Western Conference Playoffs, Round 2, Game 2, Portland at San Antonio
Series Status: San Antonio leads 1-0
Game Info: 6:30 PM-TV on ESPN2, Radio on 620 AM.
ESPN Announcers: Dave Pasch, Jon Barry and Heather Cox
Vegas Line: San Antonio -6.5
Refs: Joey Crawford, Bill Spooner, Derrick Stafford and Sean Wright (alternate)
The Skinny: So game one sucked, can we can we all agree on that? Good. So the Blazers move onto game 2 as they hope to seek a much different result against the Spurs. Portland will have to hope to not be down big from the beginning as they never really had a chance Tuesday night.
Series in Review (Home team in bold for completed games, *=If necessary):
Game 1-San Antonio 116-Portland 92
Game 2-Thursday at San Antonio-6:30 PM (ESPN2)
Game 3-Saturday at Portland-7:30 PM (ESPN)
Game 4-Monday at Portland-7:30 PM (TNT)
Game 5*-May 14 at San Antonio
Game 6*-May 16 at Portland
Game 7*-May 19 at San Antonio
Projected Spurs Lineup (Regular Season Averages):
PF-Tim Duncan (Wake Forest-17th Season)-15.1 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 3 APG.
SF-Kawhi Leonard (San Diego State-3rd Season)-12.8 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 2 APG.
C-Tiago Splitter (Brazil-4th Season)-8.2 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.5 APG
SG-Danny Green (North Carolina-5th Season)-9.1 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.5 APG.
PG-Tony Parker (France-13th Season)-16.7 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 5.7 APG
Player to Watch-Tony Parker (Pictured at right)-He may not be a typical point guard, but Tony Parker has long been one of the most effective in the NBA and keyed the Spurs rout in game 1 with his second straight 30+ point perforamcne. A supremely talented slasher, Parker has continued to improve his game, and his free throw shooting, once a weakness, is now a strength. Parker is a score-first, pass-second point guard, but he is usually quick enough that he doesn’t need to pass. He can run into trouble if forced to shoot jumpers, but he is usually smart enough to avoid those if possible. On defense, he is good when he’s engaged, but when he isn’t, he can be beaten on that end of the court.
Did You Know?: In his seventeenth season with the Spurs, Gregg Popovich is the longest tenured head coach in any of the four major American sports.
Song of the Day: “Tomorrow” from the musical Annie-Time to put the past in the past and remember that the sun will come out tomorrow and the Blazers can and will put the horrors of game 1 behind them. Enjoy:
San Antonio: None
Adjustments: San Antonio’s Mental Game
Perhaps the most devastating part of playing the Spurs in a playoff series is the way that when they won, they so often win in a way that threatens to take away all your confidence. The 29-point loss was bad but what the Spurs want you to feel is hopeless, that there is no chance that you have to compete with them. That’s certainly what they wanted Miami to feel after they clobbered the Heat by 36 in game 3 of last year’s finals, but Miami was able to bounce back and take game 4. The important thing is to remain confident. The Spurs are a very good good team but so is Portland. If the Blazers can play with confidence and avoid San Antonio’s mental traps, they stand at least a reasonable chance of winning game 2.
The Bottom Line:
Portland wins if: They play from ahead. This is not a Spurs team that you want to be forced to come back on. Yes the Mavs did but after game one you don’t want to raise any specter of a repeat. Just take the lead, control the game and you can win.
San Antonio wins if: They keep playing their game. The Spurs don’t need to change anything from game one. If they play as they are capable Thursday, they stand a very good chance of going up 2-0.