2019 NBA Playoffs
2019 NBA Playoffs

Numbers preview: Golden State Warriors (1) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (3)

Portland's slower pace will be tested by Golden State's offensive might

John Schuhmann

John Schuhmann NBA.com

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May 14, 2019 11:49 AM ET

Golden State's offense is humming as it heads into the Western Conference finals.

The Golden State Warriors have seemingly advanced past their toughest hurdle on their way to a fifth straight trip to The Finals. Without Kevin Durant in Game 6, they were finish off the Rockets in Houston for the second straight season.

But the Warriors still have work to do, they still haven't played their best (especially defensively), and they still have another tough team between them and The Finals. The Portland Trail Blazers advanced through the "open" side of the Western Conference bracket to earn their first trip to the conference finals in 19 years.

 
Who will prevail in the Blazers-Warriors playoff series?

This series is a contrast of styles. Portland plays relatively slow and deliberate, with the ball mostly in the hands of their two starting guards. The Warriors play quicker and move the ball a lot more. The Blazers are one of just two teams with a winning record (they're 4-3) against the champs over the last two seasons, and the Warriors will be without Kevin Durant for at least Game 1 of the series.

Here are some statistical notes to get you ready for the Western Conference finals, with links to let you dive in and explore more. Game 1 is Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions

 

Golden State Warriors (57-25, 8-4)

First round: Beat LA Clippers in six games.
Conf. semis: Beat Houston in six games.
Pace: 99.6 (8)
OffRtg: 117.4 (1)
DefRtg: 111.8 (12)
NetRtg: +5.6 (3)

Regular season: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups
vs. Portland: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups
Playoffs: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups

Warriors efficiency by round
RoundOpp.OffRtgRankAdjODefRtgRankAdjD
First roundLAC120.51+10.2111.511+0.2
Conf. semisHOU114.11+4.0112.16-2.7
AdjO = OffRtg - opponent's regular-season DefRtg
AdjD = DefRtg - opponent's regular-season OffRtg

Warriors postseason notes - General:

  1. Have played the two most efficient series of the playoffs. Combined with the Clippers to score 116.0 points per 100 possessions in the first round and with the Rockets to score 113.1 in the conference semis.
  2. Best first quarter team in the playoffs, having outscored their opponents by 26.6 points per 100 possessions in the opening 12 minutes of games. Have trailed for only 28 percent of their total minutes, the lowest rate in the postseason.
  3. Only team remaining that has been outscored from 3-point range (-4.5 points per game).
  4. Have played eight games (including all six against Houston) that were within five points in the last five minutes, most in the postseason.
Warriors playoffs shot profile
AreaFGMFGAFG%Rank%FGARank
Restricted area20328172.2%127%12
Other paint6214243.7%413%14
Mid-range10224042.5%423%2
Corner 3338538.8%88%10
Above-break 311330237.4%129%8
%FGA = Percentage of total shots

Warriors postseason notes - Offense:

The Warriors are leading the postseason in field goal percentage in the paint.
  1. Were the best offensive team in the regular season and have been the most improved offensive team in the playoffs, having scored 2.5 more points per 100 possessions than they did in the regular season, though they're only of the four remaining teams that hasn't faced a top-10 defense.
  2. Have taken only 40 percent of their shots in the paint, the lowest rate in the postseason. But they lead the playoffs in both field goal percentage in the paint (62.6 percent) and 3-point percentage (37.2 percent).
  3. Ranked last in time of possession (19.6 minutes per game), average seconds per touch (2.87), and average dribbles per touch (2.03) in the conference semis.
  4. Rank first in the playoffs in ball movement (363 passes per 24 minutes of possessions) and ninth in player movement (11.1 miles traveled per 24 minutes of possession), according to Second Spectrum tracking. Have five games with 30 or more assists. All other teams have six total. Lead the postseason with 4.8 secondary assists per game.
  5. Have averaged just 11.0 pick-and-roll ball-handler possessions per game, fewest in the postseason. But they've scored 1.02 points per possession on pick-and-roll ball-handler possessions, the postseason's best mark.
  6. Lead the postseason with 16.6 post-ups per game. Have passed out of post-ups 53.3 percent of the time, the highest rate among teams that advanced out of the first round.
Warriors efficiency and four factors - Offense
SeasonOffRtgRankeFG%RankOREB%RankTO%RankFTA RateRank
Reg. season114.9156.5%125.7%2313.9%160.22728
Playoffs117.4155.6%130.4%514.0%90.2829
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
eFG% = (FGM + (0.5 * 3PM)) / FGA
OREB% = Percentage of available offensive rebounds obtained.
TO% = Turnovers per 100 possessions.
FTA Rate = FTA/FGA

