Here we go. Three weeks of @ signs for the boys in black. After a nice one game home stand and a classic Yeehaw teaser, complete with crooning and wayback photoshopping, it's time to actually kick off this year's Rodeo Road Trip. What to expect this year? Honestly, who knows? This has traditionally been the turning point for a lot of Spurs seasons, when the boys finally start getting their act together. This season? If you are like me, you long ago gave up making any predictions about these Spurs. I'm just enjoying all the surprises and taking each game as it comes. Let's get to it, Spurs fans!
Portland is a much better team at home than on the road this season. Despite their many injury woes, they are currently battling for a playoff spot. If the playoffs started today, they would be our first round opponent. But let's not get ahead of ourselves...
San Antonio Spurs @ Portland Trailblazers
When: 2-1-2011, 9:00 p.m. Spurs Time - Timezone Converter
Watch: Fox SW
By the Numbers
PG: Tony Parker
SG: Manu Ginobili
SF: Richard Jefferson
PF: DeJuan Blair
C: Tim Duncan
Key Bench Players
PG: Andre Miller
C: Joel Przybilla
Key Bench Players
PG: Parker needs to dominate Fisher. It would also help tonight if he dominated Andre Miller. Miller is a clever player, and he's pretty big. But Parker will run little French circles around him tonight.
SG: Matthews is a good young guard. He is fairly dangerous from the three point line. Manu, however, has recovered his form and is playing outstanding ball right now. He should be an All Star, this season.
SF: Batum is putting up decent numbers this year. Jefferson is struggling a bit with his consistency, but in every game he is finding meaningful ways to contribute. Slight edge to Rage.
PF: Aldridge is putting up the kind of numbers that Duncan has averaged for his career. We all know Duncan's low minutes and the emphasis on running the offense through others make his stats look deceptively small. I'm giving the spur to the Blazers here.
C: I have really been impressed with how Blair has evolved this season. His limitations are still there for all to see, but he more than makes up for it in moxie, smarts, and an unusual blend of athleticism. Pryzbilla's tall, but a tad stiff.
The Spurs bench is great, and we're getting deeper with the return of Anderson and increased minutes for Splitter. Red Rocket, eat some Get Better sandwiches and join the party.
It's too late for Popovich to avoid his All Star coaching duties, so he will bring his A game. Nate McMillan is a very good NBA coach, but Popovich is one of the greats, and has the better team.
The Spurs are healthy, and getting healthier. The Trailblazers are going the other direction. They have my respect, and I know they will show up to play, because this team has character. But they just don't have the manpower right now.
Spurs eat mojo for breakfast.
Spurs start things off right with a win. YEEHAW!
Key(s) to the Game
Key 1 - Portland is an excellent offensive rebounding team. Spurs need to block out and prevent easy buckets.
Key 2 - The Spurs are getting some press now. Ignore it, boys.
Key 3 - I'm looking for increased minutes for our younglings, and for the Spurs bench to strut its stuff.
48 Minutes of Hell - Always a great, insightful read.
Spurs Planet - Our old friend Wayne Vore is back.
Project Spurs - These guys bleed silver and black.
Spurs Nation - Lots of great stories on here lately.
Blazersedge (SB Nation) - Portland has always been one of my favorite NBA towns, and Blazersedge carries their spirit well.
Fox Sports Southwest
WOAI 1200AM; Audio League Pass[streaming]
As always, NBA league pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Almost every Spurs game will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area.
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. You can also shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org(IMPORTANT: Please include your PtR username in the email for reference) for further assistance.