1. The Portland Trail Blazers may have found a way to slow down Tony Parker.
When you get to the playoffs, two things come into play: match ups and adjustments.
Portland Head Coach Terry Stotts made a masterful move by putting Nicolas Batum on Tony Parker. Granted, Batum almost messed around and got a triple double scoring 14 points grabbing 14 rebounds and dishing out eight assists, but it was his defense on Tony Parker that was the key in this game. It slowed the offense down and stopped the easy dribble penetration into the paint.
Let’s be clear here, Spurs fans, Damian Lillard cannot stop Tony Parker, period.
Tony Parker is too experienced, has a better offensive system and right now at this stage in his career, too good. Parker right now is possibly the best point guard in the NBA. Switching a longer athletic Batum over to guard Parker was an adjustment that may have caught the Spurs off guard and made a positive impact. The move also opened up things for Damian Lillard on the offensive end not having to chase Parker all over the court. Look this may not work in Game 5, but holding Parker to 14 points after he had been on a tear scoring 29 points or more in three of the last four playoff games, they might have found a good place to start.