VIDEO: All-Access: Warriors Advance
HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — The Golden State Warriors have hit a bump in the road to another championship. After winning a record 73 games in the regular season, they lost presumptive MVP Stephen Curry to an ankle injury and then a knee injury in the first round.
Curry is out for at least the first three games of the conference semifinals. The Warriors easily dispatched the Houston Rockets without him, but will have a tougher time against the Portland Trail Blazers, one of two teams that registered a regular-season win over the defending champs and is still alive in the playoffs.
That regular-season win was a 137-point explosion on Feb. 19, led by 51 points from Damian Lillard, who gave the Warriors a taste of their own medicine with five pull-up 3-pointers. Offense was the story in the season series, with Golden State and Portland combining to score 965 points (most in any season series this year) and Curry, Lillard, Klay Thompson and C.J. McCollum combining to shoot 80-for-151 (53 percent) from 3-point range in the four games.
The Blazers benefited from injuries to the Clippers in the first round and have an opportunity to take advantage of Curry’s injury early in this series. But the Warriors have a far superior supporting cast than L.A. did, and that could help them survive until the MVP returns.
Here are some statistical notes to get you ready for Warriors-Blazers, with links to let you dive in and explore more.
Golden State Warriors (73-9)
First round: Beat Houston in five games.
Pace: 101.1 (1)
OffRtg: 110.1 (4)
DefRtg: 89.2 (1)
NetRtg: +20.9 (2)
Warriors playoff notes:
- Have recorded assists on 70.6 percent of their baskets, the highest rate (by a wide margin) in the playoffs. They also lead the postseason with 342.8 passes per game (up from 323.1 in the regular season) and 10.0 secondary assists per game.
- Their 21 3-pointers in Game 4 at Houston (in which Curry played just 19 minutes and shot 1-for-7 on threes) were the most ever made in a playoff game.
- Have shot 69.1 percent in the restricted area, the best mark in the playoffs. Eight different Warriors have shot better than 70 percent in the restricted area.
- Have drawn 1.60 charges per game, most in the playoffs.
- Have averaged 20.2 drives per game, fewest in the playoffs.
- Are a plus-96 in 177 minutes with Draymond Green on the floor and a minus-2 in 63 minutes with him on the bench.
- Thompson is one of three players who have shot better than 50 percent on at least 20 catch-and-shoot 3-point attempts.
- See Warriors-Rockets preview for regular season notes.
Portland Trail Blazers (44-38)
First round: Beat L.A. Clippers in six games.
Pace: 95.9 (5)
OffRtg: 101.8 (9)
DefRtg: 102.2 (9)
NetRtg: -0.4 (9)
Blazers playoff notes:
- Won a playoff series with a negative point differential for the second time in three years. They were a minus-2 in 4-2, first round series win vs. Houston in 2014.
- Allowed Clippers to shoot just 51 percent of their shots from the restricted area or 3-point range, the lowest rate in the first round.
- In the first halves of games, they’ve scored 92.2 points per 100 possessions and allowed 93.0. In the second halves of games, they’ve scored 112.3 and allowed 112.1.
- Have scored 107.8 points per 100 possessions in 176 minutes with Lillard and McCollum on the floor together and 103.7 in 54 minutes with McCollum on the floor without Lillard. But, in 53 minutes with Lillard on the floor without McCollum, they scored just 79.9 points per 100 possessions.
- Lillard leads the postseason with 12 pull-up 3-pointers.
- McCollum leads the postseason with 2.87 miles traveled per game.
- Have allowed 95.9 points per 100 possessions in 192 minutes with Al-Farouq Aminu on the floor and 115.4 in 96 minutes with him on the bench.
- Mason Plumlee has assisted on 38.2 percent of his possessions, the highest rate in the playoffs among players who’ve played at least 20 minutes per game in at least three games. In his two seasons with Brooklyn, he had four assists in 163 playoff minutes. This year, he has 34 in 177.
- Plumlee’s 13.2 rebounds per game also rank third in the playoffs (first among players who are still playing).
- See Clippers-Blazers preview for regular season notes.
- The 965 points the teams combined to score in the four games were the most combined points in any season series this year.
- Andrew Bogut and Andre Iguodala missed the fourth meeting for Golden State.
- The Blazers’ turnover rate of 11.0 per 100 possessions was their lowest against any Western Conference opponent and the lowest any West opponent had against the Warriors.
- Lillard’s 51 points in the Blazers’ February win was 10 more than any other player scored against the Warriors in the regular season. His 146 total points in the four games were 37 more than any other player had vs. the champs. Only James Harden (158 vs. Portland) had more points against a single opponent in the regular season.
- Curry (130) and Thomson (117) ranked second and third in total points vs. the Blazers this season. They combined to shoot 46-for-83 (55 percent) from 3-point range over the four games. Lillard and McCollum combined to shoot 34-for-68 (50 percent).
- The Warriors were a plus-87 in 127 minutes with Thompson on the floor and a minus-58 in 65 minutes with him on the bench.
- The Warriors’ “Death Lineup” played just two total minutes against the Blazers.