San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trail Blazers Preview
The Portland Trail Blazers will host the San Antonio Spurs tonight at Moda center. Both teams are coming off tough losses, as the Trail Blazers lost to Miami on Tuesday and snapped an 8-game winning streak at home. The Spurs got killed 102-141 to the Warriors last night in Oracle. However, Greg Popovich gave Demar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge rest and are both expected to play tonight
The biggest factor in this game should be the difference in traveling schedules that both teams are currently facing. Portland last played on the road in Phoenix on January 24, while San Antonio is currently on their Rodeo Road Trip, which is an extended road trip the Spurs take every year in February. Because of that, Portland should have a huge advantage because they have had their home routines for the last two weeks, while San Antonio currently is and will continue traveling constantly for a while.
The Trail Blazers are 32-21 and currently fourth in the Western Conference standings while the Spurs are 32-24 and currently the 6th seed in the West. A win for San Antonio could really get their road trip going on the right track while a loss will result in a 3-game losing streak.
Time: 10:30pm ET
Arena: Moda Center, Portland, OR
Portland Trail Blazers Starting Lineup
In the Trail Blazers loss to Miami, Hassan Whiteside was able to dominate with 28 points and 11 rebounds. Prior to Tuesday, the Blazers had won three straight and were coming off a five-day layoff. Damian Lillard finished with 13 points and ten assists.CJ McCollum had 33 points including seven 3-pointers.
Portland’s dynamic backcourt of Lillard and McCollum have torched the Spurs in the teams’ two meetings this season. They combined for 54 points in the game Portland won and scored 61 in the game they lost. McCollum has played red hot lately, averaging 28.4 points in his last five games while shooting 52.4 percent from the field and 48.9 percent from three. Lillard, who is coming off a poor performance against Miami where he only scored 13 points, is still putting up 27.1 points and 7.1 assists in his last 10 games.
Tonight will also mark the arrival of Rodney Hood, who was acquired by the Trail Blazers in a trade with Cleveland on Sunday. Hood arrived in Portland on Monday and told the media he’s real excited to be in The City of Roses before the game, “It’s a really good fit for me, personality-wise, game-wise, everything, and I’m looking forward to a fresh start here.” The Blazers sent the Cleveland Cavaliers Nik Stauskas, Wade Baldwin and two future second-round picks in exchange for Hood.
San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup
With the Spurs currently in the middle of their Rodeo Road Trip, they must have their team chemistry in tip-top shape. However, their legendary head coach doesn’t seem too worried as he told the media “we have always looked forward to the Rodeo Road Trip,” said head coach Gregg Popovich. “It’s a time with fewer distractions and they have to depend on themselves more than ever – it’s kind of like being in the foxhole together.”
In the two games against Portland this season, Demar DeRozan has led the Spurs with 28 and 36 points. He’s also averaging 21.3 points per game and currently has career highs in both rebounds and assists per game this season. However, lately DeRozan has been in a bit of a slump as he’s scored only 15.7 points. He is also shooting 40.6 percent over his last 10 games.
Unfortunately, the Spurs will be without Derrick White because of his heel. The loss of White will mean Demar DeRozan has to step his game up defensively. Hopefully he is properly conditioned for that tonight, especially when they will also be counting on him to lead offensively as well. I think Coach Popovich did the right thing resting him last night at Oracle.
San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trail Blazers Betting Odds
Portland is a 3.5 point home favorite tonight. Portland is 24-7 as a favorite and 22-8 at home this season, which certainly bodes well for the Trail Blazers. San Antonio is 10-17 on the road and are 12-14 as an underdog.
The over/under is 226 points and the money-line has stayed steady at -240 for Portland. Against the spread, Portland is 29-24 and the Spurs are 31-25.
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