Wow, things turned ugly in quite a hurry, didn't they? Three losses in a row, all in close games, all without Tim Duncan. It's hard to swallow for those of us who were spoiled a bit by the Spurs overwhelming success earlier in the season, but here's a little reminder from Spurs beat writer Jeff McDonald:
Do you find it shocking Spurs would lose three close road games to playoff teams without Tim Duncan? Because I don't.
At least it's not anywhere near as bad as some of the ugly stretches the 2009-10 Spurs had. Losing Manu is discouraging, but his injury is likely not to hold him out even as long as Timmeh's. According to McDonald, the Manu is likely to be in street clothes tonight, but we all know he'll be healthy in time for the playoffs. Meanwhile, the rest of the Spurs are going to need to develop the mentality of a cornered, wounded animal - bite anything that comes within reach.
Tonight, we get a rematch of Friday night's embarrassing loss in Portland, that involved snatching defeat rather dramatically from the jaws of victory. But this time, the game's on our turf. It's payback time.
Let's just hope home court is what the guys wearing silver and black need to get back on course.
Let's do this.
San Antonio Spurs vs Portland Trail Blazers
Where: GAME VENUE
When: 03/28/2011, 7:30PM Spurs Time - Timezone Converter
By the Numbers
PG: Parker needs to dominate Fisher. And, perhaps more importantly, he needs to quit being dominated by Miller. We're going to need the remaining member of the big 3 to go off tonight if the Spurs are to win.
SG: I realize I'm going to take some heat for this, but that game George had last night is going to be very hard for him to duplicate on a SEGABABA, especially since he looked hurt at times last night. Matthews has played well all season, he deserves the spur.
SF: Batum is awesome. RJ needs to D up and rebound, in addition to his slightly-more-efficient scoring.
PF: Yikes. These matchups are starting to make me cringe. Dice looked pretty wasted last night.
C: OK, this is getting ridiculous. They seem to have a slight edge at most positions.
Both benches are very thin right now. No spur for anyone. If Green or Anderson can D up and make some shots on the perimeter, it would take sooooooo much pressure off the rest of the team. Also, Quinn will probably be active for the first time in weeks.
Pop is still the COY, even though I(and many others) have questioned his non-use of Tiago to help preserve leads late in games recently.
Both teams have injury issues and are on a SEGABABA, after tough away losses to playoff teams. But the Spurs have the homecourt tonight.
Did you watch the end of the game Friday night? Yeah...
VENGEANCE WILL BE OURS.
Key to the Game
Fight for every inch - Yeah, basically a mindset the Spurs need to follow for 48 minutes. Every loose ball, every rebound, every possession. And no easy buckets for the Blazers.
Spurs Planet - Our old friend Wayne Vore is back.
Fox Sports Southwest, NBA League Pass
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.