This is not bulletin board material for the Golden State Warriors. The Portland Trail Blazers have some firepower of their own to potentially give Golden State a run in this series, and maybe even sneak out a win.
In the first round particularly, the biggest mistake the Warriors can make is underestimating their opponent.
However, Damian Lillard and the Blazers hope to steal a page out of the Warriors playbook from 10 years ago and shock the world by upsetting the league's top team. Golden State went 3-1 against the Rockets this year in regular season play, and defeated the Rockets in five games last year during the first round of playoffs. And if neither of those things happen, then there will be a conflict at Oracle Arena. For those Rip City fans keeping score at home, it's a full season sweep by the Warriors, showing the team as a clear favorite in this first-round series.
New Orleans Pelicans guard Quinn Cook shoots over Portland Trail Blazers guard Tim Quarterman during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, April 12, 2017. The Trail Blazers are 6-20 ATS in the last 26 meetings in Golden State, 5-12 ATS in the last 17 meetings and the over is 18-6 in the last 24 meetings. By becoming the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, the Warriors have clinched home court advantage through the entire postseason. They beat the Blazers by single digits in the next two matchups-playing the second without Stephen Curry.
BONUS: Portland forward Maurice Harkless was in an unusual position because his contract paid him a $500,000 bonus if he finished the regular season making 35 percent of his 3-pointers. During the first eight days of the series, there will only be three games played between the Blazers and Warriors.
The Eastern Conference playoff schedule is here as well. That pretty accurately summed up the approach to the season finale for the Trail Blazers, who rested an array of well-known players, letting their backups and seldom-used youngsters log prominent minutes. Allen Crabbe is dealing with a foot injury and Damian Lillard has a right foot strain that caused them each to miss recent games.