What a difference a year can make. Last NBA season, Golden State and Portland played in the Western Conference Finals. In 2019-20, the two teams are trying to stay out of last place in the conference. Portland is doing a better job of that and that may help us in our quest to make money on tonight’s game.
Game: Golden State Warriors (10-34, 21-22-1 ATS) at Portland Trail Blazers (18-26, 16-26-2)
When: 10:00 PM ET, Monday, January 20, 2020
Where: Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
Current Line: POR -8 (-6.5 at some sportsbooks) Total: 219
TV Coverage: TNT
This season hasn’t gone as either team planned. The Warriors, who have been to the last five straight NBA Finals, have just ten wins this season. A recent 109-95 win over Orlando at home ended a 10-game losing streak. That eclipsed their previous season high of seven losses in a row. How did this happen?
It started when Klay Thompson tore an ACL in the last game of the NBA Finals. Then, Kevin Durant decided to exit in free agency to the Brooklyn Nets. It was believed that Thompson would miss the entire season (which he more than likely will). Down two stars, remaining star Stephen Curry broke a hand and required surgery.
Just like that, the Warriors’ Big Three were either gone or on the shelf.
The results have been, well, as expected. Golden State sits in last place in the Western Conference.
Wins are hard to come by and it never seems to end. Draymond Green, Glenn Robinson III, and Jacob Evans all missed the game against Orlando. Somehow, the Warriors managed to win with just nine players.
Portland, on the other hand, actually still has a chance to make the postseason. The Trail Blazers are currently 11th in the West, but they are only three games out of eighth place. Portland also recently concluded a trade that netted them Trevor Ariza, which should be a boost to the team.
Portland continues to be led by point guard Damian Lillard who averages 27.1 points and 7.6 assists per game. His backcourt mate, C.J. McCollum, is listed as day-to-day after suffering an ankle injury. McCollum averages 21.5 points per game and if he doesn’t play Lillard will have to pick up even more of the slack.
Gary Trent has come on strong as of late for Portland. The Trail Blazers, like Golden State, were down to just eight players in their most recent game, a loss to Oklahoma City. Trent shot 12-of-18, including 5-of-9 from 3-point range, and scored 30 points. It’s nice to have that kind of backup.
Now, Golden State has lost four of its last five visits to Portland. The Warriors are the worst shooting team in the NBA (42.9 percent) and they are just 10-12 ATS on the road. But, Golden State is 4-2 ATS in its last six games and 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games against Northwest Division opponents.
Portland is 1-4 ATS in its last five games and 0-5 ATS in its last five at home. While the Trail Blazers are likely to win at home, I’m thinking the Warriors keep this one close.
A native of Western Pennsylvania, Rick, a Generation X-er, who now lives just north of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. A former high school, college, and professional football player, Rick now spends his time as a high school coach and as a personal quarterback trainer. An all-state high school quarterback, he went on to become an Academic All-American at Division II Indiana University of PA. He later coached at his alma mater helping lead the program to the 1990 NCAA Division II national championship game. Rick has also served as a high school head coach and as an assistant in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.
His passion for sports writing started when he was the sports editor for his high school newspaper and continued when he worked as a sportswriter for the Jamestown (New York) Post-Journal in the early 1990s. A true sports fanatic, Rick enjoys all things Pittsburgh: Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The Immaculate Reception, the 1979 We Are Family Pirates, and the ’91-’92 Penguins are among his favorites. After working as an educator and athletic director for several years, he again took up sports writing and has contributed to several websites and publications, including Coach & Player magazine, X & O Labs, American Football Monthly, and many others.
When not consumed with coaching, watching, thinking about, or writing about football and other seasonal sports, he finds himself working out like he was still in college and reading everything from military history to Brad Thor novels. Rick has also been chasing rock god stardom as a drummer who has played with bands that have opened for the likes of Fuel, Days of the New, and Alien Ant Farm. He continues to play with his church worship group. Most importantly, Rick is married to the love of his life, Lisa, and has two beautiful daughters.