Now that the All-Star Weekend is in the rearview mirror, the 2021-22 NBA regular season resumes on Thursday, February 24. While there are seven games scheduled for tonight, a lot of eyes will be on a clash between the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers at 10 p.m. EST on TNT.
After all, Warriors superstar Stephen Curry had a historic performance at the NBA All-Star Game, so fans will likely be wondering how he’ll follow it up. Considering how he was in a slump before the break, Golden State would love if that was the start of better things to come.
Here’s a look at everything you need to know about tonight’s Warriors vs. Trail Blazers matchup, as well as if Curry’s All-Star performance means good things for his MVP hopes and Golden State’s championship aspirations.
Golden State Warriors vs. Portland Trail Blazers Matchup Info and Betting Odds
- Game Matchup: Golden State Warriors (42-17, 2nd in Western Conference) vs Portland Trail Blazers (25-34, 10th in Western Conference)
- Venue & Location: Moda Center (Portland, Oregon)
- Date: Thursday, February 24, 2022
- Time: 10 p.m. ET
- TV: TNT
- Spread: Golden State Warriors -9.5 (-110), Portland Trail Blazers +9.5 (-110)
- Total: OVER 226.5 (-110), UNDER 226.5 (-110)
- Moneyline: Golden State Warriors -450, Portland Trail Blazers +350
Odds are via BetMGM.
Did Curry’s All-Star Performance End Slump?
When the 2021-22 NBA season began, Curry opened the campaign as an MVP favorite. While Golden State dealt with injuries to the likes of key players, such as James Wiseman and Klay Thompson, the two-time NBA MVP put his team on his back and carried them to be one of the West’s best teams.
Unfortunately, Curry’s play dropped off once the calendar changed to 2022. In his last 21 games before the All-Star break, the 33-year-old veteran averaged 22.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 6.9 assists on .416/.335/.918 shooting splits.
Even though that’s still a better performance than most players are capable of, his scoring was still a downgrade from the 27.7 he averaged on .434/.400/.920 splits in the first 33 games of the season.
Curry went from being the favorite to be named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player to falling to fourth in the race at +1200 odds, according to BetMGM. However, his performance at this weekend’s All-Star Game could change things.
While a lot of eyes were on LeBron James in Cleveland, it was Curry that stole the show. He led Team LeBron to the 163-160 victory over Team Durant, scoring 50 points while also recording a record-breaking 16 three-pointers. His performance was good enough to take home his first-ever NBA All-Star MVP trophy.
A large number of people see the All-Star Game as being meaningless, but that kind of performance could be the confident booster that Curry needs to get back into the MVP race.
Can Curry Still Win His Third MVP Award? Can the Warriors Challenge for a Championship?
With 23 games left in the regular season for Golden State, Curry will be on a time crunch if he hopes to take over the MVP race over that stretch.
As it stands, BetMGM’s Joel Embiid is currently leading the 2022 NBA MVP race at +125 odds. He’s averaging 29.2 PTS/11.2 REB/4.5 AST and is showing no signs of slowing down. Meanwhile, Curry is averaging 25.8 PTS/5.3 REB/6.3 AST overall, so it’s clear that he has some work to do to get back in the race.
Curry will also have to deal with the likes of Nikola Jokic (+275) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (+375) as well. Needless to say, leapfrogging those giants is easier said than done.
Fortunately, Curry is one of the best in the world at what he does, and you can never count him out. Something like his historic All-Star performance could be the moment he needed to shift him back to being the MVP-level version of himself again.
While it’ll be an uphill battle, Curry certainly has an outside chance of winning the award if he can catch fire as he did to begin the 2021-22 campaign. Only time will tell if his 50-point showing in Cleveland is the beginning of that run.
When it comes to the Warriors’ NBA Championship outlook, they’re BetMGM’s current favorite at +425 odds. That’s pretty impressive considering how they have lost four of their last five games.
If Curry can catch fire and turn his play around, Golden State will start winning games. He’s the Warriors’ best player for a reason and when he succeeds, so do they. As long as they start winning games soon, their odds will remain favorable and they’ll enter the postseason as a lot of experts’ pick to win it all.
Golden State Can Get Momentum Rolling Against Portland
The good news for the Warriors is that they’ll open the remaining NBA schedule against the Trail Blazers. Considering how Portland has been one of the more underwhelming teams this season, it’s easy to see how this game could be the start of something great for Golden State.
Although the Trail Blazers are on a four-game win streak, the Warriors are a perfect 2-0 against them this season, winning those meetings by a combined score of 222-197. Curry averaged 27.0 points in those two matchups, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can continue that trend following this past weekend’s 50-point All-Star showing.
Another thing that bodes well for Curry is that the Trail Blazers own one of the worst perimeter defenses in the league. Portland is surrendering 13.7 three-pointers per game (No. 28) on .372 shooting (No. 29). Even though Curry may not sink 16 shots from behind the arc again, he has a great opportunity to do some damage from range.
Portland will also be without Damian Lillard, Jusuf Nurkic and Eric Bledsoe on Thursday, which will make life a lot easier for Golden State. If the Warriors can beat up on the short-handed Trail Blazers, that could serve as a much-needed momentum boost to get things back on track.
With BetMGM favoring the Warriors at -450 odds, a victory is likely coming Golden State’s way. Only time will tell if Golden State uses this game as the start of a championship run or if its unfortunate slump will continue.