Another game. Another clinic for an ill-prepared and not-quite-old-enough opponent for the Spurs.
This might as well be the storyline for these kind of matchups for the past 20 years when it comes to the Spurs. Show up, pick the opponent apart and win running away. Or at least finish the game before the contest actually concludes.
Excuse me if it seemed like Tony Parker was yawning as he sliced and diced his way through Portland’s porous defense on San Antonio’s way to a 2-0 series lead and a 114-97 victory. The Blazers led for a scant 30 seconds early in the first quarter. From there it was all San Antonio.
The Spurs scored another 60 points in the first half including 41 in the second quarter. Portland just has no answer to slow San Antonio down.
Parker was brilliant yet again. He did not have the scoring numbers — just 16 points and 10 assists on 8-for-19 shooting — that he did in Game One, but he was making a living in the paint, dropping passes off and finding the open man.
Really, San Antonio’s offense was just in that incredible groove where everyone was making the extra pass and making the right play. The Spurs were brilliant offensively.
The only way to explain how a 20-point lead got cut to eight was boredom. The Spurs were not as crisp in the second half and seemed to let off on the gas a little bit. That brought the Blazers back into the game. LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard continue to struggle from the floor, but they started to find something late in the second half as they made a run.
San Antonio snapped out of their funk in time to put the game away and leave no doubt.
Maybe the Blazers just need to be home. Maybe they found something in their ability to attack in the second half and cut into the deficit. The 3-pointers are not falling like they did last series and Portland is going to have to fight to get its best players going and get the offense humming along.
That is the challenge of the postseason, something this young team has to learn.
Another lesson taught by the Spurs in their quest to advance.