Welcome to the big stage Portland. This is where the Playoffs really begin.
The Trail Blazers have not been out of the first round since 2001 and have played the exact same number of Playoffs games in franchise history as Tim Duncan. There was a little bit of an experience gap.
That, of course, is ancillary. History will not win or decide this series. Talent and skill and execution will. Portland saw a wide gap in that category too.
The Spurs scored 65 points in the first half and got 33 points and nine assists from Tony Parker in the 116-92 win (and it was not even really that close of a game). Parker’s dribble penetration and passing set the tone for San Antonio as the team totaled 21 assists on 44 field goals. Part of it was certainly San Antonio making a lot of shots — 50.6 percent of them to be exact.
But the Spurs also got contributions from unexpected places. Aron Baynes came off the bench for his first meaningful playoff action this season to score 10 points and grab seven rebounds. Marco Belinelli woke up from his first round funk to add 19 off the bench.
Portland just did not have an answer for the onslaught. The Blazers started pressing and struggled to get decent shots. LaMarcus Aldridge did end up with 32 points, but he did a lot of damage later in the game when he had settled in. Portland’s defense could not add any stops to mount a serious charge.
This was the Spurs at their most brilliant and fluid. It was tough to find any flaw in their game. Portland will have a lot of work to do to match it.