Road Takes: Spurs, Parker Clinical In 24-Point Beatdown Of Blazers
In the first seven minutes of Game 1, the Portland Trail Blazers had 5 points. It was a very different scenario from Game 1 of the first round when they went into Houston and punched the Rockets in the mouth for two wins.
These are the Spurs.
Led by 33 points and 9 assists from point guard Tony Parker, slicing up the Blazers in the pick and roll and in transition and from every way you can imagine torched the Blazers.
Portland started with Damian Lillard on him, then tried Nicolas Batum and then tried Wesley Matthews. It didn’t do that much to slow Parker or the Spurs offense down.
As Blazer Banter and others had eluded to in the run up to the series, the Spurs have the advantage in the series when it comes to depth. They didn’t play a single player over 30 minutes per game throughout the regular season and Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 34 minutes per game. Damian Lillard averaged nearly 45 minutes per game in the first round.
“Across the board, we were outplayed in the first half,” said Terry Stotts in the postgame press conference.
But it wasn’t just Parker that dominated the Blazers.
Marco Belinelli and Aron Baynes were fantastic off the bench for the Spurs. Baynes was particularly terrorizing for the Blazers defense as he rolled hard to the rim and had a couple of follow dunks that took the air out of the Blazers.
Baynes finished with 10 points and 7 rebounds while Belinelli dropped 19 points off the San Antonio bench.
LaMarcus Aldridge had a good game from the field, looking like he found a rhythm in the second half. Aldridge finished with 32 points and 13 rebounds on 12/25 shooting but the Blazers collectively didn’t play that well. They totaled only 9 assists on the night compared 21 for the Spurs.
It was an absolute clinic from the Western Conference champions.
The Blazers also only made four threes as the Spurs were showing hard on pick and rolls against Damian Lillard with their big men. Lillard scored 17 points but only attempted one three-pointer on the night for a guy who isn’t shy to pull the trigger. It just wasn’t there for him tonight to take because the Spurs didn’t let him.
The rest of the Blazers just didn’t play that well. Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum went a combined 5/18 from the field while the Spurs shot 50 percent from the field and Kawhi Leonard and Belinelli outplayed both of them.
Together, the Blazers played poorly and together the Blazers flopped against a Spurs team that was more intense, more focused and executed better.
The Spurs bench was a difference maker but the Blazers will have to make adjustments against how the Spurs defended them in Game 1. Aldridge and Lillard will have to bring it but Portland’s secondary scorers, specifically Batum and Matthews, have to be better.
- The Spurs had three players on their bench in double-figures and the Blazers had none.
- The Blazers leading scorer off the bench was Will Barton who drilled three 3′s in the game but it seemed like he played because Stotts was trying to find something. Either way, it was one of the few positives in a long night for the Blazers.
- ARON BAYNES! The dude was looking like Shaq out there. The way he was following shots was beastly.
- The Blazers shotchart was terrible. That 1/10 in the paint looks bad. They just had a bad night from everywhere.