File this under “should have, would have, could have.”
The San Antonio Spurs had a relatively easy path to the 2014 NBA title except for the opening round series against the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas tested San Antonio and pushed the Spurs to seven games before eventually falling in San Antonio.
However, at the end of the day, the Spurs won and the Mavs lost. Plain and simple.
But not for Mavs owner Mark Cuban who says if that Dallas squad had just a bit more basketball IQ, Dallas would have beaten San Antonio.
“And I think one of the reasons we were able to give San Antonio such a run is that we had a high basketball IQ and we were able to make adjustments that they didn’t expect. I think if our basketball IQ was a little bit higher, then we should have beat them — we could have beat them, we would have beat them…”
Dallas should get recognized for pushing the eventual NBA champs to the limit. Rick Carlisle knew exactly how to defend and game plan against the mighty Spurs and it worked until San Antonio made the right adjustments. Namely to wake up!
But last season’s Spurs squad was determined to get back to the Finals. Dallas nor any other team was going to stop that drive. No amount of increased basketball IQ from the Mavs would have prevented the Spurs from capturing title No. 5.
Basketball IQ is good, not doubting that for a minute but last season’s Spurs team had superior talent and basketball IQ over the Mavs.