San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trail Blazers (-3, 195.5 o/u)
The defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs (34-22, 14-15 away) are starting to fray at the edges. Currently riding a three-game losing streak (the squad hasn’t won a game since the All-Star break), the Gregg Popovich-led team is struggling on the road.
After being the NBA’s best road team last year, this season the team is 14-15 away from San Antonio. The smoking gun is offensive production. At home, the Spurs average 104.3 PPG; on the road, the team is getting only 97 PPG.
San Antonio’s most recent loss came Monday at the Utah Jazz, 91-80.
“I thought we took a lot of contested shots that we didn’t need to take,” said Popovich. “I don’t think we played very smart in that regard.”
Tonight, the Spurs once again find themselves on the road; but this evening, they’ll be facing the Portland Trail Blazers (36-19, 23-6 home), who have also yet to win since the All-Star break and are just 6-11 in their last 17 games.
On Sunday, the Blazers were downed 98-92 at home by Memphis, and watched a 13-point lead disappear in the fourth quarter.
“We need every win,” Portland guard Wesley Matthews said. “Every game is important. Every game is even more so important when we are playing teams that are above us or next to us.”
The upside for the Trail Blazers is LaMarcus Aldridge is expected back tonight from a thumb injury. Also, the team is expecting more from newly acquired Arron Afflalo, who put in just eight points off the bench against Memphis in his Portland debut.
“Obviously, I was a little passive,” Afflalo said. “Out of respect for my teammates, you want to come out there and feel the game a little bit. But I see the potential, I see the opportunity there.
“I’ll learn from Game 1 and become more aggressive with confidence moving into Game 2.”
From a betting standpoint, this game is very evenly matched. If you’re looking for a play, the over at 195.5 is a possibility.
(Photo credit: Keith Allison from Baltimore, USA (RO9A3690) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo may appear cropped.)