Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard didn’t have the best game in their Game 7 win over the Denver Nuggets to reach the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2000, but basketball fans are excited about the prospect of Lillard playing the Warriors in Oakland for such high stakes.
At least one fan on social media observed that Lillard, who grew up in East Oakland as a Warriors fan and graduated from Oakland High School, will essentially be playing home games for the entire series. The Blazers’ away games will be in his hometown, where he’s beloved, and the home games will be, well, home games.
The Blazers advanced to the West finals by beating the Nuggets 100-96 on Sunday in Denver, with Lillard shooting 3 of 17 from the field. On Friday, the Warriors advanced by beating the Houston Rockets 118-113 in Houston.
And now, Oakland’s own vs. the “Oakland” Warriors is just one of the storylines that have basketball fans hyped about this best-of-7 series to see who reaches the NBA Finals. Another one is seeing Seth Curry, who played for the Warriors in preseason games in 2013 and with the Dubs’ D-League team in Santa Cruz, come to Oakland to play against his older brother Steph Curry.
“It was written! Dame WCF in Oracle Arena in The Town and Steph and Seth playing against each other in the final WCF [in] Oakland is just poetic,” exclaimed Oakland area DJ D Sharp on Twitter. “Let’s goooooo!!! #DubNation.”
Ryan Diew, a former college basketball player and tech entrepreneur based in Oakland, said that you “could not write a better storyline” than to have Dame and the Blazers play in Oakland in the Warriors’ final season before moving to San Francisco.
Of Steph vs. Seth, a few people on social media said they don’t envy being in the position of the brothers’ parents, Dell and Sonya Curry, during this series. Both parents were seen in the stands during pivotal matches in the West semifinals for both the Warriors and Blazers.
Sports reporter Rachel Nichols wrote on Twitter that parents have an interesting strategy for figuring out who to root for in the finals: “If the Blazers do manage to win Game 7 vs Denver, Seth & Steph Curry would be the first brothers to ever play each other in a conference finals. Sonya & Dell told me their plan is to literally flip a coin to split which kid to root for/which parent wears which team’s gear.”
Finally, basketball fans are looking forward to seeing if the heated exchange between the Warriors’ Kevin Durant and the Blazers’ C.J. McCollum earlier this season spills over to the court.
Click or swipe through the slideshow at the beginning of the story to see what people have to to say about the Damian Lillard playing the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals in Oakland.