Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Portland Trail Blazers

The San Antonio Spurs (2-0) will look to stay undefeated against the Portland Trail Blazers (2-1) tonight in the AT&T Center. The Blazers played last night in Dallas where they beat the Mavericks by a final score of 121-119. The Spurs last played on Saturday night when they posted a 124-122 victory over the Washington Wizards.

This is the end of San Antonio’s three-game homestand to begin the 2019-20 campaign. The Blazers, on the other hand, lost at home against the Denver Nuggets to begin the season before going on the road to beat the Sacramento Kings and the Mavs. 

For the Spurs, the most obvious key will be to slow Portland’s dynamic backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. However, the Spurs will also have to focus on new Blazers center Hassan Whiteside, who dominated San Antonio last year in a game in Miami.

In that game, Whiteside had 29 points, 20 rebounds and 9 blocks as the Heat beat the Spurs, 95-88. Whiteside’s defensive impact that game was evidenced by LaMarcus Aldridge finishing the contest with six points on 2-for-14 shooting in 36 minutes. The Spurs can’t afford a repeat of that night if they are to beat the Blazers.

Betting Line: San Antonio Spurs vs. Portland Trail Blazers

The Spurs are favored by 5.5 points by Vegas. The over/under for the final score is 221.5. That means Vegas believes the Spurs will win approximately 113-108. 

Considering the Blazers are playing the second night of back-to-back with both games on the road, this could be a good time to put your money on the Spurs covering the spread. As far as the over/under is concerned, the over looks like a better bet as both teams are scoring a ton of points; the Spurs are averaging 122, while the Blazers are averaging 114.3.

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup Watch

If the Blazers were starting the 7-footer Whiteside next to the 6-foot-11 Zach Collins, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich would have been tempted to start Jakob Poeltl next to Aldridge up front. But last night, Collins hurt his shoulder and will miss tonight’s game.

The Blazers will likely replace Collins in the starting lineup with someone smaller like Mario Hezonja or Skal Labissiere. That means the Spurs will probably keep their same starting lineup that features Trey Lyles next to Aldridge.

San Antonio Spurs Injury News

The Spurs haven’t officially announced any injuries, although Rudy Gay did appear to come up gimpy at the tail end of Saturday’s victory over the Wizards.

There’s no evidence that Gay was actually injured or that he’ll miss the game against the Blazers — but it’s something to keep an eye on.

Portland Trail Blazers Injury News

As mentioned above, Zach Collins is out after injuring his shoulder against the Mavs. Former Spur Gau Gasol remains out with a foot injury, while Jusuf Nurkic remains out after suffering a gruesome leg injury last season.