A Series for the Ages: The San Antonio Spurs Vs. The Dallas Mavericks

The second round of the Western Conference playoffs felt more like the Western Conference playoffs because it put what most people feel are the two best Western Conference teams up against each other. Even though the San Antonio Spurs finished with the best record and got home court advantage throughout the playoffs, the Dallas Mavericks, despite having the second best record, had to get the fourth seed because they were not a division winner. Thus the Mavs and Spurs faced off in a wild Texas show down.

Going into this series, most people including myself predicted that this series was going to go the distance and last 7 games. Indeed this series did in fact live up to expectations as Dallas for the first time beat the Spurs on the road in a vital game 7 to advance to the Western Conference Finals.

This was a very close series and the leaders of each team stepped forward. This series matched Dirk Nowitzki against MVP Tim Duncan. Each of these power forwards has their own unique game and neither team proved that they could stop each person.

The Mavs are coached by Avery Johnson and in his first full year as coach he showed that he could make the adjustments and match wits with Hall of Fame coach Greg Popovich of the Spurs.

The reason why the Mavs won the important game 7 on the road is because in this series the fast play and quickness of the guards of the Mavs proved to be too much for the Spurs to handle. Dallas players Josh Howard, Marquise Daniels and Jason Terry all had a great series and at times dominated Suns guards Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.

The Mavs also got great defensive play out of their center Diop who had a lot of blocks and rebounds in this series. He also guarded Tim Duncan at times and played tough defense on him.

When you look at the series, the bench of the Spurs really did not produce while Dallas’ bench did. The Spurs in the off-season had gotten Nick Van Exel and Michael Finely to add extra scoring to their offense. In addition they had Robert Horry who is known for hitting clutch playoff shots come off of their bench. However in this series, because the pace was so fast, Horry really did not have any impact on the series and Finely and Van Exel were ineffective in the series.

As Dallas moves on to face the Suns, it should be another fast paced and exciting series.

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