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Dallas Mavericks vs San Antonio Spurs

WESTERN CONFERENCE:

(4) DALLAS MAVERICKS

The team from Dallas, led by Dirk Nowitzki, dismantled their first round opponent, the Memphis Grizzlies, in four short games.

Mavericks’ forward Nowitzki, now in his 8th NBA year, had a team high 31.3 PPG, while center Erick Dampier, who averaged 27.8 MPG, pulled down 8.8 RPG. Starters Jason Terry and Josh Howard were both sound with 17.5 and 16.3 PPG respectively. Starting center DeSagana Diop averaged 5 RPG and 1.25 BPG in 19.3 MPG and starting swingman Adrian Griffin grabbed 5 RPG and threw in 5.3 PPG.

As the Mavs head into the second round, they’ve got Nowitzki running on all cylinders, hitting from the floor (.506%), sinking foul shots (.868%), grabbing rebounds (7.80 RPG) and knocking in points from downtown (.421%). They also feature a dangerous bench, led by Dampier (6.5 PPG) and Jerry Stackhouse (11.8 PPG).

Depth, hard play and a deep, well-rested bench make the Mavs tough to beat in the second round. In order to control Dallas, the Spurs will have to neutralize Nowitzki and block out the Mavs’ rebounding game.

(1) SAN ANTONIO SPURS

It took six games for the first seed San Antonio Spurs to defeat the eighth seed Sacramento Kings, with the third and fourth games being the toughest. The other four were cakewalks for the Spurs.

Spurs point guard Tony Parker is one of the best in the game. Smart, athletic and quick, Parker led the Spurs in the first playoff round with 22.1 PPG and 4.6 APG. Swingman Tim Duncan, a favorite target for Parker, hit 18.3 PPG, while grabbing a team best 9.2 RPG.

In the series, guard Manu Ginobili played well, contributing 15.0 PPG and taking down 4.80 RPG. At center, Nazr Mohammed had 18 points and held onto 8 rebounds in the first game of the series. After that, his playing time diminished considerably, with Robert Horry playing center and performing well.

The Spurs bench is exceptionally deep; Rasho Nesterovic, Beno Udrih and Nick Van Excel can all contribute quality minutes.

San Antonio, led by Parker, will continue to use their speed to dominate both ends of the court. Accurate shooting and quick ball movement are this team’s trademarks. To win, Dallas has to find a way to first slow down Parker and handle the elusive Duncan. That won’t be easy.

Maddux Sports Series Picks

San Antonio wins series 4-2

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