With the San Antonio Spurs’ first round playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks tipping today, I talked to several media members and the staff of Project Spurs to get a good grasp of what the feeling was about this series. Their predictions on the series are below.
Stephen Anderson, Project Spurs
The Spurs have had recent success against the Mavericks. Dirk Nowitzki will go off for a game, but it won’t be enough to beat their Texas rivals. Spurs in 5.
Andrew Ball, Project Spurs
The matchup advantages are too much for the Mavericks to handle. Defensively, Calderon can’t keep up with Tony Parker and Parker averages 25 points per game in the series. One of the games in Dallas will be very close because of the Mavericks high powered offense, but it won’t be enough. Spurs in 4.
David Chancellor, News 4 San Antonio
Despite the history of this rivalry, this series feels like a complete mismatch. The question to me isn’t if Dallas can win the series, it’s if Dallas can win a game. The Spurs are too focused, too deep, and finally too healthy to overlook a team they should and will dominate. Spurs in 4.
Michael De Leon, Project Spurs
The Spurs just have too much firepower for the Mavs to contend with. You can talk to me about Nowtizki and Ellis until you’re blue in the face, but both players will have to be on consistently, deal with stingy defenders and have someone else they can turn to. It’s no accident that the Spurs have beaten the Mavs nine straight times, and there’s not enough to tell me that number won’t swell to 13 straight. The Mavs are simply bringing a knife to a gun fight and they’ll be outgunned in four games.
Chris Duel, Spurs Radio Net Center and Talk Now SA
I think there’s amazing hubris among Spurs analysts and fans who are picking a sweep. The Mavericks are more talented than most are assuming. Monta Ellis can be deadly when he’s hot and Dirk Nowitzki is still a formidable force. I expect the Mavs to steal one in Dallas and the Spurs delight their home fans with a Game 5 victory. Spurs in Five.
Paul Garcia, Project Spurs
Spurs in 4 – Outside of what the eye test showed in the four matchups between the two teams (the Spurs won each match by an average of 11.5 points), it seems like Dallas doesn’t have the defense to match the many offensive weapons in San Antonio’s arsenal. Meanwhile, San Antonio seems to be one of the better teams equipped to defend both Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis, as the Spurs have Boris Diaw and Tiago Splitter to defend Nowtizki without tasking Tim Duncan with the assignment (Splitter and Diaw held Nowitzki to 22 of 47 shooting when they defended him combined this season). The Spurs also have both Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard to spend time defending Ellis.
Jose Grijalva, Project Spurs
Spurs in 5. San Antonio has too many weapons for a Dallas team that might be on fumes. Unlike other teams, the Spurs have 3 quick tough defenders to put on Dirk (Splitter, Diaw, and Leonard) without relying too much on help. The Mavs might sneak in a win, but the Spurs are bound to overwhelm them.
Don Harris, News 4 San Antonio
I think the Spurs are obviously a much better team, but I think it will be a good series. The Spurs are not in the same rhythm that they were in 2 weeks ago. Dallas has great outside shooting Monta Ellis will be a tough cover. Spurs in 5, but won’t be shocked if it goes 4 or 6.
Jason Minnix, ESPN San Antonio
Spurs in 5. Dirk is still capable of taking over a game but he doesn’t have the support to pull off an upset. San Antonio just has to many weapons for Dallas. Despite the injuries this year, the Spurs rolled through the regular season and they will roll through the first round.
Richard Olliver, Visit San Antonio and Fox Sports Southwest
Spurs in 5! For SA, en route to another Finals berth, treats the Mavs as little more than a warmup series.
Aaron Preine, Project Spurs
The Spurs non-stop motion offense will make quick work of one of the worst defenses in the NBA (22nd in both points allowed and opponent FG%). The Mavericks’ offense (one of the best in the league) will have its moments behind Dirk Nowitzki’s heroics but they’ll struggle against a healthy and rested top-five defense. Spurs in 4.
Quixem Ramirez, Project Spurs
A good rule of thumb: Pick the team with Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan. They’ve won 62 percent of their playoff games together and 72 percent of their playoff series. Dallas, the league’s most efficient offense post All-Star break, will keep themselves in games with Dirk Nowitzki alone. But anything they can do, the Spurs can do better. Spurs in 4.
Maury Vasquez, Somerset ISD
Underdogs often have at least a “puncher’s chance” of scoring the 1st round upset. The Mavericks don’t even have that going for them vs. the Spurs. Pop has the SA engine running on a highly efficient cruise control heading into the postseason. If Dirk and Dallas steal one win, Mark Cuban should celebrate by jumping in the river downtown. Spurs in 4