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Game Thread #56: San Antonio Spurs vs. Portland Trail Blazers

The 2013 Big Three

Yes, yes. I know, we lost badly to the Cavaliers, the same team we obliterated not two years ago in the NBA Finals. That's what happens with time: players grow up, reach new levels and gel as a team.

What does that say about the Spurs' future, though? Everyone that watched that game will agree with me in that it was the most entertaining blowout ever. Our third unit had three promising young guys, Pops, Hairston and Hill, and they all played with energy, skill and lots of heart. What's their limit? Where will they be in a season or two? Will they reach new levels of their own, and form the core for another championship team? As Spurs fans, we're living in exciting times, witnessing an old, veteran team slowly morph into a boiling pot of raw talent and promises, all the while remaining one of the top 4 teams in the league.

Time for perspective and daydreaming. The completely biased preview is like always after the jump, but I'll spoil the surprise ending once more: we're blessed!

Game Time: 7:00 Spurs Time, 11:00 pm Argentina
3:00 am Egypt, 1:00 am CET
10:00 am Perth, Japan, Philippines
11:00 am Guam

TV: My35 HD
Officials: S. Javie
M. Davis
M. Lindsay

Tony Parker
Roger Mason
Kurt Thomas
Matt Bonner
Michael Finley

Steve Blake
Mrs. Parker
Brandon Roy
Shut Down
Joel Przybilla
Not Oden
LaMarcus Aldridge
Soon to be
(says ATS)
Nicolas Batum
Erik Per
images via
20-8 Home 23-5
19-10 Road 13-17
97.4 Offense 99.0
93.6 Defense 95.0
46.4 FG% 46.2
39.3 3-pt% 38.1
77.1 FT% 76.0
40.9 Rebounds 41.2
12.1 TO's 12.9
6-4 Last 10 6-4
L 1 Streak W 1


  • Point Guard - Parker fell down back to Earth the other day, and what better opportunity to explode once more than against the guy he dominated earlier this week? Steve Blake will probably feel the pressure of improving his performance, lest he sees his minutes go to some capable of a modicum of defense.
  • Off Guard - Roger Mason was born to play in the POs. I know, you know it. In the meantime, I expect him to surprise us a few more times with his ill-advised, momentum-swinging, heart-stopping, last-minute daggers. Hopefully we still remember how to stop Roy.
  • Center - Kurt has been the unsung hero of the last two or three weeks for the Spurs. At the level he's playing, we might not need to sign a big to win in June. We need him out there to grab rebounds and prevent Joel from getting so many offensive caroms.
  • Power Forward - Bonner tried his best to create his own shot versus the Cavaliers last Friday. He didn't succeed, and had a sub-par performance - that's simply not his game. But behind the arc, his feet set, there's no other guy I'd rather take a shot for the Spurs. He's by far the best three-point shooter in this league, and don't let people tell you otherwise. If he play adequate defense on LaMarcus, then we'll have a good chance tonight.
  • Small Forward - Finley has been shooting well lately, and probably doesn't deserve my mocking. He's a professional, and even though we've all felt at some point that he was hurting the team, he's made shots for us, he's won us games, and he's still someone that can catch on fire at any point. If only he came off the bench... Batum's good, but Outlaw and Frye are the ones that killed us the other day.
  • Bench - They have a good bench, even with Oden injured. But until the day we choose The JV and Udoka over Malik and Pops, I'll say our bench is much better. What was left of our first unit couldn't match LeCrab and his merry hermits, but our second unit destroyed theirs, forced an unseemly timeout and almost had BronBron check in again. Ponder on that.
  • Coach - I can only hope I get to watch Pop coach a bad team someday, or at least a team without All-Stars. I think there are depths to his coaching that he hasn't had to tap yet, or at least not for long stretches.
  • Intangibles - They're at home, trying to get revenge for their wet-noodle perfomance the other day. We're the Spurs.
  • Mojo - The positive preview to counter the negative mojo on the negative preview is positively devastating.
  • Winners - We have perennial All-Stars; we have unselfish HoFers; we have promising young players; we have playoff-tested veterans; we have savvy coaches; we have faithful fans. We are truly blessed. Ramen!

Keys To The Game

  • Rebounds - We need to limit their second chances on offense.
  • Fouls - If we're not hot from deep, Tony, Hill and -dare I say it- Mason need to drive and try to get some freebies.
  • Hope - For the best.

Some other reading

Remember there are two great Portland sites you should visit.

Blazers Edge (The SB Nation blog, even more active than PTR - but we're prettier. Their game thread.)
The Rip City Project

Other things of possible interest

  • Manu - Answers the forum's questions (it's in Spanish, sorry). He thought my answer was too long, and sucked. I feel cold... momma...
  • HEB - Now we know why Manu and Timmy are out.
  • Fanshots - No one looks at them. (Did you know you can add fanshots now with the click of a mouse? No way! Yes way.) Regardless, James White is now a Rocket, at least for 10 days.
  • Hipuks - Told me to link this. If there's BANNING to be done, then you know who your target is, Matthew. (FML is my new obssession. Go.)
  • Talent - We have none. They do.
  • Craiglist - Cracks me up.
  • Rickrolled - I don't mind if it's Nirvana doing it.
  • Logo - I might've linked to this before, but hey.
  • Robots - Are awesome.
  • Rolcats - Just in case you missed it the other day - it's that good. Go.

Game feeds

Check this game thead at gametime for specific links to good quality feeds. If you arrive late in the game, there game feed links are usually among the first 50 posts of the thread.
OneNation (This is an archive of NBA games, but it hasn't been updated lately.)
BitTorrent Davka (A torrent site where you will find most of the latest games in the league. Bookmark.)

Recap: Stampler, the recap machine. I think. Probably.

This is a great day for pregame music. My recommendations would be ATS's Radio Paradise, or maybe...