San Antonio and Portland battle it out on Saturday night at the Moda Center. The Blazers are coming off an impressive first victory over the new-look Los Angeles Lakers. The Spurs also grabbed an opening win against Minnesota.
DeRozan leads Spurs with 28 points in team debut
San Antonio’s offense struggled at times last season, and it was ultimately their downfall in a five-game series to Golden State in the postseason. They look rejuvenated after their first contest against Minnesota, taking it 112-108. They took control of the contest midway through the fourth quarter and held on thanks to shooting 43 percent from the field, owning a 52-46 edge in rebounding, and making 11 3-pointers.
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) October 18, 2018
Power forward LaMarcus Aldridge had the best all-around game with a whopping 21 points and 19 rebounds. The Timberwolves had no answer for him inside as he dominated all night long. Newcomer DeMar DeRozan, the shooting guard from Toronto, led all scorers with 28 points despite struggling a bit with efficiency (made 10-of-21 field goals).
Blazers spoil LeBron’s season debut with Lakers
Portland showed no mercy against the new Los Angeles Lakers, blowing up their defense and taking the contest 128-119. Neither team shot very well from downtown, but they still ended up hitting six more 3’s and went a very efficient 27-for-29 from the free throw line. Their high-octane offense was able to put up 100 shot attempts in regulation and they hit 44 of them, and they overcame the Lakers having a 34-12 edge in fast break points.
Perhaps the most impressive showing was from shooting guard Nik Stauskas off the bench. He had 24 points in 27 minutes of action, a great debut for him since being shipped from Brooklyn. Stauskas has done very little since being drafted in the first round in 2014 so another change in scenery might do the trick. Gary Trent Jr. is currently day-to-day with a quadricep injury and it’s unknown when he’ll be making his debut.
- 20-6-1 ATS in their last 27 home games
- 39-17-4 ATS in their last 60 games after a SU win
- 2-5 ATS in their last 7 Saturday games
- 1-9 ATS in their last 10 road games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Judging by the first game of the season, the Trail Blazers’ offense looks like a force to be reckoned with. Damian Lillard is as good as it gets when it comes to scoring point guards. They’ve exploded in part thanks to an expected bad Lakers defense, but they’ll be roughing up the Spurs as well this weekend.
Full-Game Total Pick
It can be tricky to pick totals at the beginning of an NBA season, but don’t think about this one too much. Neither of these defenses look like they’re settled yet and the offenses have looked strong from their season debuts. Expect that all to continue.