NBA Playoffs Game Three Handicapping Picks: #1 San Antonio Spurs at #8 Dallas Mavericks
2014 NBA Playoffs
Western Conference Quarterfinals – Game #3
#1 San Antonio Spurs at #8 Dallas Mavericks
Best of Seven Series tied 1-1
American Airlines Center – Dallas, Texas
Saturday, April 26, 2014, 4:35 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Opening Line: San Antonio -3
Current Line: San Antonio -3 1/2
Opening Total: 202 1/2
Current Total: 200
Opening Money Line: Spurs -165 / Mavericks +140
Current Money Line: Spurs -175 / Mavericks +150
Before Wednesday night the San Antonio Spurs had beaten the Dallas Mavericks 10 straight times, including a 90-85 win in San Antonio in game of the Western Conference quarterfinal series. However, Dallas snapped the losing streak Wednesday 113-92 in game two to even the series 1-1. Now the series switches north to Dallas for game three Saturday and game four Monday.
In game one Dallas had a double digit fourth quarter lead but lost by 5. Game two would be a different story. The Mavericks took a five point lead into halftime. Dallas would dominate in the second half to break open a close game. The Spurs who usually don’t make a lot of mental mistakes had 22 turnovers including 15 in the first half. Credit the tenacious Mavericks’ defense for ahrrassing the Spurs all night. Dallas used a balanced scoring attack with four starters scoring in double digits, led by guard Monta Ellis who had 21 points. Manu Ginobli scored 27 points off the bench for the Spurs. Tony Parker scored 12 and Tim Duncan scored 11 points, but no other Spur scored more than 7 points.
San Antonio is coached by Gregg Popovich, who won his third NBA coach of the year award last week. San Antonio is 45-39 ATS and the total is 45-38-1 this season.
San Antonio is outscoring teams 105-97. The Spurs are #6 in scoring and #6 in points allowed. San Antonio is shooting 48.6% from the field and 39.7% from 3 point range. The Spurs are #2 in field goal percentage and #1 in 3 point shooting. San Antonio is #4 in free throw shooting at 78.5% from the line. Opponents are shooting 44.4% from the field and 35.3% from 3 point range. The Spurs are in the top 10 in both categories. San Antonio is averaging 43.3 rebounds per game and opponents average 42.2 per game. The Spurs average 25.2 assists, 14.6 turnovers, 7.5 steals and 5.2 blocks per game. Opponents average 20.3 assists, 14 turnovers, 7.8 steals and 4.7 blocks per game.
Point guard Tony Parker averages 16.7 points, 5.7 assists, and 2.3 rebounds per game. Forward Tim Duncan averages 15.1 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.9 blocks per game. Forward Kawhi Leonard averages 12.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. Guard Manu Ginobli averages 12.3 points, 3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1 steal per game. Guard Marco Belinelli averages 11.4 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Guard Patty Mills averages 10.2 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists. Boris Diaw, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter, Cory Joseph, Jeff Ayres, and Matt Bonner will also get significant minutes.
Dallas is coached by Rick Carlisle. The Mavericks are 46-38 ATS and the total is 46-38 this season.
Dallas is outscoring teams 105-102 this season. The Mavericks are #8 in scoring and #20 in points allowed. Dallas is shooting 47.4% from the field and 38.4% from 3 point range. The Mavericks are #4 in field goal shooting and #2 in 3 point shooting. Dallas is #3 in free throw shooting at 79.5% from the line. Opponents are shooting 46.4% from the field and 35.9% from 3 point range. Dallas averages 40.9 rebounds per game and opponents average 42.8 per game. The Mavericks are #26 in rebounds. Dallas averages 23.6 assists, 13.5 turnovers, 8.6 steals and 4.4 blocks per game. Opponents average 22 assists, 16 turnovers, 7.8 steals and 3.5 blocks per game.
Forward Dirk Nowitzki averages 21.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. The first-ballot Hall-of-Famer passed Oscar Robertson to become the 10th leading scorer in NBA history recently. Guard Monta Ellis averages 19 points, 3.6 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. Guard Vince Carter averages 11.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. Guard Jose Calderon averages 11.4 points, 2.4 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. Forward Shawn Marion averages 10.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Brandan Wright, Devin Harris, Samuel Dalembert, DeJuan Blair and Jae Crowder will also get significant minutes.
San Antonio is 8-2 ATS after a double digit home loss, 11-3 after allowing 100 points or more, 11-4 in road games, 10-4 after a straight up loss of 10 points or more, 7-3 in first round playoff games, 3-7 after a straight up loss, 1-4 after the opponent scores 100 points or more, 0-4 overall and against Western Conference teams. The road team has covered the last 4 games in this series. The Spurs are 12-5 ATS in the last 17 against the Mavericks, including 4-0 in Dallas.
Dallas is 6-1 ATS against Southwest Division teams, 9-2-1 in first round playoff games, 5-11 after a cover, 3-7 after a straight up win, 2-5 on two days rest, 1-4 in Saturday games, 0-5 at home, 0-7 after a straight up win of more than 10 points, and 0-4 against teams with winning road records. The over is 5-1 in the last six in Dallas in this series. The underdog has covered the last 4 games in the series.
After San Antonio was blown out in game two, a lot of the experts were talking about how the Spurs could be in trouble. Haven’t we learned not to underestimate Popovich , Duncan, Parker and Ginobli. People have been counting them out for years and they usually find a way to come through. No question Carlisle is a great coach, and Nowitzki is an all-time great (like Duncan). I like the Spurs to win Saturday to regain control of the series.