The San Antonio Spurs (7-2) take on the Portland Trail Blazers (4-7) on Monday night in what should be an exciting game at the AT&T Center. The game is scheduled to tip off at 8:30pm ET and will be televised on FSSW. The Spurs beat the Trail Blazers 113-101 last Wednesday. LaMarcus Aldridge led the Spurs with 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting. Kawhi Leonard added 20 points and seven rebounds.
What are some keys to a Spurs win, and who will win the game?
–Get Tim Duncan Going
Tim Duncan has been terrific in the past week. In the last five games, the 39-year-old is averaging 11.4 points on 62 percent shooting. Duncan is also averaging 8.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 24.4 minutes in those games. The Trail Blazers will likely put Mason Plumlee on Duncan, this should be a fun matchup for Duncan.
–Slow the game down
The Spurs don’t want to get in a track meet with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Portland has shown that they can fill it up in a hurry, like when they scored 40 points in the third quarter against Memphis on November 5th. If the Spurs want to win it will have to be done in a half court game.
–Watch out for C.J. McCollum
Danny Green will likely be called upon to stop C.J. McCollum. McCollum is an elite scorer, he can create his own shot as good as most. This season McCollum looks like a favorite for the Most Improved Player Award. The 24-year-old is averaging 20.9 points on 40 percent threes. In the first meeting McCollum went for 21 points against the Spurs.
The Portland Trail Blazers will hang around with their perimeter attack of Damian Lillard (25.1 ppg) and McCollum. The Spurs have too much with Leonard and Aldridge in the frontcourt. The Spurs will win their fifth straight.