11 PM Typical Spurs close. Steady dose of Parker, Ginobili, and Duncan. Put the clamps down defensively. It’s not the way Mike D’Antoni would have drawn it up, but aesthetically pleasing to Spurs fans all the same.
Just like that fourth championship banner.
10:50 PM Not to make too much of Game 1 of 82, but the benefit of experience and poise is definitely rearing its head in this one. Having stated as much, Portland sure is fun to watch. I don’t see them being a Western Conference doormat this season. Then again, I could be jumping the gun.
10:40 PM Tony Parker with a clutch 20-footer in a one-possession game. Shot clock on his back and he drained it. Parker gets the next defensive rebound, pushes, and scores in transition. The score is 102-95, with 1:07 showing on the clock.
10:35 PM Kiddies are hanging tough. We are still teetering between 5 and 7 points, favoring the Spurs. Martell Webster showing off his shooting stroke. Pretty.
10:25 PM No secret about Portland being so darned athletic. They have lots of lively bodies to throw at an opponent. They’re long, can run, and finish well at the rim.
Still, dealing with Tim Duncan as the Spurs funnel their offense through him is tough to deal with. Portland is having a hard time getting stops as a result.
10:10 PM Brandon Roy’s line may not look pretty in the morning, but he is definitely impacting this game. The Blazers have closed the gap 81-77 as the third quarter comes to a close. Portland is up to 54% from the floor, thanks to some nifty setups from Roy. He has been much better this half setting the table for his teammates.
As soon as I brag on San Antonio’s offensive efficiency, they go cold (8 of 21 in the 3rd). Knowing the champs as we do, the upcoming 12 minutes will tell much of the story.
9:55 PM Obviously, the Spurs are known for their halfcourt defense, but they can really move the ball well offensively. It helps to have a low-post presence who can draw the double. In addition to that, they’re a pretty unselfish lot. Open shots everywhere.
9:30 PM We have a ten-point margin at the half. If Portland decides to stop lofting passes across the floor into the waiting arms of Manu, we just might have a close game down the stretch. He has been sensational to this point.
Nice job by Joel Przybilla off Nate McMillan’s bench. Priz with grit on the glass and drew an offensive foul. He has 8 points and 5 boards at the break.
9:10 PM You woud think the younger team would be racking up the fast break points. Not so fast. The Spurs have ten so far. Brent Barry the latest recipient of gimme points.
Tim Duncan, fresh off signing that fat 40-million dollar extension, is going to work now. The lead is up to 14 points.
9 PM The benches are doing battle with the bulk of the starters resting. That leaves Manu as the man among boys. Pretty behind-the-back drop to Elson for the lay-in.
This has been, for the most part, the Tony Parker show. The man has no fear. So unlike the French in that regard.
8:50 PM As one might expect, the buckets are getting harder to come by for the visitors while the Spurs are opening the game up a bit - thanks, in large part, to careless turnovers. You know when Matt Bonner is getting up and down for layups, someone is playing sloppy basketball.
Travis Outlaw has seven off the bench, helping Portland cut into the lead. End of the first. Spurs up three
8:20 PM About to tip off in San Antonio. Oh wow, another banner. And there’s David Stern, looking about as interested in being there as Lindsay Lohan is in staying at Wonderland. The Commissioner can’t get back to New York fast enough.
LaMarcus Aldridge flashing nice range as he splashes a baseline jumper. Portland comes back down and he knocks down another from up top. Six points already for the youngster.