(CBS SF) — Ahead of the top-seeded Golden State Warriors matchup with eighth-seeded Portland beginning Saturday, Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard did not shy away from predicting the outcome of the NBA Western Conference series.
A reporter for CSN Northwest set up the Oakland native at the end of a postgame interview Wednesday night with the question, “Blazers in six or seven?”
Lillard smiled and played along.
To be fair, anyone in Lillard’s shoes should be confident if his team is going into the playoffs, even if the opponent is the best team in the NBA.
“We’re not going into the playoffs saying, ‘Hey we made it, let’s bow out gracefully and be happy with what we did,'” Lillard told reporters Tuesday. “We’re going in there to take a swing. We’re coming in there to try and shock the world.”
The Warriors certainly know an upset is possible. In 2007, Golden State brought a 42-40 record into a matchup with top-seeded Dallas Mavericks and their 67-15 record. It was Warriors in six in one of the biggest playoff upsets in NBA history.
This season, Portland comes into the playoffs at 41-41, while Golden State has the best record in the NBA at 67-15. There have been five No. 1 seeds who have lost to a No. 8 seed in NBA history. The last one was in 2012 when the Philadelphia 76ers, with a clutch performance by current Warrior Andre Iguodala, upset a injury-plagued Chicago Bulls team.
Last season with Steph Curry injured, the Warriors eliminated Portland 4-1 in a playoff series.
Portland went 0-4 against the Warriors this season, although the last game in January was just a two-point Golden State win.