What 2 Watch 4 - Trail Blazers Vs. Spurs
LaMarcus Aldridge vs. Tim Duncan
The Trail Blazers and Spurs meet tonight on ESPN, CSNNW and 620 AM looking like teams heading in opposite directions.
The Spurs, finally healthy after a season spent dealing with various injuries, have won seven-straight, nine of their last 10 and have lost just one game since the All-Star break. They are now in first place in the Western Conference, though they lead the Thunder by just a half game with a month to go in the regular season.
Meanwhile, the Trail Blazers have lost three-straight for just the second time this season, dropped four of their last five and are 6-5 since the break. Mo Williams (right hip strain) is questionable for tonight's game, it's looking like Joel Freeland (right MCL sprain) won't return until the playoffs and LaMarcus Aldridge hasn't looked the same since returning from his own hip injury on March 1.
If Portland is to hold off Golden State for the fifth seed in the West, they'll need Aldridge to start playing more like his idol, they'll need to start looking more like the Spurs. And specifically, Aldridge will need to return to form as the heir apparent to his idol, Spurs power forward/center Tim Duncan. At age 37, Duncan is still averaging a double-double with 15.3 points and 10.0 rebounds while also blocking almost two shots and handing out three assists a game in a shade under 30 minutes a game.
Aldridge is averaging a double-double of his own with 23.6 points and 11.2 rebounds in 59 games this season, but he's shooting just 38 percent since the All-Star break. He doesn't look to be bothered by his hip and seems to be getting the shots he wants, but for whatever reasons, those shots simply aren't falling. And when Aldridge's shots don't fall, Portland's chances of coming away victorious drop precipitously.