Well game one is over and the Spurs lost to their rivals the Mavericks, 100-94. So what stood out from the box score in this loss? Aside from Richard Jefferson, Roger Mason, and well, pretty much any Spur not named Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili or Tony Parker, looking terrible on the court, here are a few things that jumped out.
Free Throw Attempts
San Antonio Spurs: 14 vs. Dallas Mavericks: 34
The Spurs hit their free throws making 12 of 14 shots. Good for 85.7%. The Mavericks, on the other hand, just converted 73.5% of their shots from the foul line making 25 of 34. However, Dirk Nowitzki made all 12 of his free throws.
The huge discrepancy in foul shots taken could mean that the Spurs are not aggressive enough in attacking the basket or might be case of some early “home cooking.” Let’s just say in the third quarter alone, the Spurs only went to the line once. Thanks refs!
San Antonio Spurs: 37 vs. Dallas Mavericks: 45
The Mavericks out rebounded the Spurs in this game big time. They also got 13 offensive rebounds compared to the Spurs’ eight. That meant more second chance points and better inside scoring opportunities for the Mavericks.
This is a huge concern for the Spurs as the Mavericks are just too big in the front-court with Erick Dampier and Brendan Haywood in the paint.
Field Goal Percentage
San Antonio Spurs: 50% (39-78) vs. Dallas Mavericks: 47.3% (35-74)
The Spurs shot a better percentage overall from the field. But they have to do a better job at defending Nowitzki who hit 85.7% (12-14) of his field goal attempts on his way to a game high 36 points. Then again, does any team have an answer for Dirk? Unlike seasons past, the Spurs do not have a player like Bruce Bowen to frustrate Nowitzki.
To get back in this series, the Spurs have to be a lot better on defense. Their adjustment on how to guard Nowitzki will dictate how this series will go. It could be said to allow Nowitzki to do his damage and stop players such as Caron Butler and the other complementary Dallas players from putting up numbers.
The Spurs’ role players has to step up. Roger Mason Jr. and Matt Bonner continue to struggle against the Mavericks in the playoffs and George Hill and Richard Jefferson were practically non-factors in this game.