Warriors postseason notes - Defense:

  1. Among the four teams remaining, they've allowed the most points per 100 possessions and have seen the biggest jump in points allowed per 100 possessions from the regular season to the playoffs. But they're the only one of the four that has faced two top-10 offenses.
  2. Only 27 percent of their opponents' shots, the third lowest rate in the playoffs and the lowest among the four teams remaining, have come from the restricted area.
  3. Rank 11th in opponent field goal percentage in the paint (54.4 percent) and 10th in opponent effective field goal percentage on shots from outside the paint (51.4 percent). Both are the worst marks among the four teams remaining.
  4. Have seen the biggest increase in opponent turnover percentage from the regular season (13.2 per 100 possessions - 19th) to the playoffs (15.6 - third).
Warriors efficiency and four factors - Defense
SeasonDefRtgRankeFG%RankDREB%RankTO%RankFTA RateRank
Reg. season108.51150.8%372.7%1713.2%190.26621
Playoffs111.81252.8%1269.8%1315.6%30.30714
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
DREB% = Percentage of available defensive rebounds obtained.

Warriors postseason notes - Lineups:

Andre Iguodala has his offense rolling in the playoffs once again.
  1. Have outscored their opponents by 7.8 points per 100 possessions (scoring 122.2 per 100) in 40 minutes with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green on the floor without Kevin Durant. Are a plus-4.9 per 100 in 277 minutes with all four on the floor together.
  2. Lineup of Curry, Thompson, Iguodala, Durant and Green has shot just 30.1 percent from 3-point range, the worst mark among 14 lineups with at least 35 3-point attempts. Its free throw rate (35.3 attempts per 100 shots from the field) is the highest among 15 lineups that have played at least 50 minutes together, but its opponent free throw rate (40.5) is also the highest among that same group.
  3. The Warriors have scored 122.2 points per 100 possessions with Kevon Looney on the floor. That's the highest on-court OffRtg mark among 122 players who have averaged at least 15 minutes in four or more playoff games.
  4. Only 19 percent of their points, the lowest rate in the playoffs, have come from off the bench.

Warriors postseason notes - Individuals:

  1. Andrew Bogut has grabbed 22.6 percent of available rebounds while he's been on the floor, the highest rate among players that have averaged at least 10 minutes per game in three or more playoff games.
  2. Stephen Curry had an effective field goal percentage of 48.3 percent in the conference semis, down from 63.6 percent in the first round. That was the second-biggest drop among 26 players with at least 50 field goal attempts in each round.
  3. Curry is one of four players (and the only one still playing) that have averaged 20 points, five rebounds and five assists per game in the postseason.
  4. Kevin Durant leads the postseason in scoring at 34.2 points per game. He has three of the five highest scoring games of the playoffs (50, 46 and 45 points).
  5. Durant has averaged 7.3 post-ups per game, second most in the playoffs, according to Second Spectrum tracking.
  6. Durant has averaged six isolation possessions per game, second most in the playoffs, according to Synergy play-type tracking. His 0.99 points per possession on isolations ranks seventh among 15 players who have averaged at least three isolation possessions per game.
  7. Durant has scored 1.28 points per possession as a pick-and-roll ball-handler, the best mark among 31 players with at least 25 ball-handler possessions in the playoffs.
  8. Curry (94.1 percent) and Durant (90.1 percent) are two of five players that have shot 90 percent or better on at least 20 postseason free throw attempts.
  9. Draymond Green had an effective field goal percentage of 58.8 percent in the conference semis, up from 49.2 percent in the first round. That was the biggest jump among 26 players with at least 50 field goal attempts in each round.
  10. Green has shot 44-for-61 (72 percent) in the restricted area, the best mark among 15 players with at least 50 restricted-area attempts in the playoffs. Durant (84 percent) has the best mark among players with at least 25 attempts.
  11. Green has shot 5-for-27 (19 percent) on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers, the worst mark among 42 players who have attempted at least 25.
  12. Green led the conference semis with 8.2 assists per game. He's recorded assists on 36.0 percent of his playoff possessions, the highest rate among 59 players who have averaged at least 15 minutes in eight or more playoff games. He has passed out of post-ups 68 percent of the time, the highest rate among 16 players who have averaged at least three post-ups per game.
  13. Andre Iguodala has an effective field goal percentage of 64.4 percent, the highest mark among 38 players with at least 100 postseason field goal attempts. He is one of two players who have shot 50 percent on at least 20 corner 3-point attempts.
  14. Iguodala has shot 11-for-28 (39.3 percent) from the free throw line, the worst mark among 54 players with at least 20 free throw attempts in the playoffs.
  15. Kevon Looney has grabbed 10.8 percent of available offensive rebounds, the second-highest rate among 59 players who have averaged at least 15 minutes in eight or more playoff games.
  16. Klay Thompson has taken only 22 percent of his postseason shots in the paint. That's the third-lowest rate among 79 players with at least 50 total field goal attempts in the playoffs.
  17. Thompson has a free throw rate of just 7.4 attempts per 100 shots from the field, the second-lowest rate among 79 players with at least 50 field goal attempts in the playoffs.

