The San Antonio Spurs are the model basketball franchise. How else do you explain winning more than 60 games while nobody played over 30 minutes per game? The Gregg Popovich experience.
The Dallas Mavericks, on the other hand, had to fight just to stay alive for the final month or so of the season, with this being their prize. A loss to the Grizzlies on the final night in overtime prevented them from staying in the seventh seed with a slightly more favorable match-up with Oklahoma City.
Tim Duncan will look to add to an already-historic career – he has almost as many 50-win seasons as the New York Knicks do – with a fifth NBA Championship and possible Finals MVP. Would that be the end of The Big Fundamental’s career?
On the other side of this series sits Dirk Nowitzki, another legendary forward most consider the best player to ever come from Europe to the NBA. Could this be the last we see of Dirk if he embarks on a 2011-esque run of form?
Team Vs Team
The match-ups all favour San Antonio. Tim Duncan is one of the greatest players to ever play the game. Tony Parker is an elite player, as is Manu Ginobilli. They have shooting in the form of Marco Belinelli and the surprisingly effective Patty Mills. Not to mention Human Flamethrower Danny Green.
Dallas, conversely, has Monta Ellis and his notorious ability to be mesmerisingly good or infuriatingly bad, though we’ve seen so much of the former this season to believe he has really become a great NBA guard. Dirk Nowitzki is obviously a match-up nightmare and is for any team.
Game 1: Spurs 116, Mavericks 107 (American Airlines Center)
Danny Green hit five of five from behind the three-point line and finished a perfect 7-for-7 from the field. Dirk Nowitzki scored 25 points and Tony Parker had 23.
Game 2: Mavericks 90, Spurs 112 (AT&T Center)
Tim Duncan had 16 points and 13 boards to add to Tony Parker’s 25 points and seven assists. Parker hit 10 of his 15 shot attempts.
Game 3: Mavericks 106, Spurs 112 (AT&T Center)
Six Spurs scored in double figures as an all-round approach pummelled the Mavericks to submission. Nowitzki, Ellis and Carter combined for 60 points.
Game 4: Spurs 109, Mavericks 100 (American Airlines Center)
Patty Mills led the Spurs in scoring with 26 points including 6-for-11 from deep. Six Spurs hit double digits again as they handed Dallas a loss that heavily impacted their push for the playoffs.
Game 1: Sunday, April 20th | at San Antonio | 1pm ET | TNT |
Game 2: Wednesday, April 23rd | at San Antonio | 8:00pm | NBA TV |
Game 3: Saturday, April 26th | at Dallas | 4:30pm | TNT |
Game 4: Monday, April 28th | at Dallas | 9:30pm | TNT |
*Game 5: Wednesday, April 30th | at San Antonio | TBD |
*Game 6: Friday, May 2nd | at Dallas | TBD |
*Game 7: Sunday, May 4th | at San Antonio | TBD |
* – if necessary