The 2017 NBA playoffs are here and the Golden State Warriors are looking to find redemption after blowing a 3-1 lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers in last year’s NBA Finals.
The Warriors will face the No. 8 seed Portland Trail Blazers in the first round, and while most don’t give Portland much of a shot to test the two-time defending Western Conference champions, Blazers point guard Damian Lillard thinks a little differently.
Lillard was asked by CSNNW if the Blazers will upset the Warriors in six or seven games, and the star guard went with the shorter series.
Golden State beat Portland in each of the four head-to-head matchups this season by an average margin of 19.5 points, so the odds aren’t exactly in the Blazers’ favor.
To Lillard’s credit, the question was leading and his response was said with a smile, so he undoubtedly knows the tall task that lies in front of his team.
The Blazers star clarified his comments to ESPN’s Chris Haynes on Thursday.
“I was asked in six or seven (games), and I said six. It was a lighthearted exchange,” Lillard said, per Haynes. “But with that said, I do believe we can win the series.
“I have a lot of respect for the Warriors. We’re playing our best basketball right now and that has given us a lot of confidence.”
But what’s he supposed to do? Predict a loss? Say the Warriors will sweep the Blazers?
No, he’s rolling with his team, as he should.
The Blazers and Warriors will begin their series Sunday in Oakland. Tip-off at Oracle Arena is set for 3:30 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Steve Dykes/USA TODAY Sports Images