Mar 12, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) posts up against Portland Trail Blazers center Robin Lopez (42) during the second half at AT&T Center. The Spurs won 103-90. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Western Conference Semi-Finals: San Antonio Spurs vs. Portland Trail Blazers

DirkNowitzki has now turned into LaMarcusAldridge.

Which would the San Antonio Spurs rather face?

Neither.

Who wins the Spurs-Blazers series?

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Based off the Blazers’ last round against the Houston Rockets, Aldridge and Damian Lillard are the breakout superstars of the 2014 NBA Playoffs.

Chris Reichert of Hoops Habit explains the matchup of youth vs. experience:

That last line is the one you should really focus on — “everybody is going to help a little bit” — because the Blazers have been capitalizing on LMA double teams all season long and they live for it. Who are you going to help off of? You cannot leave Wesley MatthewsNicolas Batum or Damian Lillard because they all knock down the 3-pointer with regularity. I don’t want to sugarcoat this and say it’s going to be easy for the Blazers because it obviously will not be, however I do believe that this is a winnable series for the upstart squad out of the Pacific Northwest.

Aldridge summed it up best, “Guys are going to be confident, but still have to think about the way that we got here, working hard and grinding it out. I think guys are definitely going to be more confident but this is new territory for most of us”. If the first round is any indication of what to expect, then we are in for a wild ride in this one as well.

During the regular season these teams split the series with each getting two wins — the point totals — Portland 423 vs. San Antonio 419. Your guess as to who wins is as good as mine — but I’m sticking with momentum and the cold-blooded Damian Lillard — Blazers in six.

Perhaps Reichert doesn’t watch the San Antonio Spurs like we do here at Air Alamo, but if memory serves us right, the Spurs went to the 2013 NBA Finals last year. Where the hell were the Portland Trail Blazers?

Youth vs Experience just means experience wins in the playoffs. Just ask the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Charlotte Bobcats or Atlanta Hawks. Or just ask the Blazers, themselves, who haven’t gotten out of the first round since the French Revolution.

“…but this is new territory for most of us.”  - LaMarcus Aldridge

Our Featured Columnist Ethan Cohen reflects on the way-too-long-lasting series against the Dallas Mavericks in the first round:

Tony Parker was a man amongst boys early, getting into the paint early and often and finishing his acrobat layups with ease.  Parker even got into a war of words with Dejuan Blair and received a technical foul for it, which further illustrated how badly Parker wanted this win.  By halftime, Parker already had 22 points and set the tone for the rest of the team.

It was a great sight to see an aggressive Parker.  Throughout this series, Parker had been noticeably absent at certain points during games.  In order for the Spurs to beat the Portland Trail Blazers in the second round, the Spurs absolutely have to have an aggressive Parker to counter Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazersvaunted offense.

In regards to Game 7, Manu Ginobili also looked like a man on a mission.  Manu’s struggles were a major reason why the Spurs did not win Game 6, so it was obvious that he wanted to make up for his poor showing.  As a result, he consistently attacked the Mavs interior defense early and looked like the good Manu that we all love.

Due to the Spurs seemingly effortless ability to get into the paint, the Spurs offense looked more like the Spurs offense of the regular season that was one of the best in the entire league.

Tonight marks the first game of the Western Conference Semi-Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and the Portland Trail Blazers on TNT at 9:30 p.m. ET in San Antonio.

“…but this is new territory for most of us.” 

#GoSpursGo

Tags: 2014 Western Conference Semi-Finals San Antonio Spurs

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