NBA Playoffs Preview: San Antonio Spurs-Portland Trail Blazers Game 5
May 12, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; San Antonio Spurs guardManu Ginobili
(left) and guardTony Parker
sit on the bench after losing to the Portland Trail Blazers 103-92 in game four of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports
Have the San Antonio Spurs followed Air Alamo’s Keys to Victory of the Western Conference Semi-Finals?
Yes, except for Monday’s Game 4 in Portland: The Spurs shot 16.7 percent from three, LaMarcus Aldridge shot 8-for-16 from the field for 19 total points, and it took Tony Parker 12 shot attempts to score 14 points. Not good.
“It was about wanting it more. The Spurs are a championship team, but we didn’t want to be that team to get swept, or the team that facing uphill battle that gave up. We weren’t ready to go home.” —Damian Lillard
“We have to treat Wednesday’s game like it’s Game 7. It’s a big game for us. We worked hard the first three games to be in that position. Tonight, it just didn’t happen. We have to remember we’re playing a great team. (The Blazers) are not going to just give up. On Wednesday, we’re going to have to bring it.” — Tony Parker
According to Tyrone Bowman of FanSided, Portland’s play was just what the doctor ordered; the doctor from Portland, that is.
This conference semifinal series has largely been played eight on five, so when Portland’s reserves brought a spark during Game 4, Rip City went wild. Forget about San Antonio still outscoring the Blazers’ substitutes 40-26 Monday. Compared to being outscored 140-43 over the first three contests, that is an enormous turnaround.
At the heart of Portland’s bench production were Barton and Robinson, who did it on both ends of the floor. Terry Stotts gets credit for allowing Will and Thomas to blossom, playing Barton and Robinson 30 and 24 minutes, respectively, after logging 31 and 32 minutes the first three games.
With Mo Williams out for the second straight contest due to a groin injury, Stotts extended the minutes of his reserves, who competed remarkably hard and well. Only nine Trail Blazers played Monday, with Will and Thomas turning the tables on goose eggs Saturday with 17 and nine points on 7-of-13 and 4-of-7 shooting from the floor.
Now if the Spurs blow out Portland in Game 5? THAT’S as gentlemanly a sweep as possible. Heat-Nets as well.
— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) May 13, 2014
Jeff Garcia of Project Spurs writes how the San Antonio Spurs were simply tired for Game 4 against the Portland Trail Blazers. Garcia also reminds us that no team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in a 7-game series to advance to the next round.
However, no NBA team has ever come back down 0-3 so history is on San Antonio’s side.
And considering the Spurs have been playing at a high level since Game 7 against Dallas, seeing San Antonio have a drop in energy shouldn’t come to much of a surprise.
Fortunately for the Spurs, they have home court advantage and have a strong hold on the series against Portland.
Who wins the Spurs-Blazers series?