Mavs and Spurs Meet Again

Published: Apr 19, 2014 14:59pm EDT
By Steven Baer, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Apr 19, 2014 @ 02:59pm EDT


          A fight for the seventh seed and 50 wins on the season ended with Monta Ellis missing an 18-footer at the buzzer to give the Memphis Grizzlies the seventh seed and the Dallas Mavericks the eighth seed.

         Being the eighth seed and having a matchup against the San Antonio Spurs is something the Mavs were hoping to avoid.  The Spurs swept the season series against the Mavs going 4-0, and have won the past nine in a row against their in-state rivals.

                Having the seventh seed and drawing the Oklahoma City Thunder would have been a much better matchup for Dallas, as they were 2-1 against the Thunder this year.  Instead the Mavs get the team with the best record in the league and the team they have not beaten in over two years.

                This sounds like it has all the makings of a four game sweep for the Spurs.  And why shouldn’t it be?  The Spurs already have a four game sweep over the Mavs this year and have pretty much dominated every game they have played against Dallas this year.  The last time the two played was at the end of the regular season with Tony Parker sitting out and the Spurs still won by nine.

                Don’t expect the Spurs to come into this series with any over confidence though, Coach Gregg Popovich is one of the best at keeping his guys focused and motivated.  The guy has won four rings for a reason and catches a lot of praise from around the league and maybe a little too much from his counterpart in this series.     

      “I think he’s the greatest coach, really ever in this game, because all their guys function within their system at a high level,” Rick Carlisle, Head Coach of the Dallas Mavericks said.

       Carlisle who is no joke himself winning a ring with the Mavs in 2011, will need to keep up with coach Pop making little adjustments when necessary.  Carlisle was the guy who started J.J. Barea in games four, five and six of the NBA finals because be saw an advantage they had over The Miami Heat's defense with Barea being on the floor.  Carlisle may not need to make an adjustment that big for this series but Tony Parker’s penetration has given the Mavs perimeter defense headaches with easy lay-ups and wide open threes recently.  Mavs haven’t defended well all year so it’s hard to think they might start doing so now.  But maybe a little tweak like have Shawn Marion defend Parker more or have speedy back-up point guard Devin Harris play more this series might help.  Starting point guard Jose Calderon is one of the leagues best three point shooters but his defense is lacking at times and most certainly does not have the foot speed to keep up with Parker for a whole game.   

       Monta Ellis is the x-factor for this series, the starting shooting guard for the Mavericks can score at will at times and will need to this series to help take some of the workload off of Dirk’s back.  San Antonio has three different types of defenders they will be throwing at the 12-time All-Star Nowitzki, Boris Diaw, Tiago Splitter, and Kawhi Leonard.  All three will be giving Dirk a different look to throw him off as much as possible.  Ellis will need to be ready to knock down some big shots when Dirk gets double teamed and also drive to the basket to give other shooters open looks.  Ellis does come into the playoffs on a hot streak winning NBA Player of the Week following his 37-point outburst against the Phoenix Suns to clinch a playoff berth.

       The Dallas Mavericks have a tall mountain to climb if they hope to take down the Spurs.  San Antonio leads the NBA in bench scoring at 45 points per game and also leads the NBA in assists per game with 25.  Dallas has been one of the most efficient offenses in the NBA since the All-Star break and that will need to continue in this series plus finding a way to slow down the Spurs offense as well is a must.  



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