The NBA is home to many wondrous events and the Golden State Warriors may have just become part of such an event after becoming what every team in the league aspires to be. It isn’t easy to play against a team that outmatches you in virtually everything. The Trail Blazers were the league leaders virtually every category, from scoring offence, opponents’ field-goal percentage, field goal percentage, 3-point percentage and assists to opponents’ 3-point percentage. And still, the Warriors managed to secure their first ever Pacific Division Championship in over 39 years.
Their last win was back when Gerald Ford was still president, during the 1976-1976 season.
The game at the Moda Center ended 122-108 after the Warriors used the 36-18 quarter to bring the Trail Blazers to their knees. Stephen Curry seemed to be pacing his whole team, scoring 33 points on 22 shots, although many other players also fell into the same rhythm. Draymond Green scored 14 points and 11 rebounds while the whole team scored a massive 37 assists on the 50 shots they made. Figures don’t lie, and what they show is that the Golden State Warriors have become the best NBA team this season. With 109.6 points scored for 100 possessions, the Warriors not only have the best offence of all NBA teams but they also have the best defense (with 97.5 of 100 allowed).
On the other hand, Damian Lillard, Curry’s counterpart on the Blazer’s side scored 29 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Yet this wasn’t enough for the Blazers, especially since Curry was still orchestrating his team’s offensive crescendo. Despite the team’s halftime deficit (as the Blazers took a 62-57 lead into intermission), the Warriors secured a marvelous victory when they needed it most.
“It’s a great moment for our franchise. It shows how far we’ve come in the last few years and all the work so many people have put in. It’s all come together, so it’s a special night for the Warriors,” Steve Kerr, Golden State coach said.
Granted, it seems that the title was all but wrapped up, especially because Portland’s team was crippled without some of its key players: LeMarcus Aldridge (hand injury), Nicolas Batum(back injury), Chris Kaman (shoulder injury) and Wesley Matthews (leg injury).
The Blazers competed hard, Lillard said during an interview. The team had entered the field with the correct mindset and was set on playing hard and living up to the challenge. Yet there’s no denying that the Warriors were the best team on the field, Lillard said. “Golden State is a terrific team, solid at both ends of the court. (The Warriors) picked it up defensively and were able to create some separation.” Terry Stotts, Portland Coach said.