Blazers @ Spurs Preview

by Kevin Nesgoda

The Portland Trail Blazers (2-1) will head to San Antonio to face the Spurs (2-0) on the second night of a Texas-sized back-to-back. Last night, the Blazers pulled off a thrilling comeback victory against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. The Blazers will be without starting big man Zach Collins after he separated his left shoulder in the third quarter. Although Collins’ timetable is still up in the air going forward, but he is definitely out for tonight.

Zach’s injury leaves a gaping hole in an already-thin rotation of Blazers bigs: Jusuf Nurkic is out for probably half the season and Pau Gasol still isn’t healthy. That leaves Hassan Whiteside and Skal Labissiere as the Blazers’ only remaining pure bigs. Mario Hezonja was forced to play center against Kristaps Porzingis down the stretch after Whiteside fouled out, so he’s my best bet to take Zach’s starting spot.

Expected Starting Lineups:

  • Portland: Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Rodney Hood, Mario Hezonja, Hassan Whiteside
  • San Antonio: Dejounte Murray, Bryn Forbes, DeMar DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge, Trey Lyles

Portland got huge offensive contributions from their backcourt last night (Dame had 30 points; Cj 28) but it was the second-half defense that turned the game around. Dallas scored 71 in the first half and only 48 in the second.

The Spurs are rounding out a third game of their opening homestand, most recently defeating the Washington Wizards 124-122 in their last game behind a game-winning bucket from DeMar DeRozan, who went 5-for-6 in the final quarter.

San Antonio are six-point favorites. They have beaten the Knicks and Wizards so far, but this will be their first true test against a Western Conference opponent.

Game Info

  • Time: Monday, Oct. 28th at 5:30 p.m. PT
  • Place: AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas
  • How to watch: NBCSNW (click here for legal streaming options)

Quick Stats

  • Portland leads the league in two-pointers made through three games with 100
  • LaMarcus Aldridge is beginning his fifth season with the Spurs after nine years in Portland
  • Portland and San Antonio split their season series last year

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