a doubt, but for sure a call to show and bring all he’s got to the court and get the Blazers to keep the win at home Monday night.
If anyone has it in him, it certainly is Lillard. He can do this thing and feed the team a much needed level of oxygen to defeat the odds and make a great come back.
Now, the question is how exactly can Lillard and the Blazers do that? Well, fairly simple: Play the old fashion way! Play as a team as a whole. If the Golden State Warriors are coming for Lillard, they need to know they’re coming after the whole team.
There is no more effective defensive or offense than sticking together, playing as one.
Yes, Golden State is not going to let this three win lead slip away just like that, but at this point what does Blazers got to lose versus all they got to win if they can pull it through?
And that’s exactly what the Warriors do not have! All great teams – and trust me I know this for a fact – eventually come down. And it usually is by one of those so called “underdogs”. The one team which has been working their butt off under the shadows of the “great” ones. That is until they get their one chance to come out and take it all exactly when everyone thinks they’re done.
From the minute the Blazers knew they had a shot to continue moving forward, they knew they would eventually have to deal with the Golden State Warriors.
With similar strengths in their offensive guards, defensive forwards, and a strong, yet unpredictable center it hasn’t been a matter of “if” but “when” they would deal with each other.
In case no one has noticed Kevin Durant is gone!
While Golden State is doing extremely well, they still are one man down. And not just any man, but THE man! Kevin Durant! So how can the Blazers use this to their advantage? Simple! You have to turn it around on the Warriors and double up on Steph Curry.
The difference between a team that wins championship and the other teams is that fearless factor and at this point, Portland has a lot to win and not much to lose so why not risk it all?
if they double up on Steph Curry they have a chance to control the Golden State Warriors scoring machine. Yes that’d perhaps be leaving space for an open attack and it’s for sure a gamble, but I just can’t stop saying this, what do you got to lose? What if it pays off? Don’t you own your team and fans that one risk to turn it all around?
Shoot, shoot and shoot again!
Defensive and offense are great things to have, in fact things every team must have. But you know what wins championships? High scores! We can all agree is time to make an emphasis on the fact that Blazers have got to get creative!
While their unique characteristics as a team isn’t necessarily shaped to take down Golden State in just one shot, the one right shot could actually get the job done. CJ McCollum is a force to reckon with.
Golden State’s defensive made it difficult for McCollum to shine Saturday night, but it is not the end. McCollum is not known for backing down so that’s for sure a great start!
We can all agree there were plenty of missed opportunities but there is still time to fix this and make a come back.
The Lillard and McCollum combination is what has gotten them this far. So how do we fix their game from coming down during the last two quarters? Simple… Use your bench! Give McCollum a breather! Hell give Lillard one too. Let them recharge!
Think of it as a “power nap”. Fatigue isn’t only physical but mental as well. These are young athletes who train to sweat blood and tears in the court, it is their coach’s job to make sure they are getting the breaks they need to be able to hit their all time high.
If the Blazers have something going on for them is their bench! A bench that can step in and pick up exactly where the starters left off. So give McCollum a hand, and strategically support him getting a pause or two and make sure Golden State doesn’t “sweep” as swiftly as they are looking to right now.
The greatest of games are won by simple changes. I could go on and on on stats but basketball is a game of strength and heart. These two teams aren’t where they are out of luck. They’ve made it this far because they’ve got what it takes. And while for years I’ve believed the Blazers don’t have it in them to code the deal. I am pretty sure I’m about to be put in my place and to be honest I cannot wait!