Game Preview #48: San Antonio Spurs @ Portland Trailblazers


A Spur doing an awesome dunk? Meh.

So much for that anticipated rip-roaring start to the Rodeo Road Trip. It only gets tougher from hereon as we go up against the Blazermaniacs, to which we are a dreadful 0-2 in the season series. Jump in and discuss.

I have nothing so have an Oden moment.

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(Insert customary Greg's Oden joke here)

Here's a little jinxing video for Portland (sorry Blazer fans, but we desperately need a win and get the team right...and at least Sam's already with the Nets on this one?)

This team seriously needs to come together.

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"Team, I'm gonna keep it real. Just get me two wins on this trip and I'm calling it a season."


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San Antonio Spurs @ Portland Trail Blazers
Where: Rose Garden - Portland, OR
When: February 4, 2010, 9:30 PM Spurs time
Watch: TNT

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How They Stack Up
19-10 Home 17-9
9-9 Road 12-13
101.1
Offense 98.0
96.5 Defense 95.3
47.6 FG% 46.2
37.1
3-pt% 35.6
73.9
FT% 78.9
42.4
Rebounds 40.3
13.9
TOs 12.9
5-5 Last 10 4-6
Won 1
Streak Lost 1
2nd, Southwest Position 4th, Northwest

Country/Time Zone Game Time
Argentina 12:30 PM
West Coast
7:30 PM
Philippines 11:30 AM
Central Europe 4:30 AM
Palestine/Egypt 5:30 AM
East Coast 10:30 PM
Libertaria
8:30 PM
Perth, AUS 11:30 AM
Tokyo, JP 1:30 PM
Sydney, AUS 1:30 PM

Spurs
(28-19)
Matchups

Blazers
(29-22)

George Hill
No Love From Kelly Dwyer

Point Guard

Miller's a smart player, good distributor, and a big guard like Chauncey who can punish smaller PGs. And oh yeah, he went off for 52 points against the Mavs. With a defense as porous as the Spurs', we're dead meat, unless of course, we rediscover that old defensive magic.

Advantage: Spurs


Andre Miller
Mr. 52 Points

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Manu Ginobili
Hubie: "Mano"

Shooting Guard

Yay, no Brandon Roy! (or so I assume) Bayless burned us the last time though, so I hope the coaching staff devised a plan to limit the kid.

Advantage: Spurs


Jerryd Bayless
Spurs Eater

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Richard Jefferson
???

Small Forward

RJ has $14 million in the bank, and we don't so he probably doesn't care. Webster is a solid threat at both ends of the floor, and has been a bit more consistent for the Blazers. If RJ can channel his aggressive side for more than a few possessions, this will easily be in his favor. Somehow, I'm not convinced he will.

Advantage: Neither


Martell Webster
Preps-To-Pros

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Tim Duncan
20/10

Power Forward

In case you didn't know, Timmy always gets the white box. This season, he's as good as ever, and nobody's been able to stop him. I like Aldridge, and he has all the physical tools to be a dominant PF. In fact, he's already one of the top PF's in the West, but he's not Timmy and never will be.

Advantage: Spurs


LaMarcus Aldridge
Athlete

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Antonio McDyess
A Bit Washed Up

Center

It's a battle of old men. I can't even describe how exciting this will be.

Advantage: Neither


Juwan Howard
Washed Up

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Michael Finley
Zombieland

Bench & Role Players

Blair is a monster and Blazer fans wished they could still turn back the clock. Fat chance, and they can't just keep plucking the good ones, y'know? In the end, BAM rules the world.

Advantage: Spurs


Nicolas Batum
Baby-Faced Frenchie

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Gregg Popovich
Still Drunk

Coach

Nate's been doing a great job, if somewhat unheralded, for several years. Both of these guys are having to deal with chemistry issues among some new additions, but Nate's job is made much harder by the injuries. Also, PtR member GhosTown hates Pop with a fury, at least for this season.

Advantage: Blazers


Nate McMillan
Great Coach
images via yahoo.com

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Other Factors

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Intangibles

It doesn't matter if our opponent is missing its best player. We can't take advantage. AT. ALL.

Advantage: Blazers

Mojo

The Blazers have disappointed due to key injuries. We have no mojo after nearly being T-Mac'd by Tyreke Evans. Or wait... maybe we do have one. See below.

Advantage: Neither

Winner

It's my birthday so I know we'll win (technically, it's the 5th but hey, not my fault that my country's a few hours ahead of everyone else). Well... that, and I'm crossing my fingers that we won't have to drop another season series. Ugh.
Prediction: Spurs win.

Keys To The Game

  • Defensive Rebounding - The Spurs are one of the top rebounding teams in the L. So is Portland. Wait... did they really get that rebound last time out without a true center? FML.
  • Points in the Paint - No center for Portland, no problem, right? WRONG. We'll see if Pop finally takes things seriously and let the Spurs put pressure on the Trailblazer interior defense.
  • Bench Play - Our bench is our biggest advantage over most teams, and the depleted Blazers are no exception. George, Manu, DeJuan, and the rest of the BAM need to launch a full assault on the Blazers during their minutes.

Strength of Schedule

Both teams are playing the latter of half of their SEGABABAs. The Blazers lost to the Jazz the previous night so expect them to be a little more unwelcoming than the usual.

Last Time They Met

The last time we met, the Blazers -- Oden-less, Pryzbilla-less and Roy-less -- thumped us in a close game, in our home court to boot. And yes, they freaking got a crucial offensive rebound without a freaking center.

Some Other Reading

Blazers

Blazersedge - Here you'll find one of the busiest hoops blogs on SBN, including the most insane comment rate on game threads that you will ever find. Good luck keeping up with these guys, they're experts.
Bustabucket - This one's a lot easier to follow, I promise. The Blazers' Bloguin affiliate is very aesthetically pleasing, and I love their previews - check it out.

Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell: Best damn TrueHoop affiliate out there. Always a must visit Spurs site.
Project Spurs: Features live chats, call-in shows and podcasts, with lots of content. Give 'em a try.

Where to Tune In

TV

This game will be aired on TNT, so yay-yo. Do know that we actually play pretty bad on national television. If you have cable or satellite, you'll have to look up your individual channel. And of course, there's always League Pass for the haves. For the have nots, read on.

Online

As always, NBA League Pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Most Spurs games will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area. This game is no exception.

Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate. In fact, nobody can stop you from googling "atdhe". You can also shoot an email to poundingtherockmail@yahoo.com for more assistance.

NBA League Pass audio is still free this year, so check it out.

Radio

If you're in the San Antonio area and aren't near a TV, tune in to WOAI (1200 AM).

PtR Reminder: For you bored losers out there, we'll be having game threads for the All-Star Saturday and Sunday showcases, so make sure you check on the site. Wayne and LatinD will also be there to cover the whole shebang so it's gonna be a riot. And who knows, maybe Bakkie009 still has more revelations about himself.

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