By now, more than likely, you’ve had a chance to read the articles breaking down the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs first round playoff series (including ours). We’ve given you the breakdown, now let’s tell you what our writers think will happen during the series. Here’s our predictions:
What a difference one loss makes huh? The Mavericks were so close to locking up the 7th seed and having a better matchup with Oklahoma City. Now, all odds will be against them. I would love to say the Mavericks could pull off the impossible, but then I really wouldn’t be living in reality.
Yes, the Mavericks have the Hall of Fame Legend in Dirk Nowitzki and a great sidekick in Monta Ellis, but the Spurs can hurt you from a plethora of different angles. They had the best record in the NBA this season, and did it without a scorer averaging more than 20 points per game. What that says is that they can lean on many different players on any given night.
Guys like Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, and Marco Bellinelli have provided sparks all season for this club, and they still have the usual savvy veterans in Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker.
The Mavericks will have to lean heavily on Nowitzki and Ellis in order to even have a shot, but that is not where the problem lies. The Mavericks have lacked a true legit center all season long, and the problem is beginning to cause some real concern. If the Mavericks were to have a shot at taking down the Spurs, Samuel Dalembert, DeJuan Blair, and Brandan Wright would have to show up on a consistent nightly basis. Since that really hasn’t been the case all season, it’s hard for me to give the Mavericks any possibility of the huge upset.
While it would be fun to think of the Mavericks reversing the 1-seed vs 8-seed curse that haunted them back in the 2006-2007 season, I would be coming off as a true homer, which is something even I can’t do.
Prediction: Spurs in 5
The Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies fighting NOT to play the San Antonio Spurs said plenty on Wednesday night.
Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan go head-to-head in their teams’ sixth meeting in the postseason. The difference remains that Duncan has had the same coach and a familiar core around him for most of the Texas playoff tussles.
Rick Carlisle is among the best coaches in the NBA, but he gets trumped by the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich. Carlisle possesses the most recent Larry O’Brien trophy by a Texas squad, but Pop still has four to his name.
It’s no secret the Mavericks have struggled against the Spurs lately, losers of nine consecutive matchups. San Antonio has been dominant over the stretch with an average margin of victory in double figures.
Hard to envision the Spurs dropping four games to their Texas rival this series, but Dallas will fight. The Mavericks veteran team still has plenty of pride and experience. Unfortunately, it comes against a team with the same strengths but in a more bolstered version.
Prediction: Spurs win in 5
Thanks to a heartbreaking 1-point loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, the Mavs prepare themselves for a dogfight 1st round series against Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs. I’m sure the sports world thinks the Spurs would win in an easy sweep, but as a fan I disagree.
This year’s Mavericks team has been on a roller coaster ride for the season. But if it’s one thing I’ve learned about this squad it is that the Mavs play their best basketball when their backs are against the wall. Take for account the Monta Ellis game-winner in Portland, or Dirk’s game-winner in the historic Madison Square Garden. Remember when the Mavs coming back from a 15+ point deficit to beat the Houston Rockets at home?
The Mavs have one thing: HEART. These guys can make some noise in the playoffs if they give 100% every single game, every single minute.
I think the Mavs can win this series. If not, I know for sure that they can give the Spurs a run for their money.
Prediction: Mavs win in 6 games. GO MAVS.
I really do hate writing this but the way I write is totally unbiased. Although I love the Mavericks with everything I have I must type the facts. The facts are the Mavs cannot guard three point shooters. They are slow to rotate and ball movement is one of their greatest weaknesses.
The Spurs do not beat you with one superstar, they play methodical, almost surgeon like and together as a team will beat you down. I’ve seen it all year, Tony Parker penetrates the lane, kicks it out to one of their many guards who then swings it to a wide open Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Marco Belinelli, Manu Ginobli or Patty Mills. All of which are absolutely deadly from three.
If I could pick a team designed to destroy the Mavericks it is the Spurs. Notice I haven’t even mentioned the annoying Boris Diaw, Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter down low.
With all of this death and destruction I will give you one sliver of hope. We have Dirk, and we have Monta Ellis. The two-man game will have to be perfect to give us a chance. We have to play the best defense this squad has ever played and get some easy fast break buckets.
Prediction: With all of this said I’ve got the Spurs in 5. Man I hate to say that.
I’ve been saying it for a month now, “We have to avoid the Spurs in the first round at all cost.” Unfortunately for the Mavs, they did not do this. This is a nightmare matchup for the Mavs because of the inability to defend the paint and the rotation defense on three-point shooting has been terrible all season.
The Spurs have defeated the Mavericks nine straight times. Because of this, I do not think this will be a sweep for San Antonio. I mean, you can’t beat the Mavs 13 straight games, can you? I hope not.
One thing I like is the way Monta Ellis plays in the fourth quarter of games. Against Memphis on Wednesday, he had four points through the first three quarters. He scored 14 in the fourth quarter and overtime of that game. With him and Dirk Nowitzki, I like the Mavs to at least win a game or two. I do think, however, the Spurs will be too much in the end.
Prediction: Spurs in 6
Photos courtesy of Star-Telegram/Ron Jenkins; Jeff Gross/Getty Images; Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports; AP Photo/Eric Gay; Derick Hingle USA TODAY Sports
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