Blazers were a good matchup
The Warriors have shown they struggle against physically powerful front lines—as the Grizzlies 60 points in the paint Wednesday bore out. The Blazers did not possess that type of power in their front line, making them an excellent matchup for the Warriors. Portland came in as the 28th ranked team league wide in terms of points in the paint at about 36 points per game. The Warriors held them to 32. If the Warriors are healthy and they’re playing a team with a lightweight front line, I’m picking the Warriors every time.
Warriors played better help-defense
Help-defense hasn’t actually helped the Warriors the last couple of games. Against the Blazers, the Warriors seemed to help smarter. I didn’t see as much cheating over of Warrior defenders on the opposite side toward the action on the other side of the court. The Clippers and Grizzlies had exploited that tendency by swinging the ball around quickly until it reached the open man for a wide open jumper. Against the Blazers, though, the Warriors seemed to help quicker and more decisively by making immediate switches when one of their teammates got beat on defense. They did this to great effect in the first half when they held the Blazers to 23% shooting.
Lee beats Aldridge
LaMarcus Aldridge had been averaging around 17 points and 10 rebounds in his first games against the David Lee as a Golden State Warrior. But Lee played a major role in really clamping down on Aldridge on this night, holding him to 7 points on 3 of 14 shooting along with only 6 rebounds.
Lillard's 37 points not enough...for once
Oakland native Damian Lillard scored a scintillating 37 points against the Warriors, but still lost. The Blazers had previously been 4-0 when he scored 29 points or more.