NBA Tips & Preview – Warriors @ Trail Blazers

The daily preview it to the rim with NBA tips as Western Conference rivals Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors lock horns for the third time this season.

14:00 (AEDT), Fri 25th Feb @ Moda Center, Portland

History: Played 250: Trail Blazers 130 V Warriors 120

Last meeting: December 8, 2021: Warriors 104 d Trail Blazers 94 at Chase Center

Final Thoughts: It’s been a rocky campaign for Portland Trail Blazers but they went into the All-Star break as won of only three teams in the NBA to have won their last four games. An upset of the high-flying Golden State Warriors – who went into the break on a two-game losing run – would consolidate the Blazers’ bid for a play-in tournament spot.

After losing eight of their previous nine games, Portland improved to 25-34 and 10th in the West with surprise wins over the Lakers, Knicks, Bucks and Grizzlies. The Blazers’ reversal coincided with a major roster overhaul before the trade deadline. CJ McCollum, Norman Powell and Robert Covington were among the group traded away, while Justise Winslow, Josh Hart and injured duo Eric Bledsoe and Joe Ingles came on-board.

Marquee man Damian Lillard remains sidelined indefinitely, but Anfernee Simons has stepped up as the Trail Blazers’ offensive spearhead. During their current winning streak the 22-year-old guard has put up 29-plus points and 5-plus assists in each outing. Jusuf Nurkic has been a beast – averaging 15.0 points and 11.1 rebounds this season – but has been ruled out for four weeks with a foot complaint. Trendon Watford will slot into the starting line-up for the big man.

The 42-17 Warriors are second in the West but have lost four of their last five. The Nuggets sunk them by a point in their last game with a buzzer-beating three, while the Warriors struggled to limit Nikola Jokic’s influence. Steph Curry is averaging 25.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists, while he is coming off a 50-point All-Star MVP performance for Team LeBron on Monday (AEDT).

Draymond Green is still another few weeks away from a return, while Andre Iguodola will not be back today. Klay Thompson is easing his way back, averaging 17.1 points.

The Warriors lead the season series 2-0, with both clashes so far in San Francisco. Curry (32 pts, 7 reb, 8 ast) and Andrew Wiggins (25 pts, 5 reb) led a 118-103 victory in November. The Blazers’ Norman Powell (26 pts) top-scored in the second encounter in December but it wasn’t enough to prevent a 104-94 loss.

Portland are 16-16 at home this season (15-17 ATS), with their recent wins over the Lakers and Knicks snapping a five-game losing streak at Moda Center. The Warriors are 16-11 on the road (12-13-2) but have won only four of their last 11 away.

Taking the Blazers with any start would have shaped as a sound play based on pre-All-Star form, but Nurkic’s absence is a huge blow for an already-depleted team. The comparatively healthy Warriors should have benefitted from the break and I’ve got them covering the chunky line.

Best Bet: Handicap – Warriors -10 @ $1.90

Same Game Handicap: Total – Over 227.5; Steph Curry Points – Over 24.5; Anfernee Simons Points – Over 22.5 @ $5.18