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Trail Blazers at Warriors Preview

The Golden State Warriors play host to the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, at Oracle Arena on Tuesday evening.

The Warriors finished the regular season first place in the West, with a record of 57-25, while the Trail Blazers finished third, with a record of 53-29. The Blazers are fresh off a wild Game 7 win in Denver on Sunday, where they toppled the second-seeded Nuggets even after trailing by as many as 17 in the first half. The Warriors have had no easy path themselves, as they lost DeMarcus Cousins (quad) in the first round, and most recently saw Kevin Durant (calf) go down in Game 5 of the conference semifinals. Durant is expected to miss Game 1 of the conference finals and could even be questionable for Game 2. Durant has led the Warriors in scoring so far in the postseason, averaging 34.2 points on 51 percent shooting. However, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green were able to get the job done in Game 6 of the conference semifinals even with Durant’s absence. Curry is averaging 24.3 during the postseason but came up with 33 points in Game 6 of the conference semis to lead his team to their fourth straight conference finals.

Meanwhile, C.J. McCollum was the one to come up huge for Portland in their Game 7 of the conference semifinals, as he poured in 37 points on 59 percent shooting. McCollum is averaging 25.6 points on 45 percent shooting so far in the postseason. Damian Lillard leads the Trail Blazers in scoring in the postseason, averaging 28.4 points per game. Enes Kanter has done a good job filling in for the injured Jusuf Nurkic, and has allowed the Trail Blazers to carry on without missing a beat. The season series between Portland and Golden State was tied at two each, with each team winning once at home and once on the road.

Written by Dan Bruno at 5/14 11:57 AM IST

Star Player:

Steph Curry, GSW (19 credits) – The star player slot for Tuesday is a toss-up, with both Curry and Damian Lillard serving as excellent options.  With Kevin Durant out and Golden State playing at home, however, Curry should probably have the edge.  The two-time MVP closed out the Warriors’ semifinals series against Houston by scoring 33 points in just the second half of Game 6.  He has averaged 24.3 points per game in the postseason thus far and has been particularly sharp lately, averaging 29.3 points over his last three contests.  With Durant sidelined, Curry should continue to be the focal point of Golden State’s high-powered offense. 

Value Plays:

Kevon Looney, GSW (6.5 credits) – Looney was a breakout fantasy contributor in the semifinals, recording at least 23 fantasy points in each of his last two games.  The big man has impressed throughout the postseason with his efficient offense and stellar defensive contributions.  In the playoffs, Looney is shooting 69.6 percent to go with half a block and half a steal in only 18 minutes per game.  Given his recent success and his dirt-cheap price tag, Looney is a strong choice at the power forward slot on Tuesday. 

Zach Collins, POR (7 credits) – With Jusuf Nurkic out for the season and Enes Kanter ailing, Collins has been a key contributor for Portland throughout the postseason.  The second-year big man was particularly sharp in the semifinals, averaging 23.9 fantasy points over his last six games.  His play culminated in a 14-point, five-block performance in Game 6 which netted him over 38 Dream11 points.  Collins’ price point has not yet adjusted to his superior play, making him a steal for fantasy players looking to fill out a lineup on Tuesday.

Draymond Green, GSW (17.5 credits) – Even with a hefty price tag of 17.5 credits, Green has provided solid value throughout the playoffs.  In his last seven outings, the All-Star forward has averaged 43.2 Dream11 points per game.  That stretch has included two triple-doubles and six double-figure rebounding performances, as Green has consistently found ways to fill the stat sheet during the postseason.  He is averaging 12.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 8 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game in the playoffs overall.  

CLICK HERE: RotoWire.com Optimal Lineup

RotoWire.com Projections

Damian Lillard, POR – PG

  • Credits: 22
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 48.81
  • Proj. Minutes: 42

Stephen Curry, GS – PG

  • Credits: 19
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 47.69
  • Proj. Minutes: 43

C.J. McCollum, POR – SG

  • Credits: 18
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 38.59
  • Proj. Minutes: 42

Draymond Green, GS – C

  • Credits: 17.5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 38.47
  • Proj. Minutes: 41

Jusuf Nurkic, POR – C

  • Credits: 16.5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 0.00
  • Proj. Minutes: 0

Klay Thompson, GS – SG

  • Credits: 14.5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 32.04
  • Proj. Minutes: 43

Enes Kanter, POR – C

  • Credits: 14.5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 32.75
  • Proj. Minutes: 31

Andre Iguodala, GS – SF

  • Credits: 12.5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 24.22
  • Proj. Minutes: 33

Al-Farouq Aminu, POR – PF

  • Credits: 11.5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 21.74
  • Proj. Minutes: 28

Maurice Harkless, POR – SF

  • Credits: 10
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 13.58
  • Proj. Minutes: 17

Zach Collins, POR – C

  • Credits: 7
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 16.63
  • Proj. Minutes: 21

