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Tony Parker and the Spurs put on a clinic against the Trail Blazers

May 7, 2014, 12:47 AM EDT

NBA: Playoffs-Portland Trail Blazers at San Antonio Spurs Reuters

The San Antonio Spurs were so fundamentally sound Tuesday, when they weren’t, they got a technical foul .

Manu Ginobili, frustrated with a first-quarter travelling call, slammed down the ball. He tried to catch it on the bounce, but it slid through his hands, and a whistle blew. Had the ball not risen so high, Ginobili probably would have avoided the technical.

Otherwise, the Spurs were meticulously thorough in a 116-92 dismantling of the Portland Trail Blazers. Tony Parker led San Antonio with 33 points and nine assists, and he was one of six Spurs to score double digits in Game 1 of their second-round series.

This one was never in doubt. San Antonio steadily built an 8-0 lead and never looked back. The Spurs led by 20 the entire second half.

After posting a solid B+ in Intro to Playoffs, the Trail Blazers weren’t ready for the advanced course. They can try cramming before Game 2, but two days doesn’t leave much time to catch the San Antonio’s years of studying.

Teams that have opened a best-of-seven with such large margin of victory have won 41 of 45 series.

All game, Gregg Popovich was a step ahead, making adjustments to problems that hadn’t yet manifested, even though his team led. The Spurs repeatedly created and exploited mismatches.

Aron Baynes, who barely played in the first round against the Mavericks, came off the bench to post 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting with seven rebounds in 15 minutes. After struggling against Dallas, Marco Belinelli had a chance to get his confidence back, and he scored 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting. And despite often forgoing offensive rebounds to get back defensively during the regular season, the Spurs crashed the glass early before relenting as their lead swelled.

Only once San Antonio got up big did LaMarcus Aldridge (32 points on 12-of-25 shooting with 14 rebounds) and Damian Lillard (17 points on 6-of-15 shooting) get going. Those two must play better for Portland to have a chance. Tiago Splitter bothered Aldridge early, and Lillard lacked lift offensively after trying to defend Parker pick-and-rolls.

Not that the Trail Blazers’ stars had much help. Their teammates shot just 13-of-42 (31 percent).

No matter how many timeouts Terry Stotts called, he could never find a sustainable counter to San Antonio’s chess moves. The Portland coach kept trying, though, searching for anything to build on for Game 2.

Aldridge (41 minutes), Lillard (37 minutes) and Nicolas Batum (36 minutes) played more than any Spur.

Meanwhile, Tim Duncan played just 24 minutes and Manu Ginobili 18.

The Spurs are coming at the Trail Blazers in waves, and Portland can’t relax now. Advancing to the second round for the first time in 14 years is nice, but this isn’t just a day at the beach.

Class is in session.

  1. chargerdillon - May 7, 2014 at 12:58 AM

    They’re going to finish this in 4 and be waiting to jump off their next team coming off a game 7.

    Coach Pop doesn’t play around in the playoffs.

    • apkyletexas - May 7, 2014 at 1:29 AM

      I doubt they’ll sweep. Portland didn’t look ready for a physical defense after Houston waved a red cape at them for six games.

      Kawhi Leonard seems to be blossoming into a star before our eyes. He looked like easily the most athletic player on both ends of the court, which is pretty impressive considering Portland’s collection of athleticism.

      • unxpexted1 - May 7, 2014 at 9:11 AM

        Nothing about leanord screams star to me, meaning he could be the first or second option on a team. He looks like a very athletic Bruce Bowen. He’s a 3 and D guy with great athleticism. Nothing more.

      • robigd - May 7, 2014 at 9:54 AM

        That must have been a different Kawhi Lenoard I saw in the post.

      • bougin89 - May 7, 2014 at 10:23 AM

        I think Kawhi does a lot of things very well and he’s definitely a two way player(he’s an incredible defender) but it’s hard for me to call a guy that’s averaging 12.4 ppg and 1.0 apg while being a team’s 4th option a “star”. Offensively he’s more a product of the Spurs team/system IMO.

      • the1nonlyk - May 7, 2014 at 1:48 PM

        i agree forget these haters leonard is a future star for the spurs. believe it

      • savvybynature - May 7, 2014 at 5:55 PM

        Paul George would be a 3rd option on the Spurs too, and he’s already been anointed a superstar. It’s all about situation. George is on a team with one of the worst offenses in the league and is encouraged to chuck it as much as he wants, while Leonard plays for a team with 3 future HoFers and a disciplined offensive system that encourages spreading the ball around.
        Ppg stats are not necessarily a great reflection of ability. Remember when everyone thought Evan Turner was a star when he was on Philly? Anyone still think that?

  2. m4a188 - May 7, 2014 at 1:07 AM

    Spurs and Heat look like they are ready for a rematch, can’t wait.

    • trbowman - May 7, 2014 at 1:12 AM

      Clippers might have something to say about that. We’ll see.

