Game #72 Preview: Spurs @ Blazers - Do we have a chance?

This was the 39th picture of Wednesday's game. And yes, I'm pretty sure the refs were going to call a foul on Neal for thinking about making Galinari look bad.

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.


Ptr_ambigram_white_on_black_medium
San Antonio Spurs @ Portland Trailblazers
Where: Rose Garden

When: March, 25, 2011 9:00 PM Spurs Time - Timezone Converter
Watch: FSSW


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By the Numbers

Data sources:
hoopdata.com | basketball-reference.com | John Hollinger's team stats

Category Offense
(rank)
Defense
(rank)
Efficiency Rating 109.1
(2nd)
102.0
(8th)
Rebound %
24.7
(22nd)
74.5
(t-11th)
Field Goal % 47.3
(5th)
45.3
(11th)
3-Point % 40.1
(1st)
37.2
(24th)
Free Throw %
77.1
(11th)
76.0
(12th)
Turnover %
12.96
(7th)
12.68
(23rd)
Assist %
59.34
(10th)
54.05
(4th)
Category Offense
(rank)
Defense
(rank)
Efficiency Rating 105.2
(t-12th)
103.7
(13th)
Rebound %
29.7
(4th)
72.5
(21st)
Field Goal % 44.7
(23rd)
46.8
(22nd)
3-Point % 34.6
(20th)
36.7
(21st)
Free Throw %
80.0
(3rd)
77.0
(20th)
Turnover %
12.69
(5th)
15.62
(2nd)
Assist %
58.61
(13th)
54.65
(5th)
Record Wins Losses
Overall 57 14
Conference 35 8
Division 10 4
Home 33 3
Away 24 11
Position Conference Division
Record 1st 1st
Lineups

Starters
PG: Tony Parker
SG: Manu Ginobili
SF: Richard Jefferson
PF: Antonio McDyess
C: Tiago Splitter

Key Bench Players
DeJuan Blair
Matt Bonner
Gary Neal
George Hill

Record Wins Losses
Overall 41
30
Conference 23 18
Division 8 5
Home 24 11
Away 16 20
Position Conference Division
Record 6th 3rd
Lineups

Starters
PG: Andre Miller
SG: Wesley Matthews
SF: Nicolas Batum
PF: Gerald Wallace
C: LaMarcus Aldridge

Key Bench Players
Marcus Camby
Brandon Roy
Rudy Fernandez
Patrick Mills

Matchup Analysis

Point Guard

Shooting Guard
Small Forward
Power Forward
Center
Bench
Coach
Intangibles
Mojo
Winner

Starters

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.

Bench

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.

Coaching

Nate McMillan is a fine coach, but he's got nothing on Pop. Especially in March

Intangibles

They're playing at their home, where they are a very good team. We are coming off a loss.

Mojo

Did you know that the Spurs are 12-1 on the game after a loss? That gives us some serious mojo.

Prediction

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.

Other Reading

Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell

Spurs Planet - Our old friend Wayne Vore is back, hating on Tiago

Project Spurs

Spurs Nation

OPPONENT

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.

Following Along

TV

FSSW

Radio

WOAI 1200AM; Audio League Pass[streaming]

Online

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 poundingtherockmail@yahoo.com(IMPORTANT: Please include your PtR username in the email for reference) for further assistance.

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