The Portland Trail Blazers have struggled just as much in their last 10 games as the Spurs have recently. They’ve kicked off the month of April losing by double digits to 3 of the better teams record-wise in the NBA (Bucks, Clippers, Jazz) while also dropping their last two games to respectable, yet struggling, teams (Boston and Miami). Their only wins this month have come in a blowout against OKC and a comfortable win against the Detroit Pistons.
Regardless of how April has gone for them so far, though, they are still dangerous. Damian Lillard is having yet another phenomenal season worthy of the MVP votes he’s sure to garner, leading Portland to a 31-23 record in a season where Portland has been short-handed due to injuries. His backcourt mate, CJ McCollum, is starting to round into shape after dealing with a fractured foot that kept him out for most of January, all of February, and a big chunk of March. Also plagued by injuries has been big man Jusuf Nurkic, who missed essentially the same time as McCollum and has appeared in just 20 games this season for Portland.
The Spurs won the first meeting in Portland back in January 125-104, The Trail Blazer’s first game without McCollum because of the foot fracture. San Antonio was led in scoring in that game with 22 points by LaMarcus Aldridge, 15-year veteran and former Blazer who was released by the Spurs after 5 years in San Antonio after the trade deadline passed and retired just yesterday after a health scare.