The Spurs and Blazers figured to be evenly matched foes. Sure, Portland had some holes on defense, but it scores so well that it could at least keep pace with the Spurs and make this a series. Turns out, the Spurs care not about your narrative. San Antonio has completely dismantled the up-and-coming Trail Blazers through the first two games.
San Antonio is scoring 120.3 points per 100 possessions, a mark that would blow away the league in the regular season. Tony Parker is carving up the Blazers in the lane and the Spurs are running Damian Lillard through pick-and-rolls anytime they get the chance. Marco Belinelli has hit 11 of his 14 shots for 32 points and Kawhi Leonard has totaled 36 points.
But San Antonio isn't just taking care of business on the offensive end. It's also holding the regular season's fifth best offense to just 94.5 points per 100 possessions. The Spurs have junked up Portland's free flowing offense, starting with Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge. Lillard has shot just 14-of-35 (40 percent) from the field and 1-of-7 from behind the arc. Aldridge, meanwhile, is just 18-of-48 (37.5 percent) from the floor.
Nicolas Batum has been limited as a playmaker, Mo Williams has scored just 10 points on 14 shots and Wesley Matthews is just 44 percent from the floor and 2-of-7 from deep. These are real problems. Portland battled through the Western Conference in the regular season by outscoring opponents night-in and night-out, not by locking up on defense.
Portland surrendered 104.7 points per 100 possessions in the regular season, a mark that was slightly below league average. It isn't going to all of the sudden become a plus-defensive team. If it wants to beat the Spurs, it has to outscore them. The Blazers will get the chance to get back on track in front of a raucous home crowd.
TV schedule: ESPN; 10:30 p.m. ET
Local: Fox Sports Radio, WOAI 1200AM/KCOR 135
Canada: SPORTSNET ONE