|1.5 POR (-106) @ pinnacle|
My 9* Oddsmaker's Error is on the Por Blazers at 3:05 ET.
The Portland Trail Blazers have won FIVE of their last six and have upped their record to 8-5. They will look to continue their winning ways Monday afternoon at Moda Center when they welcome the 7-6 San Antonio Spurs to Portland. The Spurs have won FIVE of seven and the team's 7-6 record is good enough to lead the Southwest Division (we don't reference divisions much these days). Portland's 8-5 record leaves them one game back of the Jazz in the Northwest. Overall, Portland is the No. 5 seed and San Antonio the No. 6 seed.
The Spurs came off an impressive 4-1 road trip but despite leading the roster-depleted Rockets 99-90 with 4:39 to play, got outscored 19-6 the rest of the way to lose. However, the Spurs rebounded from that loss in Saturday's rematch. However, the Rockets, despite suiting up just eight players (the league-mandated minimum), were up to the task until the final five minutes. DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points in Saturday's win, while Jakob Poeltl and Dejounte Murray added double doubles, as the Spurs were at their best when fatigue finally got to Houston. SEVEN Spurs are averaging in double digits, with guards DeRozan (20.7-5.7-6.7) and Murray (15.8-7.3-5.2) leading the way.
While the Spurs came back from a double-digit first-half deficit to beat short-handed Houston 103-91, Portland was forced to mount its own comeback against the Hawks without CJ McCollum (26.7-3.9-5.0), who scored 16 first-half points but did not play in the second half due to a sprained left foot. The Blazers limited Atlanta to 20 points in each of the final two quarters and roared back after trailing by seven at halftime to win 112-106. Damian Lillard (27.6-4.8-6.8) led the way vs Atlanta with 36 points. Melo (13.0) and Gary Trent (11.5) have been productive off the bench and center Kanter made his first start of the season, as Nurkic (9.8 & 7.7) is out with a broken hand. Kanter has 12 points and 15 rebounds in 29 minutes and has been a great addition, averaging 10.8 & 9.4 on the season. Other new additions like SF Jones (7.0 & 4.2) and PF Covington (6.5 & 5.9) have underperformed but Jones scored 10 points vs the Hawks, while Covington had 10 rebounds.
Nurkic will be missed (out at least EIGHT weeks) but McCollum underwent an MRI and his injury was just a sprain. He will be a game-time decision Monday. Portland is being VERY undervalued here and I say "The PRICE is RIGHT!"