Matchup of the Game: Spurs vs. Blazers


Tim Duncan and LaMarcus Aldridge will be the matchup of the game tonight when the Portland Trailblazers travel to Texas to meet the San Antonio Spurs.

In their last meeting, the Blazers defeated the Spurs in an 98-90 contest. Aldridge played 37 minutes and chipped in 22 points with 6 rebounds and 3 steals. Duncan had an impressive game out there with 16 points and 6 rebounds with 2 blocks, but that wasn't enough to calm down Portland. Duncan only played 30 minutes, but he'll likely see more minutes this time around since Tony Parker is still out with an injury.

What Duncan must do on offense:

Tim Duncan must be in motion, especially if LaMarcus Aldridge is guarding him on defense. Duncan's constant motion makes the bigs on the opposing teams weary of helping out on help defense or staying with him. If Duncan can also hit the mid range jumper, he'll force the bigs to come outside and help give good for Tiago Splitter to pick and roll with whoever the point guard is at that time. Don't look for Duncan to try to post up this game. Portland has athletic bigs who can keep up with him in 4 Down plays, the Spurs will look to utiltize Duncan in a way that he's more valuable as an above average role player than as a guy who can create his own shot this game.

What Duncan must do on defense:

He has to keep close to Aldridge to contest. Duncan must help out close to the rim and box out on defense to prevent any put-backs from the Blazers. LaMarcus Aldridge 46% (11-24) during the season from mid range while only taking six shots from any other part of the court. He's preferring to shoot with his high arching shot where he's unlikely to get blocked and give his point guards some room to work with. If Duncan contests, he must be ready to try to recover on a drive as Aldridge is a versatile big who can put it on the floor for a short distance.