Trail Blazers/Spurs Pre-Game
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 02/04/2010 12:38 PM

    The Trail Blazers (29-22) return home after a quick trip to Salt Lake City to face the veteran Spurs (28-19) who are also playing the second of a back to back and are in the midst of their annual "Rodeo Trip", which takes the Spurs away from San Antonio for nearly the entire month of February. Prior to last season, this series was one absolutely dominated by the San Antonio Spurs. Dated from the 02-03 season through 07-09, in 20 meetings, Portland was a laughable 1-19. Now, as the Spurs have aged mightily, the Trail Blazers have won five of the last six matchups and are looking for their first season series sweep of the Spurs since the 96-97 season. A lot of questions surround tonight's game in regards to each team's superstar. Will this finally be the return of Brandon Roy and will the Spurs get Tony Parker back from a nasty ankle sprain?

    San Antonio is 11th in the league in scoring at 101.14 and 6th in the NBA in field goal percentage, shooting 47.6% from the floor. The reason Portland was able to was to win the two games to date this year was aggressive play on both ends of the court! Back on November, Portland held the Spurs to only 84 points on 38% shooting, dominated them on the glass, 48-37 and found time to make good with the free throw line, going 27-30 from the charity stripe. During the more recent matchup, it had much more to do with the offense than defense as Portland did allow 51.4% shooting but still held the Spurs below their season average of 101, only allowing 94 again. A common theme in the win? Free throw shooting. Portland got to the line 26 times, making 23, with most of the aggressive play coming from Bayless who set a career-high with 31 points. If Portland wants to make it a clean sweep tonight over San Antonio, we must get to the line at least 20 times, hold the Spurs to around 48% shooting, and win the battle on the glass because those three factors have all been common denominators in Trail Blazer wins this year.

    With an average age of nearly 29 years, the Spurs are not exactly spring chickens. With or without Roy, the Blazers need to look to run at every opportunity. San Antonio is currently playing in their longest road trip of the season and are on the second of a back to back, which means if Portland can jump on the Spurs early it could take the wind out of their sails. Assuming his left wrist isn't causing Bayless too much pain, this is the perfect game for Bayless to have the green light to attack the paint at will, just as he did the last time Portland was on TNT against Phoenix when he dropped 29 points. He will have to prove to the Spurs he can hit the mid-range jump shot before the paint opens up at all though.

    The Blazers, with their loss last night, have now dropped to 8th in the West and are only 2-4 so far in this tough 10-game stretch. Needless to say, this game is one of the biggest games of the season for our boys. With the Lakers coming to the Rose City on Saturday, I hope the Blazers do not overlook the Spurs due to recent success over them and come out with a sense of urgency. This rough patch of games can be weathered, especially with three of the remaining four at the Rose Garden, but it all starts tonight. Two things to watch tonight. First, we all saw Aldridge abuse a smaller player in AK47, but will be play with the same fire against Duncan? Also, the bench scored an amazing 45 points off of the bench in their win Monday over Charlotte, yet only got 29 on the road against Utah. Its no surprise to see the bench flourish at home and it will be needed again tonight. Dre has been slumping these past two weeks, sans he 52 point outing, and Howard is not an offensive threat, so the bench must not only provide the energy but the offense tonight.

    The electricity and atmosphere of a nationally televised game on TNT will bring the Rose Garden crowd to an even higher level of rowdiness tonight, which will give the Trail Blazers that extra boost they need to get the job done. In fact, I think Portland will jump out on the Spurs tonight, much like they did back in November, and hold on for another double digit victory behind Batum's defense, Bayless' offense, and Rudy's open-court magic.
    Game 52 Prediction: Trail Blazers 96 Spurs 85
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  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 02/04/2010 2:14 PM

    Go ahead, let Tony Parker play. Jerryd Bayless will just run circles around him like last time. I'd also like to see more playing time for Jeff Pendergraph. He played an instrumental part in the last victory against the Spurs.
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. RedRudy5
    Posts: 135

    Posted 02/05/2010 12:02 AM

    Great game! Hope we can take some momentum plus Roy back to get another win against the lakers!
    I am a fan of Turning this season around! Time to show some pride!!
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