Portland Trail Blazers (53-29, 8-4)

First round: Beat Oklahoma City in five games.
Conf. semis: Beat Denver in seven games.
Pace: 96.9 (11)
OffRtg: 110.8 (5)
DefRtg: 109.7 (8)
NetRtg: +1.1 (7)

Regular season: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups
vs. Golden State: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups
Playoffs: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups

Blazers efficiency by round
RoundOpp.OffRtgRankAdjODefRtgRankAdjD
First roundOKC109.98+3.5104.46-5.4
Conf. semisDEN111.44+3.4113.57+1.4
AdjO = OffRtg - opponent's regular-season DefRtg
AdjD = DefRtg - opponent's regular-season OffRtg

Blazers postseason notes - General:

  1. Only lower-seeded team that has won a series. Also the only team this year that has been outscored in a series they won. They were outscored by 13 points in the semifinals by Denver.
  2. Lead the postseason in time of possession (23.2 minutes per game).
  3. Have trailed for 50 percent of their total minutes, most (by a wide margin) among the four teams remaining.
  4. Have four wins after trailing by double-digits, which leads the postseason.
Blazers playoffs shot profile
AreaFGMFGAFG%Rank%FGARank
Restricted area21238555.1%1535%3
Other paint6516439.6%715%11
Mid-range6816441.5%715%11
Corner 3337444.6%17%11
Above-break 310430134.6%627%11
%FGA = Percentage of total shots

Blazers postseason notes - Offense:

Portland has been one of the postseason's worst teams in terms of ball movement.
  1. Rank 16th in the playoffs in ball movement (249 passes per 24 minutes of possessions) and 15th in player movement (10.2 miles traveled per 24 minutes of possession). Have recorded assists on just 45.4 percent of their field goals, the lowest rate in the playoffs.
  2. Were the best 3-point shooting team (40.5 percent) in the first round, but saw the second biggest drop in 3-point percentage from the first round to the conference semis (32.6 percent - sixth). Also saw the biggest drop in the percentage of their shots that came from 3-point range from the first round (35.5 percent - 12th) to the conference semis (34.5 percent - seventh).
  3. Have averaged 30.2 pull-up jumpers per game, most in the playoffs. More than half of those have been 2-point attempts. Have attempted only 17 catch-and-shoot 3-pointers per game, second fewest in the playoffs (fewest among remaining teams).
  4. Have scored 114.6 points per 100 possessions over the first, third and fourth quarters, but just 99.3 in the second.
Blazers efficiency and four factors - Offense
SeasonOffRtgRankeFG%RankOREB%RankTO%RankFTA RateRank
Reg. season113.6352.8%1330.8%213.7%120.25814
Playoffs110.8550.3%731.5%212.3%40.27911
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
eFG% = (FGM + (0.5 * 3PM)) / FGA
OREB% = Percentage of available offensive rebounds obtained.
TO% = Turnovers per 100 possessions.
FTA Rate = FTA/FGA

