That was a gut-punch of a loss on Wednesday. We definitely missed having Duncan on the defensive end, as the Nuggets somehow
willed convinced-the-refs-to-call-everything-on-the-Spurs-and-get-39-free-throws. Even with all the home-cooking that Ed Malloy induced, we had a chance to win this game, and if we had Duncan, I think we would have. The Spurs needed his offense in crunch time last night. We needed someone we could throw it down into and get a couple of layups. Too many perimeter jumpshots to end last game.
Tonight, we face one of the nemeses of the Spurs. Portland is a team that slows it way down on offense, playing late into the shot clock and getting their looks. Fortunately, for us they haven't been as potent offensively as they were last year, due to the fact that their star player Brandon Roy is only a shadow of his former self. This has allowed LaMarcus Aldridge to blossom into the talent they were expecting when they wrestled him from Chicago. Aldridge has definitely stepped up his game and deserved a spot on the All-Star roster. In case we forget, he torched the Spurs for 40 points last game we played in Portland.
The Spurs, again without the services of the GOATPUFF, are on the road again against a team that is over 70% winning at home. Could tonight be the second time this season that the Spurs have a losing streak? Will anyone that is in mainstream media ever realize that statistic? Will Tiago sparkle? Will the bench ever get into a positive +/- again? Let's look at the stats and find out.
San Antonio Spurs @ Portland Trailblazers
Where: Rose Garden
When: March, 25, 2011 9:00 PM Spurs Time - Timezone Converter
By the Numbers
PG: Miller has defended Parker very well in the past. While Parker still gets the Spur, I expect this matchup to be closer than people may think
SG: Manu has been playing well. We need him to kick it into video game mode, like he did last year when Parker went down. No more missed shots EVER! Matthews is a very good player, but Manu takes the cake, I mean Spur).
SF: We all wanted Batum. Kevin Pritchard stabbed us in the back. I see both of these guys as equals at this point.
PF: Gerald Wallace is a dominant player. He might be playing outside of his position, but he can destroy us.
C: LaMarcus scored 40 against us last time we were in Portland. Tiago played well on Wednesday, but was too gassed to keep it up. Here's to hoping that this matchup is closer than it seems, but I just don't see it.
Our bench can be fantastic. Unfortunately, it's cause us to lose a couple of games recently, and allowed teams to get back into the game other days. Until we dominate an opponent again, the opponent gets the Spur.
Nate McMillan is a fine coach, but he's got nothing on Pop. Especially in March
They're playing at their home, where they are a very good team. We are coming off a loss.
Did you know that the Spurs are 12-1 on the game after a loss? That gives us some serious mojo.
If, and only if, we can keep them off the offensive glass, we win this game. Unfortunately, I don't think we do it. Blazers by 5
Key(s) to the Game
Key 1 - Defensive Rebounding! Defensive Rebound! Defensive Reb! D-Reb!
Key 2 - Bench has to beat their bench. We need that spark, now more than ever.
Spurs Planet - Our old friend Wayne Vore is back, hating on Tiago
Blazer's Edge (SB Nation) - This was voted best blog on SB nation. Of course, the only voter was from Portland and is a guest writer for the blog. Take from that what you will.
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 email@example.com(IMPORTANT: Please include your PtR username in the email for reference) for further assistance.