NBA Western Conference Semifinals Game Two: #5 Portland Trail Blazers at #1 San Antonio Spurs
2014 NBA Playoffs
Western Conference Semifinals – Game #2
#5 Portland Trail Blazers at #1 San Antonio Spurs
Spurs Lead Best of Seven Series 1-0
AT&T Center – San Antonio, Texas
Thursday, May 8, 2014, 9:35 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Opening Line: San Antonio -7
Current Line: San Antonio -7 (-105)
Opening Total: 207
Current Total: 208
Opening Money Line: Spurs -300 / Blazers +250
Current Money Line: Spurs -290 / Blazers +245
Many thought the Portland Trail Blazers might be able to steal game one of their Western Conference semifinal series against the San Antonio Spurs on the road. Portland had dispatched the Houston Rockets in six games last Friday night. The Spurs had to win an emotional seven game series against the rival Dallas Mavericks and the series didn’t end until Sunday. The younger Blazers would have fresher legs thought many people (myself included). However, in Tuesday’s game one, San Antonio had other ideas. The Spurs dominated from start to finish in a 116-92 rout. San Antonio looks to take a 2-0 series lead in game two Thursday before the series switches to Portland for games 3 and 4 starting Saturday night.
San Antonio took a 29-16 lead by the end of the first quarter, and expanded the lead to 65-39 by halftime. Portland would never get closer than 20 points in the second half. The Spurs picked up right where they left off in their game seven rout of the Mavericks 119-96. Portland shot 37.8% from the field including just 4/16 from 3 point range. The Blazers also had 20 turnovers.
Tony Parker led the Spurs with 33 points and 9 assists, after scoring 32 in game seven against Dallas Sunday. Guard Marco Belinelli added 19 points off the bench. The Spurs’ bench outscored the Blazers’ bench 50-18. Forward Kawai Leonard added 16 points and 9 rebounds. Tim Duncan scored 12 points and also had 11 rebounds. LaMarcus Aldridge continued his stellar play during the post season for Portland with 32 points and 14 rebounds. Guard Damian Lillard scored 17 points in the loss. Center Robin Lopez added 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Portland is coached by Terry Stotts. The Trail Blazers are 47-42 ATS this season and the total is 51-37-1 this season.
Portland is outscoring teams 107-103 this season. The Trail Blazers are #4 in scoring and #22 in points allowed. Portland is shooting 45% from the field and 37.2% from 3 point range. The Blazers are #10 in 3 point shooting. Portland leads the league in free throw shooting at 81.5% from the line. Opponents are shooting 45.1% from the field and 35.5% from 3 point range. The Blazers average 46.4 rebounds per game and opponents average 43.5 per game. Portland leads the league in rebounding but is #22 in rebounds allowed. The Blazers average 23.1 assists, 13.8 turnovers, 5.5 steals, and 4.8 blocks per game. Opponents average 20.4 assists, 12.1 turnovers, 7.8 steals and 3.7 blocks per game.
Forward LaMarcus Aldridge averages 23.2 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1 block per game. Point guard Damian Lillard averages 20.7 points, 5.6 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game. Guard Wesley Matthews averages 16.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Forward Nicolas Batum averages 13 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. Center Robin Lopez averages 11 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. Mo Williams, Dorrell Wright, Thomas Robinson, Will Barton, and Joel Freeland will also get significant minutes.
San Antonio is coached by Gregg Popovich, who won his third NBA coach of the year award last week. San Antonio is 47-43 ATS and the total is 50-39-1 this season.
San Antonio is outscoring teams 105-97. The Spurs are #6 in scoring and #6 in points allowed. San Antonio is shooting 48.6% from the field and 39.7% from 3 point range. The Spurs are #2 in field goal percentage and #1 in 3 point shooting. San Antonio is #4 in free throw shooting at 78.5% from the line. Opponents are shooting 44.4% from the field and 35.3% from 3 point range. The Spurs are in the top 10 in both categories. San Antonio is averaging 43.3 rebounds per game and opponents average 42.2 per game. The Spurs average 25.2 assists, 14.6 turnovers, 7.5 steals and 5.2 blocks per game. Opponents average 20.3 assists, 14 turnovers, 7.8 steals and 4.7 blocks per game.
Point guard Tony Parker averages 16.7 points, 5.7 assists, and 2.3 rebounds per game. Parker is probable with the ankle injury. Forward Tim Duncan averages 15.1 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.9 blocks per game. Forward Kawhi Leonard averages 12.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. Guard Manu Ginobili averages 12.3 points, 3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1 steal per game. Guard Marco Belinelli averages 11.4 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Guard Patty Mills averages 10.2 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists. Boris Diaw, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter, Cory Joseph, Jeff Ayres, and Matt Bonner will also get significant minutes.
Portland is 9-2 ATS in Thursday games, 6-2 in road games, 5-2 against teams with winning home records, 2-5 after a straight up loss of 10 points or more, 1-4 after a straight up loss, 0-5 against teams with winning records, after the opponent scores 100 points or more in the previous game, overall, against Western Conference teams and against Southwest Division teams. 0-4 after allowing 100 points or more in the previous game, after failing to cover, and one one day rest. The underdog is 5-2 ATS in this series recently. The over is 7-3 in the last 10 games in the series.
San Antonio is 4-1 ATS in conference semifinal series, 12-4 after failing to cover, 9-3 after a straight up win of 10 points or more, 7-3 against teams with winning road records, 8-17 against Northwest Division teams, 2-7 against teams with winning records, 1-4 after a straight up win, 2-8 overall and against Western Conference teams, and 1-6 after the opponent allows 100 points or more in the previous game. The home team is 19-9 ATS in this series recently.
Portland beat Houston to advance past the first round for the first time since 2000. The young Blazers were not prepared for the veteran Spurs in game one, who let’s face it are much better than the defense optional Rockets. Portland will get better because they have a lot of talent. Still, I like the Spurs to win at home but this game will be much closer than game one.