May 10, 2014, 5:08 PM EDT
Portland, already down 0-2 to San Antonio and in a world of hurt, just got more bad news.
Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts announced post shootaround this morning that Mo Williams will not play in Game 3 tonight versus the San Antonio Spurs tonight because of a pulled groin…. Earl Watson will be the backup point guard and Will Barton is believed to receive a more significant role, though he has not been informed how much his minutes will be increased.
Just to be especially clear why this is a problem: Through two games the Spurs bench has scored 100 points and the Blazers 37.
Now Earl Watson has to make up some of that difference. Blazers fans might be better off just having dinner at Pok Pok and not watching the game (but they are too passionate to do that).
Williams first injured his groin in Game 6 against the Rockets, then aggravated it in Game 1 against the Spurs. He tried to play through it in Game 2 but could go just 9 minutes and he was clearly hobbled.
San Antonio’s ability to single cover LaMarcus Aldridge with Tiago Splitter, which allows their other defenders to stay home on guys like Damian Lillard, has slowed the Blazers offense. Particularly Portland’s three point shooting. Meanwhile the Spurs penetration and ball movement has got them pretty much any shot they wanted.
Portland needs to find something that really works for them in Game 3, more than just being home. Williams will not be that spark.
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