May 8th 2014 - Posted at 5:00 PM Eastern Time
Take the UNDER 208.5 Total in Portland Trail Blazers vs. San Antonio Spurs risking 2%
Game 2 kicks off tonight from San Antonio as the Trail Blazers look to even up the series and bounce back from an embarrassing performance. The San Antonio Spurs completely dominated the Blazers in the opening game right from the very first minute of the game! They mounted what was nearly a 20 point lead after the first quarter and basically coasted the rest of the way through the remaining 36 minutes to secure a win in emphatic fashion. The Spurs looked sharp in that game hitting over 60% of their shots in the first half, it was an impressive performance by Tony Parker and teammates as they played a near perfect game. We believe it will be hard for them to replicate that same offensive effort tonight.
The Portland Trail Blazers were basically shell shocked from the opening whistle and were never able to recover after that. By the time they "settled into" the game, it was already too late. Now that they are calmer and more aware of what to expect, we expect them to come into Game 2 better prepared. Playoff series are all about making adjustments to remain competitive. We feel that Portland will make the necessary defensive tweaks to at least contain the Spurs offense and offer more resistance to their perimeter shooters. We don't expect to see Spurs shooting over 50% from the field again like they have in their previous 3 games!
For San Antonio, they had the perfect game plan to nullify the Blazers offense. They consistently rotated players in and picked up the pick and roll to contest nearly every shot Portland took. Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge were a combined 3 for 15 at a certain point in the second quarter! The Spurs game planned perfectly and while we expect Portland to make adjustments to try to get better shot selections, Gregg Popovich will demand his team to continue the pressure and that'll cause some to miss their mark. While it probably won't work as well as it did in Game 1, we expect to see a similar defensive presence by the Spurs.
Portland has been considered one of the elite teams in terms of offense this season but they have struggled a bit recently, at least compared to what we are used to seeing. They have failed to hit the century mark in three straight playoff games. While that doesn't seem like much of a drop, for a team that has been averaging a total of 107 point per game, that is a significant drop and we don't necessarily see things getting easier tonight. The key for Portland in this series is to not give San Antonio easy looks at the basket. They need to play better defense and from what we have seen of them in the second half of the regular season, they are capable of doing that. Allowing the Spurs to jump out to big leads is not something they can afford to do and so we expect to see a more solid defensive effort tonight. Betting the 'Over' has been a very popular play this post-season and given that Game 1 went over the total, the vast majority of the public are blindly auto-betting the 'Over'.
Both teams can be efficient on the offensive end and are capable of putting points on the board but this number has been inflated due to the perception of these teams and Game 1. These two teams and coaches are also capable of playing solid defense and we expect Game 2 to play out a bit differently now that both teams have a better understanding of each other's tendencies. These teams will score their points and may even reach triple digits but we feel that a stronger effort will be made on the defensive end by both teams and the pace and tempo of the game will be slower and more methodical than in the previous meeting. We saw a lot of transition baskets in Game 1 but anticipate more of a half court battle with both teams using more of the shot clock tonight. Portland had an unchracteristic amount of turn-overs (20) in the last game and should do a better job of taking care of the ball. Turnovers often lead to fast-break points and taking better care of the ball should slow down the pace of the game and reduce points. Game 2 should be more tightly contested and if can avoid going to overtime, we expect to see it fall just short of this inflated number. Take the Under.
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