Game Preview: Portland Trail Blazers at San Antonio Spurs

San Antonio Spurs vs Portland Trail Blazers

AT&T Center
4/23/2012 7:30pm
TV: FSSW - RADIO: WOAI

Portland will be stopping by in the third to last game of the season for the Spurs. With a win against Cleveland and OKC coming up with a loss against the Lakers, the Spurs are looking pretty good to close out at the top of the Western Conference seedings. We can all sit here and speculate about who CIA Pop will sit but in the end we can be sure of only one thing, that Pop will take the necessary actions to insure that his team is prepared and ready for the playoffs.

I keep hearing the pundits cringe with fear from the sound of Grizzlies hounding the steps of their favorite teams or how a young dynamic duo in Thunder outfits will decimate everyone. Hell, I have even heard tale of a rising behemoth in the west who wears royal purple and gold. And who can forget the wee little man and his giant dunking machine. But I only hear whispers about the bad guys. The silver and black boogeymen. The guys who should have been dead, again, and again, and again. They just won't go away. They lurk in the shadows, guided by their mysterious and cankerous conductor. He raises his hands again and again to bring life back to a lifeless body. Dark chants are ritualized as defensive thaumaturgy is combined with offensive alchemy. What was once black is now white. What was light is now dark. That which was understood is now confused. Oh yes, the Spurs have begun their march one more time into the playoffs. One more time, to battle against overconfident foes. Against the darlings of fame. To struggle against the new crown prince of the court. Oh yes my friends, those same unwanted warriors are once again on the move to claim what is rightfully theirs and this time, there is no turning back until the deed is done.

Tonight the Spurs take on the Blazers. It's been a rough year for a team that seemed so promising. Earlier in the year ever stat pointed to Portland being a top 5 team in the West. All the stats save the most important one, Wins and Losses. This young team could never quite get it figured out. So they decided to blow it up. They fired Nate McMillian, which was probably overdue. Long had Portland been on the cusp under McMillian only to fail again and again. They also made some news by trading some nice pieces, including Gerald Wallace and Marcus Camby, for draft picks and lesser pieces.

This Blazers team will be looking to make a splash in the draft and via free-agency over the summer. Until then they will have to deal with a Spurs team that is, as the kids say, straight rollin'. The Spurs rest Duncan and blowout the hapless Cavs last night. Tonight, the two questions are (1) will the Spurs fall into a possible trap game against the ever dangerous LaMarcus Aldrige and (2) who will play and who will sit tonight. As I said before, in CIA Pop we must trust.

On to the lineups:

Lineups

Starters
PG: Tony Parker
SG: Danny Green
SF: Kawhi Leonard
PF: Tim Duncan
C: Tiago Splitter

Key Bench Players
Gary Neal
Manu Ginobili
Stephen Jackson

Lineups

Starters
PG: Nolan Smith
SG: Wesley Matthews
SF: Luke Babbitt
PF: J.J. Hickson
C: Haseem Thabeet

Key Bench Players
Nicolas Batum
Jamal Crawford
Raymond Felton

NBA Stats Cube Lineup Comparison Here. Portland Trailblazers perspective can be found here: Here

Game Prediction: The worse loss of the season was handed to the Spurs by the Trailblazers. Does it happen again? It might. Spurs by 3

As always Tony must 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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