      • the1nonlyk - May 7, 2014 at 1:46 PM

        ha ha doubtful paul will look better on those state farm commercials then he does on the court if he has to take on tp

    • antistratfordian - May 7, 2014 at 2:00 AM

      I think it would be best for the league if the Spurs and the Heat met again. LeBron and Duncan meeting in the finals for the third time would be special. And they’re both 1-1 against each other now, so it’s time to settle the score!

      • packergator - May 7, 2014 at 9:45 AM

        I think the league front office would much prefer a Heat-Clippers matchup: you get interest by both the East and West media markets and the two superstars that have been all over commercials.

      • antistratfordian - May 7, 2014 at 3:44 PM

        Would the league really want Sterling’s team in the finals? The prospect of potentially having to give him a championship trophy (by proxy) is probably not very high on their list of wants and needs.

      • packergator - May 8, 2014 at 9:47 AM

        No dispute that everyone hates Sterling, but at least we’re talking about the Clippers on the national stage. And who wouldn’t pull for the players after the crap that Sterling has put them through?

      • antistratfordian - May 8, 2014 at 8:47 PM

        I wouldn’t. The Clippers winning a ring this year would be Sterling having his cake and eating it too.

        I’m not worried about the players. They’ll be fine.

    • the1nonlyk - May 7, 2014 at 1:49 PM

      i agree rematch inevitable

  3. dohoangquan35 - May 7, 2014 at 1:13 AM

    Lillard got torched too easy in Spurs’ PnR plays, and he needs to get seasoned with ball handling in playoff situations. Batum has gone real quiet recently.

    • spursareold - May 7, 2014 at 10:07 AM

      Yeah, but when they took him off Parker, SA pounded him in the post with Kawhi. You have to pick your poison.

      Isn’t Batum kind of known for disappearing?

    • casualcommenter - May 7, 2014 at 1:19 PM

      Problem with Lillard is there’s no ideal player to hide him defensively when up against the Spurs.

      Parker and Ginobili will smoke him on pick-and-rolls,
      Leonard, Duncan, and Splitter can all abuse him in the post,
      Green and Bellinelli can lose him off the ball by running through screens,

      The Rockets ran an iso-heavy system, but the Spurs have constant movement of the ball, so defensive liabilities can’t hide for long.

  4. fanofthegame79 - May 7, 2014 at 1:18 AM

    I really like Portland, but I don’t see them getting more than two wins in this series. I think a lot of that is due to experience (or lack thereof for the Trailblazers), but this playoff run will pay dividends in their future!

  5. jerdogthompson - May 7, 2014 at 1:56 AM

    Spurs are scary when they play like that. Although they can be taken off their game. I’ve seen it and they can become a hot mess rather quickly. Just a matter of a couple more games until we find out what their made of truly.


    • gameisours - May 7, 2014 at 4:18 AM

      that hashtag in the end looks ridiculous

    • the1nonlyk - May 7, 2014 at 1:44 PM

      uh we already know three future hofs and four titles if hat doesnt scream one of the bet teams in the last two decades than ur really not that smart

      loved seein the blazers bein snuffed out n thats just game 1 keep steam rollin spurs

  6. antistratfordian - May 7, 2014 at 2:03 AM

    I don’t think these Blazers have enough experience yet.

  7. seattlesuperchronic - May 7, 2014 at 2:43 AM

    During Durant’s press conference I had to stop myself from trying to jump through my TV to try and hug Durant and his mom. That was a cool moment. The way he stuck up for Westbrook was aces too.

  8. seattlesuperchronic - May 7, 2014 at 2:44 AM

    Whoops, I may have misfired where I wanted to post that, forgiveness please.

  9. zoomy123 - May 7, 2014 at 5:11 AM

    I don’t want to over-react to 1 game, but this is not a good sign for Portland. This is the first time Portland has really faced a quality, playoff defense and their offense sputtered to a stop. Why? Because Portland has been getting by with low quality shot selection all year in the regular season and playoffs. But this isn’t the regular season and Houston isn’t San Antonio.

  10. haaaaasoooooo - May 7, 2014 at 7:06 AM

    Can anyone stop Parker from getting into the lane? And this pick n roll game……gotta give Pops credit. Los Spurs are a machine.

    • spursareold - May 7, 2014 at 10:11 AM

      You can take the lane away, but to do that, one of your perimeter guys has to REALLY dig down into the paint. That opens up a three point shooter and forces a defensive rotation. If SA can rotate your defense twice, they get an uncontested look from behind the line.

      • the1nonlyk - May 7, 2014 at 1:54 PM

        yea look at these “old” spurs now. and seriosuly tp is like 31 and still in awesome condition

    • the1nonlyk - May 7, 2014 at 1:56 PM

      when hes playin this aggressive the answer is a resounding no

  11. bucrightoff - May 7, 2014 at 8:13 AM

    Spurs are almost unbeatable when they play like they have the last two games. You just cannot stop such an offensive juggernaut when it’s rolling like that.

    • the1nonlyk - May 7, 2014 at 1:41 PM

      agreed keep rollin through them spurs

  12. the1nonlyk - May 7, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    go spurs! ps eat it barkley u hater (these “old” dudes just schooled these “young legs” and the bench kicked ass and were a BIG advantage)

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