Portland Trail Blazers vs. Golden State Warriors: Game preview, time, TV channel, how to watch free live stream online
TUALATIN – Where do the Portland Trail Blazers go from here?
First, their postseason hopes were on life support and they appeared set to sink to the bottom of the Western Conference standings. Then, won four games in a row to recapture 10th place. Now, following the All-Star break, the Blazers have shut down center Jusuf Nurkic for at least four weeks with plantar fasciitis.
That means that all five of the starters who began the season are now out with injuries (Damian Lillard) or have been traded (CJ McCollum, Norman Powell and Robert Covington). In fact, the only remaining member of the team’s original nine-man rotation still in action is guard Anfernee Simons.
Simons and Nurkic had the team headed in the right direction. But with Nurkic out, the Blazers winning very many of their upcoming games seems unlikely.
Yes, a similar fate was expected for the Blazers after they traded away McCollum, Powell and Covington. The Blazers responded by showing that the replacements were more than capable. But Nurkic was a major reason for the team’s recent success.
The Blazers added 6-foot-9 center Drew Eubanks, signed with a 10-day contract, to provide depth. He and rookie Trendon Watford will be holding down the center position until Nurkic returns. If he returns.
That combination could prove problematic against Golden State and Denver at home, then at Phoenix and for two games at Minnesota before heading the team heads off to Utah.
Despite the obvious roster issues, Billups said the goal remains to win.
“I feel like we’ve been playing some amazing basketball on both sides of the floor,” Billups said. “I think we’re playing really fast. We’re playing with a lot of heart and energy. And I want to keep that up. As we as a staff are trying to build an identity here of just how we play here, it doesn’t really matter who’s on the floor. We have to continue to do that.”
Billups said he hadn’t paid attention to the standings for a long time until glancing at them over the All-Star break. All he can do, he said, is coach the players available to him and do his best to win games.
“I’m coaching every single game to try to win the basketball game,” he said. “I knew that I was going to have to learn a lot of things this year, my first year. I’m never going to learn how to lose a game. I just don’t believe in that. I’m still trying to learn how to actually win games. So, that’s the only thing that I could do is coach my butt off and hope for the best result.”
The Warriors have been one of the best teams in the NBA this season but they entered the break having lost four out of five games.
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS VS. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
What: Trail Blazers (25-34) vs. Warriors (42-17), 7 p.m., Thursday.
Where: Moda Center.
Radio: Rip City Radio (KPOJ 620 AM).
TV channel: Root Sports (in Portland: Comcast 734/34; DirecTV 687).
How to watch live stream online: You can watch the game live for FREE with Hulu + Live (free trial). You can also get this game on Sling TV (promotional offers) if you are out of free trials, or simply prefer that platform and their pricing plans. You can also watch this match live on Watch TNT with your cable or satellite provider login.
Moneyline: POR +317 | GSW -417
Spread: GSW -9.5 | Over/Under: 223.5
Blazers: Keon Johnson (right ankle; sprain) is probable; Eric Bledsoe (left Achilles; tendinopathy), Joe Ingles (left knee; ACL surgery), Damian Lillard (core muscle recovery), Nassir Little (left shoulder recovery), Didi Louzada (left knee recovery) and Jusuf Nurkic (left foot; plantar fasciitis) are out.
Warriors: Draymond Green (back) and Joe Wiseman (knee) are out.
The Blazers host Denver (33-25) on Sunday then start a four-game road trip Wednesday at Phoenix (48-10).