The Warriors know that the only way the Portland Trail Blazers can beat them in the Western Conference finals is if Damian Lillard goes nuts.
They aren't about to let him do that.
Lillard averaged 25.8 points per game during the regular season on 44 percent shooting, leading the Blazers to the West's No. 3 playoff seed. But through two games against the Warriors, Lillard is averaging 21 points per game on just 10-of-28 shooting (35.7 percent) from the field.
During the series, Lillard's average shot has come 29.1 feet away from the rim, according to ESPN's Kirk Goldberry. While he's shooting an incredible 42.1 percent on those looks, the Warriors have stopped Lillard from getting to the rim. In fact, they've stopped him from even attempting shots at the rim.
During the regular season, the Blazers star averaged more than 11 points per game inside the arc, per Goldberry. He has scored just six total points inside the arc through two games against the Warriors. He took an average of 6.5 shots inside 8 feet per game during the regular season, but he has attempted just three during the series against the Warriors.
Golden State's defense has suffocated Lillard in the first two games, leading to the Warriors taking a two-games-to-zero series lead.
A lot of the credit should go to Klay Thompson, who has hounded Lillard during the series. When guarded by Thompson, Lillard is averaging just 18.1 shots per 100 possessions and 12.1 points per game.
Aside from Thompson, the Warriors have blitzed Lillard on the pick-and-roll a lot this series. In Game 2, the Warriors blitzed Lillard 19 times, according to Goldberry, which is the most any player has faced during a game this postseason.
Lillard has done his best to combat the blitzes, finding Enes Kanter, Zach Collins or Meyers Leonard on the roll. Unfortunately for the Blazers, neither of those three players is great at finding the open man once the defense rotates, and their finishing around the rim leaves something to be desired.
Toward the end of Game 2, Blazers coach Terry Stotts elected to run the pick-and-roll with Evan Turner instead of a big, a formula he sparingly used during the regular season. That could be something Stotts goes to early in Saturday's Game 3 to try and get Lillard loose.
The Blazers will have to find a way to free up Lillard and beat the blitz in Game 3 at Moda Center, or else their postseason could end very soon.