Kevin Durant, Warriors adamant they won't be taking Trail Blazers lightly

If there is one thing the Portland Trail Blazers can do it is score points. They are going to face Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors but Lillard is confident that the Blazers will win the series in six games.

Unfortunately for Portland, not only did they lose the two games they played in Oakland this season, they dropped both home games to the Warriors, this after winning just one game in last year's playoff ouster. In the three games since Kevin Durant returned from his left knee injury, head coach Steve Kerr has worked to iron out his substitution patterns for the playoffs.

The Dubs are a huge favorite in this season, but the Trail Blazers are not just going to roll over and give up.

A report by relayed the information that Jusuf Nurkic had suffered a displaced fracture in his right fibula.

Nurkic has steadied the ship and created some dynamism on offense as well. The Blazers have a tendency to win games against top teams by using spurts of high scoring output to push them over the top.

"I was kind of expecting he would be out this game and I was kind of expecting he'd be back the next one". If Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and the rest of the group are hitting from outside the 3-point line, the Warriors are almost impossible to beat. Lilliard leads in points with 27.0 and in assists with 5.9 per game.

The Blazers lost all four regular-season meetings but went 17-6 down the stretch.

This has not been the smoothest path to the playoffs for either side but the fact is, Golden State is the better team in just about every area across the board. No matter how easy people think it is, it's hard to be Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum or Noah Vonleh. Kevin Durant averaged 29.3 points and 7.8 rebounds in those wins.

That's certainly well short of the value of a no-timeout, semi-transition possession that the Jazz got.

Utah withstood Paul's offensive outburst in the fourth after the Jazz led by eight on Hill's 3-pointer. He is the center the team has needed for years and will be good player for them in the long run. What the Warriors decide to do, and more importantly, how well their defenses executes it, may be a big factor in how competitive this series becomes.

The two-time reigning MVP is looking to add a second NBA Finals trophy to his collection.

The 7-footer averaged 15.2 points and 10.4 rebounds in 20 games after being acquired from Denver.

It's so unusual to remember where McCollum was just two seasons ago: averaging less than seven points and 16 minutes for Portland as a backup two-guard. These teams met only once in the playoffs, and that was past year. The double-double machine could hold a huge advantage in the paint if he's in the lineup but it remains to be seen if that will actually be the case come tip-off in Game 1.

  • Loretta Pittman