2. The Blazers improved on the perimeter
As with any game in modern NBA, the perimeter plays a huge part in the final result. In Game 1, Portland shot 7-of-28 from 3-point range while allowing Golden State to go 17-of-33. The Blazers were able to successfully turn things around in Game 2, which kept them competitive until the end.
They went 18-of-39 (46.2 percent) from beyond the arc on Thursday while holding the Warriors to 9-of-29 shooting (31.0 percent). Lillard knocked down five 3s, Curry hit four, McCollum made three, Hood and Harkless hit two and Meyers Leonard and Al-Farouq Aminu made one each.
Defensively, Portland did a much better job of containing GSW’s outside shooting. It finally had the bigs hedge on pick-and-rolls involving Curry and Thompson. This put the onus on guys like Andre Iguodala (0-of-3) and Green (0-of-1) to hit those shots in spot-up situations instead. They did not.
Moving forward, this will continue to be the right way to go about defending the Warriors on the perimeter. The Splash Brothers will still knock down some of their treys — they hit four each in Game 2 — but keeping them at bay will force their role players to produce more. Golden State won Thursday night, but Portland’s perimeter game on both ends of the floor made the Dubs work for it.