San Antonio Spurs (50-32 SU, 44-37-1 ATS) vs. Dallas Mavericks (55-27 SU, 36-44-2 ATS), 10:00 p.m. EST, Tuesday, April 20, 2010, American Airlines Center, Dallas, Tex. TV: TNT
by Ryno of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Spurs +3.5/Mavericks -3.5
The San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks are two of the most experienced teams in the 2010 NBA Playoffs. Both of these teams have been here many times, almost all of the players involved have played in numerous playoff series, and these teams know how to win. The Spurs have won their share of NBA Championships, but the Mavericks have not won one. The Mavs showed their hunger in Game 1 by escaping with a 100-94 home victory to take control of the series.
In the Mavs’ Game 1 victory over the Spurs, Dirk Nowitzki just took over. He was absolutely on fire. He scored 36 points on 12-of-14 shooting from the field and 12-of-12 from the free throw line and grabbed seven rebounds. Caron Butler missed 11 of his 19 shot attempts but he was very aggressive and scored 22 points. Jason Kidd nearly had a triple-double with 13 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds.
The usual trio of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker carried the Spurs. Duncan had 27 points and eight rebounds, Ginobili had 26 points and six assists, and Parker, who came off the bench after returning from an injury, scored 18 points.
The Spurs shot 50 percent from the field and 4-for-11 from 3-point range, while the Mavs shot 47 percent from the field and 5-for-14 on 3-pointers. The Mavs held a 45-37 rebounding advantage and a slight advantage in turnovers. The big difference was at the free throw line, where the Mavs shot 25-of-34 and the Spurs shot 12-of-14.
In Game 2, both teams need a little more from their role players. For the Spurs, starting point guard George Hill had zero points and zero assists in 18 minutes of playing time. If he is going to be on the floor that long, he has to be more productive. Antonio McDyess had 10 points and eight rebounds, but Richard Jefferson only had four points. Jefferson needs to be more aggressive and drive to the basket. Other than Parker, the bench – Matt Bonner, Keith Bogans, Roger Mason and DeJuan Blair – combined for just nine points, six rebounds and three assists. Duncan, Ginobili and Parker can’t always do everything. The other key role players have to step up and make some shots, grab some rebounds, and take advantage of their playing time.
The Mavs didn’t have as much of a lack of production from their role players, but they do need more from Shawn Marion, Jason Terry and JJ Barea. Marion started and played 32 minutes and only had nine points and five rebounds. He should be able to score more than that, especially down low. And if he isn’t scoring, he should at least be grabbing more than five boards in 32 minutes. Terry only shot 2-of-9 from the field for five points. His role is to provide a spark off the bench and score some points. The Mavs need him to knock down open shots for them to win in the playoffs. Barea is out there to run the offense, so he doesn’t need to score much, so his three assists and one turnover in 15 minutes isn’t too bad.
The Spurs need to win this game to take over the home court advantage in this series. If they don’t win, the Mavs will have a 2-0 series lead going back to San Antonio. Then, if the Mavs can win one game on the road, the series will be all but over. Therefore, it’s important for the Spurs to get this victory and even the series up at 1-1.
The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings between these teams and the favorite is 9-4 ATS in the last 13 meetings. The under is 3-1-1 in the last five meetings between these teams overall and also 3-1-1 in the last five meetings in Dallas. The Spurs are 10-25 ATS in the last 35 meetings with the Mavs and 0-6 ATS in the last six meetings in Dallas.
Ryno’s Pick: I expect Dallas to win and cover the spread tonight!