Portland Trailblazers (18-12 15-13-2 ATS) vs. San Antonio Spurs (15-10 12-12-1) AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX 8:30 PM EST Wednesday December 23, 2009
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Blazers +11 / Spurs -11
In the Lone Star State tonight the San Antonio Spurs host the Portland Trailblazers. Both teams are playing well, as each is 6-4 in their last 10 games and the Blazers have won 2 straight and the Spurs have won 3 straight. Currently the Blazers are in 2nd place in the Northwest Division trailing the Denver Nuggets by 2 games while the Spurs are in 3rd place in the Southwest Division and trail the Dallas Mavericks by 3 games.
The Spurs have won 6 of their last 7 games and are now 5 games above .500, but in those 6 wins the teams were a combined 36 games below .500. Portland will give them a test tonight, as they are solid on defense, but they have been killed by injuries this season and recently lost C Joel Przybilla to a knee injury. That leaves the Blazers thin in the middle as both Przybilla and Greg Oden are out. That is not good facing Tim Duncan tonight, who should get many open looks at the hoop.
The Spurs are only 2-8 against teams with winning records including losing 4 in a row.
This season the Spurs are 12-4 at home and the Blazers are 8-8 on the road.
In their last game the Blazers beat a solid Dallas Mavericks squad 85-81. The high scorer for the Blazers in that game was Brandon Roy going for 23 points on 7/19 shooting. The Blazers came out on fire in the 4th quarter and out-scored the Mavs 27-16 to seal the victory. For the game the Blazers shot 32/79 for a FG% of 40.5%. On D the Blazers were stellar holding the Mavs to only 31/80 shooting for a FG% of 38.8%.
The Spurs laid a beat-down on the L.A. Clippers 103-87 on Monday night. The high scorer for the Spurs in that game was Tony Parker going for 19 points on 7/11 shooting. For the game the Spurs shot 39/77 for a legit FG% of 50.6%. On defense the Spurs allowed the Clippers to shoot 36/82 for a FG% of 43.9%.
This season the Spurs rank 10th in scoring (101.9 ppg) and the Blazers rank 24th (96 ppg). One of the main reasons the Blazers are winning is because of their defense, as they rank 3rd in points allowed (92.3 ppg) and the Spurs rank 11th (96.8 ppg). Both teams are solid on the boards, as the Spurs have a rebounding differential of +4.2 rpg and the Blazers are at +3.7 rpg.
Since Juwan Howard is starting for the Blazers because of their rash of injuries Tim Duncan (19.7 ppg 10.5 rpg) will have a big game on both ends of the court.
Duncan and C Antonio McDyess (5.8 rpg) will dominate the glass tonight since the Blazers lack much inside presence.
LeMarcus Aldridge (16.3 ppg 7.7 rpg) will struggle tonight, as the Spurs have good interior defense and he does not have another big man to take the pressure off him.
Brandon Roy (22.2 ppg) is a legit superstar and he will have a good game even though he will be guarded by Keith Bogans, who is a solid defender.
The Blazers have a great defense, but Tony Parker (16.4 ppg 5.7 assists per game) will deal with the pressure and dish the ball out well and score when he needs to. Parker will have a good game, as he is much quicker than Blazers’ PG Andre Miller
With the Blazers big men out Richard Jefferson (13.2 ppg) will attack the hoop and definitely go over his scoring average tonight.
On the injury front C Joel Przybilla, C Greg Oden, and F Jeff Pendergraph are all Out for the Blazers. Brandon Roy is experiencing shoulder pain as well but is expected to play. PF Matt Bonner is Out for the Spurs.
Jason’s Pick: The Spurs have had their troubles against solid teams, but they will not tonight, as they will take advantage of the short-handed Blazers. The Blazers will play a tough game, but San Antonio has too many weapons and too much experience to lose at home. The Spurs will win the game but the Blazers will cover the spread.