Blazers postseason notes - Defense:

  1. Have allowed just 0.98 points per possession in transition, the best mark in the playoffs.
  2. Only team that ranks in the top five in opponent 3-point percentage (33.1 percent - fifth) and the (lowest) percentage of their opponents' shots that have come from 3-point range (32.9 percent - fourth).
  3. Have seen the biggest increase in opponent free throw rate (FTA/FGA) from the regular season (0.253 - 14th) to the playoffs (0.308 - 15th).
  4. Have allowed 113.8 points per 100 possessions over the first, third and fourth quarters, but just 98.6 in the second.
Blazers efficiency and four factors - Defense
SeasonDefRtgRankeFG%RankDREB%RankTO%RankFTA RateRank
Reg. season109.51651.6%1273.9%812.3%290.25315
Playoffs109.7848.6%368.7%1412.4%120.30815
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
DREB% = Percentage of available defensive rebounds obtained.

Blazers postseason notes - Lineups:

Damian Lillard is among the playoff league leaders in several categories.
  1. Starting lineup -- Lillard, McCollum, Harkless, Aminu and Kanter -- has played 226 total minutes together, second most in the postseason. It has grabbed 34 percent of available offensive rebounds, the highest rate among 15 lineups that have played at least 50 minutes together. And it has recorded assists on just 43.4 percent of its field goals, the lowest rate among lineups that same group.
  2. Starting lineup was outscored by 17.5 points per 100 possessions in the conference semis, the worst mark among 10 lineups that played at least 35 minutes in the last round. The lineup of McCollum, Curry, Hood, Turner and Collins outscored the Nuggets by 6.8 points per 100 possession in its 45 minutes, the fifth best mark among that group of 10.
  3. Have been outscored by 6.2 points per 100 possessions with both Aminu and Kanter on the floor. That's the worst mark among two-man combinations that have played at least 200 total playoff minutes together. Aminu's minus-52 was tied for the worst cumulative plus-minus in the conference semis.
  4. Best on-court NetRtg among two-man combinations (minimum 100 minutes together): Lillard and Curry. The Blazers have outscored their opponents by 14.6 points per 100 possessions in 130 minutes with the pair on the floor together.

Blazers postseason notes - Individuals:

  1. Al-Farouq Aminu had an effective field goal percentage of 37 percent against Denver, the worst mark among players with at least 50 field goal attempts in the conference semis.
  2. Zach Collins blocked two Denver shots per game, tied for the most in the conference semis.
  3. Collins has committed 15.8 turnovers per 100 possessions, the highest rate among 59 players that have averaged at least 15 minutes in eight or more playoff games.
  4. Seth Curry has shot 7-for-11 (64 percent) on corner 3-pointers, but just 8-for-24 (33 percent) on above-the-break 3-pointers.
  5. Maurice Harkless has taken 74 percent of his postseason shots in the paint. That's the second-highest rate among non-centers with at least 50 field goal attempts in the playoffs (lower than only that of Ben Simmons).
  6. Rodney Hood averaged 14.7 points per game in the conference semis, up from 3.2 in the first round. That was the biggest jump among 80 players who played in at least three games in each round. Hood had seen the biggest drop in points per game from the regular season (11.2) to the first round.
  7. Hood has an effective field goal percentage of 57.4 percent in the playoffs, up from 49.8 percent in the regular season. That's the third-biggest jump among 67 players with at least 500 field goal attempts in the regular season and 50 in the postseason. Hood had an effective field goal percentage of 66.9 percent against Denver, the second-best mark among players with at least 50 field goal attempts in the conference semis. His 0.589 points per touch in the conference semis was the highest mark among players with at least 100 touches last round.
  8. Enes Kanter has taken 70 percent of his postseason shots in the restricted area. That's the fourth-highest rate among 79 players with at least 50 total field goal attempts in the playoffs.
  9. Damian Lillard has averaged 40.6 minutes per game, most among players who advanced out of the first round.
  10. Lillard leads the postseason in time of possession (9.8 minutes per game). No other player on the four remaining teams has averaged more than 5.7 minutes of possession per game.
  11. Lillard ranks third in both deflections per game (3.3) and charges drawn per game (0.5).
  12. C.J. McCollum has averaged 8.5 points per game in the fourth quarter, most among players who advanced out of the first round.
  13. McCollum has shot 15-for-27 (56 percent) on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers, the best mark among 42 players who have attempted at least 25.
  14. McCollum has shot 31-for-58 (53 percent) in the restricted area, the worst mark among 15 players with at least 50 restricted-area attempts in the playoffs. Kanter (56 percent) and Lillard (56 percent) have the second and third worst marks, respectively, among that same group.
  15. McCollum has traveled 2.95 miles per game, most in the playoffs.
  16. Lillard (12.8) and McCollum (10.3) rank third and fifth, respectively, in pick-and-roll ball-handler possessions per game. McCollum has scored 0.98 and Lillard has scored 0.97 points per possession on those ball-handler possessions. Those marks rank second and fourth among 14 players with at least 50 total ball-handler possessions in the playoffs.
  17. Evan Turner has averaged 0.061 points per touch, fewest among 134 players with at least 100 touches in the playoffs. He did average 0.085 in the conference semis, up from 0.022 in the first round.

