Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Portland Trail Blazers

San Antonio Spurs vs Portland Trail Blazers

AT&T Center
January 13, 2012 7:30 PM Spurs Time
TV: FOX SW - RADIO: WOAI

Well that last game was a wild one, wasn't it? I'm glad to have beat Houston. It also means that we're still perfect at home (if anyone is counting). It was easy to see that Pop knew that win was important. I don't think I've seen Duncan or Parker play that many minutes in a couple seasons. While it's been a huge blessing to have players like the Late George Hill and the recent Green/Leonard combo to rely on when they're hot, when a team is going through adversity it relies on its veterans to lead the way. It's the reason you don't often see young teams win championships, and a good reason that, as Spurs fans, we feel a sense of pride when the media declares us old.

Lineups

Starters
PG: Tony Parker
SG: Gary Neal
SF: Richard Jefferson
PF: Tim Duncan
C: DeJuan Blair

Key Bench Players
Tiago Splitter
Kawhi Leonard
Danny Green

Lineups

Starters
PG: Raymond Felton
SG: Wesley Matthews
SF: Gerald Wallace
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge
C: Marcus Camby

Key Bench Players
Jamal Crawford
Nicolas Batum
Kurt Thomas

At the moment I'm leaving Poor Mr. Anderson off the key bench players. He seems to be in a funk, which he needs to get out of as soon as possible. This is one of his major chances to show what he can do during LWM, but so far he's been relegated to bench duty. I love how Tiago has been playing, I just wish we encouraged his game a little more. Why wouldn't we throw a couple 4-downs toward him when Timmy is having a rest? At the moment, I feel like Tiago could be an excellent player, perhaps an all-star later in his career, but he's so inexperienced with the way the NBA plays, he looks a little lost still. Hopefully, Green finds his shot tonight as well.

As for Portland, all their starters play over 30 minutes a game, with the exception of Camby. When he goes out, it looks like Batum subs in, which will force us to play small ball against Aldridge. The previous sentence is what has consistently given the Spurs problems whenever they play Portland. My biggest concern is the defense of our second string. This being the front end of a SEGABABA for both teams, I can see Pop resting Duncan more (though who knows the inner workings of the great Popovich). However, I don't see Portland resting their players. This will force us to play either Splitter on Aldridge for 10+ minutes (acceptable) or Bonner against him (unacceptable).

One of the biggest reasons we've had such trouble with Portland in years past was because of a certain point guard named Andre Miller. He was one of the few guards who was always able to guard Parker. Without him, I can see Parker having a big game, hopefully we can offset Aldridge enough to improve to 8-0 at home, but it's going to be a tight one. If Crawford goes off though, I can see this being a long night for the Spurs.

NBA Stats Cube Lineup Comparison Here. Trail Blazer perspective can be found here: Blazer's Edge

As always Tony needs to dominate Fisher, and 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.

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