Retro Diary: Spurs-Mavericks, Game 1

Gregg Popovich, Ime Udoka,  Jim Boylen

This picture best describes Game 1. For about 41 minutes it felt like nothing went the Spurs way, until Dallas decided that making baskets wasn’t fun anymore, and let the Spurs dominate the last eight minutes of the game.

But before we start previewing Wednesday’s Game 2, it’s time to take a second look back at how the Spurs snagged a 1-0 series lead on Easter Sunday. It’s time for a retro diary.

1st quarter, 12:00 remaining: “Our officials for this afternoon: Joey Crawford…” Good to see the NBA continues its trolling of Spurs fans, by letting Joey C officiate the Spurs first playoff game. It’s been seven years since Duncan got ejected for laughing and I’m still not completely over it.

10:24 remaining: Three straight possessions for the Spurs and the Mavericks defense did a good job switching on screens to keep a big body on Parker. Too bad Parker was using those three possessions to size up Dalembert and find the right moment to blow right past him. 2-0.

9:12 remaining: Tiago and Kawhi collapse on Nowitzki and Ellis to force a turnover, and then Tiago decides to start the fast break on his own. My heart stops while watching him dribble. Tiago finally passes it off to Tony who draws the And-1.

8:19 remaining: “…Leonard, picked up by Monta Ellis who’s not much of a defender.” Thank you, Kevin Harlan.

7:59 remaining: Danny Green dribbles behind his back, crossing over Monta Ellis at halfcourt with ease.

7:41 remaining: Dalembert switches on the screen, putting Ellis on Duncan. Then Ellis proceeds to mini-flop while Duncan posts him up. Foul on Ellis. Rough 40 seconds for Mr. Have It All.

5:22 remaining: “Tony Parker continues to penetrate well.” Kevin Harlan needs to work on his phrasing before Game 2.

4:33 remaining: I had a coworker tell me on Monday how tough stopping Nowitzki and “that tall Dalbert” guy is going to be. Meanwhile, Dirk and “Dalbert” just spent three seconds fighting each other for the same rebound. No one had the presence of mind to yell, “Same team!” like when you’re playing street ball?

2:45 remaining: DeJuan Blair checks in. Blair was apparently at Las Palapas on Saturday night. This is my shocked font. I am shocked.

0:00 remaining: The Spurs held Dallas to 25% shooting in the first quarter, which is totally sustainable. After one, 21-12, good guys.


2nd quarter, 9:19 remaining: 9-0 run for the Mavericks and I haven’t been paying attention to any of it. I’ve been too focused on watching Joey Crawford run up and down the court. Joey’s body is so compact while he moves, and the bald head makes him super aerodynamic. Just watch him next time he’s officiating a game you’re watching. He keeps his arms next to his body, doesn’t move them. It’s all in the legs. Joey Crawford might seriously be the most efficient runner of all time.

5:39 remaining: A Danny Green deflection leads to Kawhi Leonard skying for a dunk. The Mavs defensive decisions on the fast break are hilarious. Leonard had already picked up his dribble, but Calderon scrambles to cover Danny Green in the corner, meanwhile Shawn Marion steps back to shade Boris Diaw at the free throw line extended, leaving Vince Carter with a front row seat to watch a #KAWHILIGHT.

46 seconds remaining: Manu finds a wide open Boris Diaw on the block. Diaw spins, assesses the situation, panics, and throws up a floater that barely draws iron. I want to be mad, but I can’t. We’ve all been there. You’re surprised you’re that wide open, freak out, and just throw garbage up hoping you score. You never score.

0:00 remaining: If you were to tell me the Spurs would hold Dirk to just five points and five rebounds at halftime, but the Mavericks would be up by a point, I’d call the cops and have you arrested for public intoxication. But alas, Devin bleeping Harris had 13 points off the bench.


I may or may not have stopped recording on my DVR at halftime, and forgot to start re-recording during the third quarter, so for the purposes of this post (my stupidity) we will fast forward to the fourth quarter.

4th quarter, 12:00 remaining: I remembered to start recording because of the Pop sideline interview. I managed to watch Pop’s message to Craig Sager without shedding a couple man tears this time, so that’s good. #GetWellSager

9:26 remaining: Watching Dirk and Devin Harris play together is starting to give me flashbacks to 2006. The day Dallas traded Devin Harris to New Jersey for Jason Kidd, was one of the happiest days of my life. Here were the Mavericks, trading the only piece that gave the Spurs absolute hell, for a player that Tony Parker loved giving hell to.

7:45 remaining: Brandan Wright was something else this game. His And-1 gives the Mavericks a 10-point lead. Why am I having a slight panic attack even though I already know the outcome? I need a Xanax.

5:48 remaining: Another Kawhi Leonard/Tiago Splitter double team on Dirk forces a turnover. Look for that to be a reoccurring theme in this series, especially with no Shawn Marion on the floor. Splitter plays Nowitzki very well alone. Adding Kawhi’s length and nose for the ball to that equation on a double team is almost unfair.

4:54 remaining: A Spurs 10-0 run in less than three minutes leads to this:

3:22 remaining: Tony Parker picks a good time to score his first points of the second half, putting Devin Harris in the spin cycle from hell.

1:46 remaining: First foul of the game on Dirk Nowitzki. What.

0:00: Dallas missed 12 of their final 13 shots, leading to a Spurs 19-4 run over the last 7:45 of the game. The only made field goal made by Dallas was a layup by Devin Harris in the last two seconds. The Mavericks may never go through a cold streak like that again, but I’d also be willing to bet that the Spurs don’t shoot 18% from beyond the arch, or get out assisted by the Mavericks again either.

About John Diaz

John is a University of Houston student studying journalism and a jack of all trades (but master of none) for the Project Spurs Network. His other titles include managing editor of Spurs on Sixth and associate editor of Texas Redzone Report. You may follow him on Twitter @byjohndiaz.