Pre-view, 20-15 Golden State @ 21-13 Portland

Golden State is one of those scary teams. They are fully capable of beating anyone as they showed with their dismantling of San Antonio Tuesday night. They have multiple scorers, the ability...and shoot from anywhere across mid-court at any time, they play as a team, and they have a couple guys capable of huge nights that can individually just wreck another team.

Noted hot-head Stephen Jackson has stayed in his shoes and is playing some outstanding basketball. Baron Davis is another stud who can just wreck any given team on any given night. Those two guys alone are enough to scare anyone. Either is capable of dropping 30 - 40 points on any given night if they feel like it, and do it while shooting a high percentage. Still, if that was all the Warriors had I would not be worried.

However, the Warriors have a great regular season coach and a number of role players who are willing and able to provide support. They have no fear of playing on the road, running up an 11-8 record...not exactly chopped liver. On the bright side for Portland sharp-shooting Matt Barnes is questionable with the flu. On the dark is Brandon Roy with a bruised tailbone. Who is hurt more in that exchange?

Portland needs to contain Davis and Jackson, making them work to get their shots and shoot a low percentage without allowing Biedrins, Ellis, Harrington or Azubuike to go off.It is hard because Golden State plays such strong team ball. They have 6 guys averaging double figures in points and 7 guys averaging at least 4.3 rebounds.

Of course, they have weaknesses, too. They allow their opponents a nice shooting percentage, tend to give up an extra 5 rebounds per game, and on nights when they 3s desert them they tend to keep shooting them and can shoot themselves right out of the game.

Portland has the tools to attack them. Golden State struggles with interior defense. Post up Aldridge, let Webster post up a few times, and let Przybilla, Aldridge and Frye pound the boards. Portland can get some easy buckets in transition, should score well in the paint and if their post game is working they will create open shots on the perimeter for Jones, Webster, Blake and Jack. They also know how to defend the Warriors as they showed when they held them to 95 in the first Portland meeting...not easy to do against a team averaging almost 109 points a season.

Portland is at home one more time, they have the talent, they have the confidence...they just don't have Brandon Roy. Is this the game the run ends? I do not think so. Though I do know Golden State has the talent and tools to win I also know Portland has the same and is making a point of defending the home court. Even without Roy they should win this game.

Furthermore, looking at their upcoming road trip, I see several winnable games: they go to Toronto, New Jersey, Boston, Miami, Orlando, Atlanta and New Orleans. Boston and Orlando are long shots and New Orleans will be tough. Miami should be a win as should Atlanta. New Jersey and Toronto...well, those should be wins but they are road games so they are toss-ups. All told I expect to see 4 wins on that road trip. 4-3 would be a very productive record on that road trip and might be a bit optimistic. Anything less than 2 wins would be a disappointment and 3 wins would be a success. I will be out of town during most of that stretch, but I will be back on the other side.

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