The Spurs are old dudes. But I just learned they are not in fact the oldest team in the league. That would be Miami. I guess Duncan and Ginobili’s ancient-ness makes them seem like they’re all about to crumble and decay into dust. But for all intensive purposes the Spurs are the wise men in a league full of new school teams slowly taking over the league. The Spurs move the ball better than anybody in the league. They work like a well oiled machine. It’s beautiful. The ball goes from fingers to fingers, around the perimeter, into the paint, back out, back in, back out and eventually into the hoop. The Spurs play fast, they play efficiently, they play smart. They’re deep, like very deep. Like black hole deep. Like 10 or 11 guys deep every game. They’re well coached. Like Coach of the Year type of well coached. They’re experienced. They’re good. Very good. Like best record in the league despite their best players being in the decline of their careers type of good. They’re good, like 1st seed in the West after losing in the Finals in Game 7 last year type of good.
The Blazers are the new kids on the block. They don’t have the playoff experience of the Spurs. In fact, it’s not even close. For those who have been with the Blazers and made the playoffs in the past, they hadn’t advanced to the 2nd round. Besides Mo Williams, the Blazers are very limited in guys with real playoff experience. But it hasn’t been their downfall so far. In fact, their infusion of youth and their energy earned them the 5th seed and entry into the 2nd round. They really do everything the Spurs do, they’re just not the Spurs. Nobody is the Spurs.
This series should be a lot of fun. But a Blazer defeat is inevitable.
Against Houston, the Blazers’ bench averaged 12 points a game. Against a Rockets defense that is atrocious, non-existent, lackadaisical… The Blazers are not going to have easy buckets, and easy match ups like they did against Houston. Lamarcus Aldridge is not going to average 30 points a game against Tim Duncan. He’s not playing against Terrence Jones anymore. The starting unit is not going to score so easily. It’s gonna be a shootout, yes. It’s going to look a long, game of horse that just won’t end, but the Blazers are not going to get as many easy buckets. As a result, their bench can’t average 12 points a game. Especially when San Antonio boasts a 2nd unit who averaged 45 during the regular season. It just won’t work. The Blazers don’t have enough depth to beat San Antonio. The Spurs play 10-12 players a game. The Blazers rely on.. Mo Williams and Thomas Robinson? Nope, that won’t work out. The Blazers don’t have anybody like a Ginobili they can bring off the bench to make plays for them and score the ball. The Blazers didn’t have to rely on other guys like Batum or Matthews as much in Round 1, mainly because Lillard and Aldridge were having the best games of their careers. That’s not going to be the story in Round 2, and if they’re not scoring 30 each, the Blazers are going to have to rely more heavily on supporting guys and the bench, which we’ve established already are not equipped to take on San Antonio’s 2nd unit.
Is Lillard gonna be able to defend Parker and keep him out of the paint? I’m not so sure. Based on the fact that he plays absolutely 0 defense, and didn’t have to exert himself on Beverley or Lin as much as he’ll have to on Parker who seems like he’s always in motion. Parker is going to take this series personally against the up and coming star in Lillard and should be aggressive from the beginning to spread the floor for open shots for teammates as well as to get himself going. If Lillard can’t guard Parker, then we think and they’ll probably put Batum on Parker to bother him with length and maybe put Lillard on someone else but then what happens if that someone else is bigger, then what does Lillard do, and what happens if they play Mo Williams and Lillard together what happens defensively then? Mismatches is what happens.
The Spurs have the experience of a championship caliber team. They’ve been here plenty times before and just because the Blazers are one of the best young teams in the league doesn’t mean they haven’t seen them before. They’re like 100 years old. The Spurs have seen everything. It’s not like Lillard is something the Spurs can’t handle. They can put bigger guys on him, he’ll get his, but the Spurs are a completely different defensive team than Houston and the Blazers defense has been deteriorating over the past month of the season and against Houston in the first round. With the Spurs who play so efficiently and well offensively, the Blazers defense is going to get exposed, very exposed especially if they’re not scoring as easily as they’re being scored on – the situation against Houston. The Blazers were a nice story this season, Lillard is at the top of the crop of new stars, and Aldridge has had a career year but these old guys have seen it all and beat the Blazers defensively and with their depth.
Spurs in 6.