AT&T CENTER – The buzz at the AT&T Center seemed to be swirling around a game that wasn’t even taking place at the AT&T Center Wednesday, as the San Antonio Spurs eagerly awaited their first round opponent, while having to face an injury-depleted Los Angeles Lakers team in the process. Tim Duncan and Marco Belinelli would rest in the contest, as the Spurs fell to the Lakers in their regular season finale 113-100. By the fourth quarter, none of the Spurs’ core players were on the floor to rest, as they awaited their upcoming opponent – the Dallas Mavericks.
After the game, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich summed up the season in three sentences: “We had a good regular season and now the postseason starts. The first game is at noon on Sunday and we will see who it is,” said Popovich quickly. “The two teams that are playing right now, so I am going to go watch them. You guys take care.”
Popovich’s statement lasted 15 seconds. In the locker room, it was an eager environment as both the players and media were monitoring the game between the Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks. When Manu Ginobili was in the middle of his press conference, he was made aware that the Grizzlies and Mavericks had both gone into overtime by a media member.
The Mavericks forced overtime but were unable to hold off the Grizzlies, as Mike Conley sunk two clutch game clinching free throws, and the Grizzlies won the match. With the win for Memphis, they’ll face the Oklahoma City Thunder in the opening round, while the Mavericks will face the Spurs Sunday.
On the upcoming series with the Mavericks
“Doesn’t matter,” said Kawi Leonard before finding out who his team would face. “Still have to win four games,” concluded Leonard. Manu Ginobili said the Spurs have to approach the series brand new from scratch. Ginobili said the team can’t rely on the regular season sweep results and hinted the Mavericks, could have more fuel for getting swept in the regular season.
A new postseason begins…
When asked what the team’s mindset was going into the playoffs, Patty Mills gave some thoughts of how the team is approaching a new postseason. “Everyone being healthy and the mindset,” said Mills. “Obviously we went through something that motivates us and we want to get back there like last year. We’re all on the same page with that we all know what we want to do as a group. I think it pushes us through.”
“It’s been motivation in the summer, it’s been motivation in the preseason, throughout the whole season,” said Mills of the Spurs’ desire to get back to the Finals after how the postseason ended last year. “I think that will continue for sure.”
“We’re impressed, but it doesn’t matter,” said Leonard after the game of the regular season. “We’re trying to win a championship. We’re the number one seed, but the playoffs are coming up. All that’s (the regular season) behind us.”
When asked if this year’s team is better than the group from last year, Leonard said, “I think we’re a little more consistent this year. It’s pretty much the game,” continued Leonard. “I feel like we all are gelling together, but we’ll see in the playoffs. We don’t know yet. We can’t compare the teams right now because we don’t know what the final stretch is about.”
Spurs – Mavericks Series Schedule Announced
Here is the schedule for the Spurs and Mavericks’ opening first round series via the Spurs’ PR department.
Round 1 TV Broadcast Schedule
|Game 1||Sunday, April 20||Spurs vs. Mavericks||Noon||FSSW|
|Game 2||Wednesday, April 23||Spurs vs. Mavericks||7 PM||FSSW|
|Game 3||Saturday, April 26||Spurs at Mavericks||3:30 PM||FSSW|
|Game 4||Monday, April 28||Spurs at Mavericks||8:30 PM||FSSW|
|Game 5*||Wednesday, April 30||Spurs vs. Mavericks||TBD||FSSW|
|Game 6*||Friday, May 2||Spurs at Mavericks||TBD||FSSW|
|Game 7*||Sunday, May 4||Spurs vs. Mavericks||TBD||TBD|
– All Times Central
Where San Antonio finished the regular season
- Regular Season: 62-20
- Home Record: 32-9
- Vs. Opponents with –.500 records: 33-4
- Vs. The Western Conference: 38-14
- Post All-Star Break Record: 24-5
(All Stats and player tracking data via NBA.com/stats)