If the Portland Trail Blazers want any chance of upsetting the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference semifinals, they have to figure out a way to play better defense. More specifically, they must slow down San Antonio’s offense in the second quarter.
For the second consecutive game, the Spurs exploded in the second quarter to take a huge lead into halftime. That alone can have a devastating effect on an opponent, especially on the road in the playoffs. The result is too much offense to handle for the Trail Blazers, and a two game deficit with a very dim light at the end of the tunnel.
“The first half was not what we were looking for,” head coach Terry Stotts said after Game 1, according to ESPN. “San Antonio really came out with a lot of energy and aggressiveness. They were the more aggressive team at both ends of the floor for the whole half.”
“The onslaught at the beginning of the second quarter was obviously the turning point in the game,” Stotts said after Game 2.
It is clear that Stotts knows what his team must do to get back in the race. The Trail Blazers must come out firing on all cylinders right out of the gate. Allowing the Spurs to get a head start is completely unacceptable. The good news for Portland is that the series shifts to the Moda Center where they will have the advantage in front of their home fans.
Even though the Trail Blazers’ confidence may be dwindling, the series is far from over. They must take notes from what the Dallas Mavericks did to the Spurs in the first round and hope to replicate the success.
If the Spurs can keep up this aggressive pace they will be making a deep run in the NBA Playoffs for which you can find great deals here on Spurs tickets.