Regular season matchup

Series tied, 2-2 (1-1 in both cities)
Nov. 23 @ Golden State - Warriors 125, Blazers 97
Dec. 27 @ Golden State - Blazers 110, Warriors 109 (OT)
Dec. 29 @ Portland - Warriors 115, Blazers 105
Feb. 13 @ Portland - Blazers 129, Warriors 107

Pace: 98.7 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes
Golden State OffRtg: 112.6 (10th vs. Portland)
Portland OffRtg: 108.9 (16th vs. Golden State)

Individual matchups: GSW offense vs. POR defense | POR offense vs. GSW defense

Matchup notes:

  1. All four games were before the All-Star break. Neither DeMarcus Cousins nor Andrew Bogut played against the Blazers this season. Both Curry and Green missed the first meeting, and Andre Iguodala missed the fourth meeting.
  2. Kanter was not with Portland for any of the four games. Rodney Hood was only with the Blazers for the Feb. 13 meeting. He was a plus-25 in a little over 25 minutes.
  3. The Blazers were one of five teams that won multiple games against the Warriors in the regular season.
  4. The Blazers were held under a point per possession in each of the first two meetings, but their 129 points on 95 possessions in the fourth meeting was the most efficient game against the Warriors this season. The Warriors led by one after the third quarter and were outscored, 35-12, in the fourth.
  5. The Blazers' OT win on Dec. 27 was the only one of the four meetings that was within five points in the last five minutes. Damian Lillard hit a game-winning 3-pointer off a Curry turnover, and Kevin Durant missed a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer.
  6. Over the four games, the Blazers outscored the Warriors by 51 points in the paint (+30) or on free throws (+21), even though they shot just 49 percent in the restricted area (their worst mark against any opponent). But the Warriors outscored the Blazers by 66 points from outside the paint.
  7. The Warriors also had almost twice as many fast break points (70-37).
  8. Lillard's 40 points on Dec. 29 were the second most scored against Golden State this season. His 18 total 3-pointers (on 36 attempts) were also the second most against the Warriors this season.
  9. In 75 total minutes with Curry, Durant, Lillard and McCollum all on the floor, the teams combined to score 116.5 points per 100 possessions and the Warriors outscored the Blazers by five points.
  10. The best and worst plus-minus marks in the season series belonged to reserves (and former teammates). Iguodala was a plus-29 in 66 minutes for Golden State and Evan Turner was a minus-24 in 85 minutes for Portland.
  11. Durant had 26 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in the overtime game, one of his two triple-doubles this season. (Both were in losses.) Over the four games, he shot 15-for-24 (63 percent) from mid-range, with almost as many mid-range buckets and Lillard (eight) and McCollum (eight) combined.
  12. Only Andrew Wiggins defended Durant on more possessions than Al-Farouq Aminu did this season. Durant shot 24-for-40 (60 percent) on those 171 possessions in which Aminu was his defender.
  13. Lillard was the primary defender on Curry, and the Blazers held the Warriors to just 101 points on those 97 possessions.
  14. Only Russell Westbrook and Ricky Rubio defended Lillard on more possessions than Klay Thompson did, who suppressed Lillard's scoring quite a bit. The same can be said for Curry as the primary defender on McCollum.

* * *

John Schuhmann is a senior stats analyst for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

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