Bold predictions for Blazers-Warriors Game 1

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors made it to the Western Conference Finals, and Game 1 takes place Tuesday night.

Game details: Here’s a look at the start time, television information and odds for tonight’s Blazers-Warriors Game 1.

  • When: 9 p.m. ET
  • Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA
  • TV: ESPN
  • Betting line: Golden State -7.5 / 220.5 points

The big picture: Portland needed seven games and a collapse down the stretch by Denver to get here. Golden State will be without Kevin Durant for at least the first game, if not the first two or more. Can the Blazers raise their game to another level and steal Game 1 in Oakland?

Time for some bold predictions as we look ahead to Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals between the Blazers and Warriors.

Lillard goes for 30 and 10

The Blazers were fortunate that C.J. McCollum had the game of his life in Game 7 of their series against Denver. Because in that game, Damian Lillard was brutally inefficient from the floor and finished with just 13 points.

That’s going to change Tuesday night during Game 1. We expect Lillard to have a big scoring impact in this coming series as he takes on Stephen Curry, who isn’t the best defensive point guard in the league. He’ll get off to a roaring start in Game 1, scoring at least 30 points while dishing 10-plus assists.

Draymond with a triple-double

Assuming Draymond Green can stay out of foul trouble, he has the potential to be the biggest X-factor of this series for the Warriors. He is one of the most versatile defenders in the Association, can fill up a stat sheet like none other, and has been known to hit some big, timely shots when his team needs a spark.

Green will get the Western Conference Finals started with a bang. He’ll put together a masterful overall performance that will result in a triple-double as he takes advantage of a Portland frontcourt that is prone to being overpowered.

McCollum hits the freezer

Watching McCollum take over Game 7 was pure joy. He hit seemingly every big shot the Blazers needed in that game and put up his second-straight 30-point playoff effort to cap off a tremendous overall series that saw him average 26.4 points per game.

We expect McCollum to cool off significantly in Game 1 against Golden State. Klay Thompson will likely have the task of defending him throughout the contest, and he’s one of the best perimeter defenders in the game today. Following a trend of poor shooting against the Warriors (36.6% from the field and 30% from behind the arc this season), McCollum will struggle mightily to score in Game 1.

Steph finally finds his range

Stephen Curry had a rough shooting series against Houston, shooting 40.3% from the field and a stunning 27.9% from behind the arc. He made 43.7% of his three-point attempts during the regular season, so it was a significant drop-off in efficiency and production.

However, Curry regained his range during his epic second-half performance in Game 6 against Houston.

Golden State’s star point guard will get this series started with a tremendous shooting exhibition Tuesday night. We predict he’ll drain at least six from downtown en route to a 35-point effort.

Warriors win by double digits

Golden State had to scrap and claw for all four victories last series against Houston, as all six games in that series were decided by six points or less. Even without Durant Tuesday night in Oakland, that streak will be broken.

The home crowd will play a factor. McCollum going cold will be a big blow to Portland’s ability to establish rhythm offensively. Despite what we predict will be a huge game for Lillard, the Blazers will get blown out as the Warriors continue to rediscover their championship form.