Rodney Hood, POR – SG

  • Credits: 7
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 14.56
  • Proj. Minutes: 22

Kevon Looney, GS – C

  • Credits: 6.5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 18.35
  • Proj. Minutes: 22

Jake Layman, POR – SG

  • Credits: 6
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 0.00
  • Proj. Minutes: 0

Seth Curry, POR – PG

  • Credits: 5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 14.12
  • Proj. Minutes: 21

Andrew Bogut, GS – C

  • Credits: 5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 10.21
  • Proj. Minutes: 10

Evan Turner, POR – SF

  • Credits: 5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 12.62
  • Proj. Minutes: 17

Jonas Jerebko, GS – PF

  • Credits: 4.5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 6.57
  • Proj. Minutes: 9

Shaun Livingston, GS – PG

  • Credits: 4.5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 8.68
  • Proj. Minutes: 14

Quinn Cook, GS – PG

  • Credits: 4.5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 5.41
  • Proj. Minutes: 8

Meyers Leonard, POR – PF

  • Credits: 4.5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 0.00
  • Proj. Minutes: 0

Skal Labissiere, POR – PF

  • Credits: 4
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 0.00
  • Proj. Minutes: 0

Damion Lee, GS – SG

  • Credits: 4
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 0.00
  • Proj. Minutes: 0

Jordan Bell, GS – C

  • Credits: 4
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 7.35
  • Proj. Minutes: 8

Alfonzo McKinnie, GS – SF

  • Credits: 4
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 5.87
  • Proj. Minutes: 9

Marcus Derrickson, GS – PF

  • Credits: 3.5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 0.00
  • Proj. Minutes: 0

Jacob Evans, GS – SG

  • Credits: 3.5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 0.00
  • Proj. Minutes: 0

Anfernee Simons, POR – SG

  • Credits: 3.5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 0.00
  • Proj. Minutes: 0

Gary Trent, POR – SG

  • Credits: 3.5
  • Proj. D11 Pts: 0.00
  • Proj. Minutes: 0

Injuries:

Golden State Warriors –

DeMarcus Cousins – Out – Quadriceps

5/14 4:10 AM IST – Cousins (quad) is unlikely to return during the Western Conference Finals, Nick Friedell of ESPN reports. Coach Steve Kerr spoke on Cousins’ status at Monday’s practice, telling reporters that not much has changed as the big man continues to be limited in his rehab work. Kerr stopped short of ruling Cousins out for the series against Portland, but it sounds as though if Cousins does get back on the floor at some point in the postseason, his return would come in the NBA Finals.

Kevin Durant – Out – Calf

5/14 4:16 AM IST – Durant (calf) will be re-evaluated later in the week but will almost certainly miss Games 1 and 2 of the Western Conference Finals, Nick Friedell of ESPN reports. The Warriors already ruled Durant out of Game 1 earlier Monday, but coach Steve Kerr provided more detail after practice, revealing that Durant is yet to step foot on the court since suffering the injury in Game 5 against Houston. Kerr noted that Durant is still experiencing pain in his right calf, and he’s set to be evaluated later in the week. That implies he’ll be held out of Games 1 (Tuesday) and 2 (Thursday), and his status from that point on will hinge on how well the calf responds to rehab.

Damian Jones – Out – Pectoral

5/5 11:19 PM IST – Jones (pectoral) is expected to be cleared for contact within a week, Anthony Slater of The Athletic reports. This is a significant step in the right direction for Jones, who the Warriors initially expected to remain out through the end of the postseason. The big man will likely have to log a few practices before being cleared for any game action, but if the Warriors advance to the Western Conference Finals, and beyond, it now looks as though Jones could be back in the mix at some point.

Portland Trail Blazers –

Rodney Hood – GTD – Knee

5/14 2:58 AM IST – Hood underwent an MRI on Monday that confirmed he’s dealing with a bone bruise his left knee, Casey Holdahl of the Trail Blazers’ official site reports. The Trail Blazers list Hood as questionable for Tuesday’s matchup with the Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. Hood played 20 minutes Sunday in Game 7 of the Trail Blazers’ 100-96 win over the Nuggets in the Western Conference Quarterfinals before exiting with the left knee injury. Portland will presumably wait and see how Hood looks during their morning shootaround Tuesday before rendering a verdict on his availability against Golden State. If Hood is sidelined, Evan Turner and Seth Curry could be in store for larger roles off the Portland bench.

Jusuf Nurkic – OFS – Lower Leg

3/27 2:32 AM IST – Nurkic underwent surgery on his left leg Tuesday to repair compound fractures, although he avoided any nerve or muscle damage, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. This is great news for Nurkic, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season but will aim to make a full recovery after steering clear of any nerve damage. A timetable for his return has yet to be released this early in his recovery process, although it’s reasonable to believe he could be back on the court at some point during the 2019-20 campaign. Enes Kanter and Zach Collins are expected to split the minutes at center while Nurkic is shut down.

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