Game Preview: Portland Trail Blazers @ San Antonio Spurs

Yes, Tim Duncan is a Superstar - Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Portland comes to San Antonio to take on the Spurs, but are likely to get their trails blazed. Hey-O!

San Antonio Spurs vs Portland Trail Blazers

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
March 8, 2013, 7:30 PM Spurs Time
TV: FSSW - RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI

Portland is a team that vexes me. I am sorely vexed. How do you have a team with all these good players that is so mediocre? I mean seriously, what's the deal? LaMarcus Aldridge should be a legit star, right?. You add to the Nick Batum and that rookie PG everyones talking about, Damian Lillard and shouldn't you be doing better than the Lakers? Ok, that was probably a low blow that might incur some Blazer fan anger, but let's be real, the pot's been stirred.

I know some of the Blazer's problems stem from having a rising star lose his knees in Brandon Roy (pronounced Waa if you're from Montreal, that's right, a hockey joke) and just general bad luck with injuries, but I find it hard to believe that such a promising young team can't overcome any of that to at least be better than the Jazz.

The boys from the Rose City (not to be confused with the Rose Capital of the World, right here in Texas) have plenty of talent. I wouldn't mind seeing some of their guys in silver and black. A guy like Wesley Matthews comes to mind and of course long time Spur fan crush Nick Batum. Damian Lillard is clearly going to be good for some time and a guy like Aldridge is clearly a nice player. So what's the deal?

I can only guess here, since I don't really follow the Blazers that closely and we never see them in the playoffs. So here's my guess: They are a team full of good/great role players. The most difficult thing to find in basketball is a Superstar. They are the rarest of birds and they do not come along often. Stars, such as a player like Aldridge, are often confused as Superstars and while very good and very valuable commodities they are not Superstars. They don't make everyone better and they cannot carry a team by themselves, which I believe is the true definition of a Superstar.

I think it's a fair point to say that LeMarcus Aldrige, a 27 year-old player, is not every going to be more than he is now, which is an elite offensive talent who doesn't scare you rebounding or on defense. Damian Lillard could be more, but only time will tell. At this point the Blazers seem stuck in that worst of situations for an NBA team, the cusp. There lie such teams as the Atlanta Hawks or Utah Jazz. Playoff fodder at best and back end of the lottery at worst. Rare are the opportunities to get that coveted stud that can take a team to the next level.

As much grief as I'm dishing out here you've got to feel a bit for Blazer fans. They, not unlike us in Spursdom, are fans of small market team, a team that is the only pro level team in the city and a fans that constantly support their team. They are 2nd in the NBA in attendance, despite their so-so record. They have a fantastic SB Nation blog over at Blazers Edge, where some guy named Dave runs a tight ship. They probably are some of the best fans in the NBA and it's truly vexing to watch them wallow in this mediocrity.

All of that said, the Spurs need to crush these guys. Here is some motivation to get the blood flowing:


That video never gets old. Especially the part with David Robinson running off the floor high-fiving people there at the end. Good times. To the lineups:

Lineups

Starters
PG: Cory Joseph
SG: Danny Green
SF: Kawhi Leonard
PF: Tim Duncan
C: Tiago Splitter

Key Bench Players
Manu Ginobili
Boris Diaw
Stephen Jackson

Head Coach
Gregg Popovich

Lineups

Starters
PG: Damian Lillard
SG: Wesley Matthews
SF: Nicolas Batum
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge
C: J.J. Hickson

Key Bench Players
Meyers Leonard
Eric Maynor
Sasha Pavlovic


Head Coach

Terry Stotts

Portland perspective can be found here: Blazers Edge

Game Prediction: The Spurs still have a Superstar and his name is Tim Duncan. Spurs by 7.

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.

Get your San Antonio Spurs tickets here!

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