The Blazers had one goal this season: make it to the conference finals. Of course, every team wants to win the Finals themselves, but Portland hasn’t been to a conference finals since 2000, so that’s where they set their sights for this season.
Portland has been a good team for many years, but never good enough to do much more than make the playoffs. But this year was different. McCollum and Lillard have combined forces in a way that was just too much for Denver, and may even give Golden State some trouble.
Beating Denver in Seven
It took Portland seven games to get past the Nuggets, but on Sunday afternoon they eked out a 100-96 victory. The win was due in large part, to CJ. He’s been the driving force for the team when Dame isn’t on his game. And Dame just wasn’t hitting his shots in game seven. He was zero for six to start the game, and remained scoreless for the first 18 minutes of play. But McCollum did his part, scoring double digits in the first half.
Playing the Warriors
Beating Denver was one thing. But the Warriors are a different animal. The Nuggets were the youngest team in the playoffs. And their inexperience could be pointed to as a reason why they didn’t make it out of the second round.
But the Warriors are a team of veterans who know how to play under pressure. No one expects the Blazers to get past Golden State. But the Warriors haven’t exactly been dominant in the playoffs so far. They lost two games to the Clippers in the first round, and three to the Rockets in the second. So we can’t expect this series against Portland to be a breeze either.