Re: Round 1: San Antonio Spurs(0-0) vs. Dallas Mavericks (0-0)
I'll go ahead and say Spurs in 6 or 7. There's a thread on "what would happen if DAL loses" and how much pressure there is on them, but is it really any different for SA? They went out and retooled in the offseason, pushing them into lux tax territory, and certainly the owner and staff alike know a first round exit, on top of mild season, will not look good for anybody. I see Greg Popovich taking these playoffs very seriously (not that he didn't before) and prepping his team accordingly and/or as if his job depended on it. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, I can see them not wanting to exit the first round again and consciously stepping up their game. Not to mention, I think the Spurs are generally underrated right now defensively and viewed as "easily beaten", which I don't think will be true (they allowed teams to less points on a worse FG% than Dallas). The Spurs-Mavs game the other night was pretty close and DAL had to bring Dirk back into the game in the 4th to help seal the W, against a lineup of something like Parker, Temple, Jefferson, Bonner, Blair... The Spurs are not juggernauts, but my point is I don't think the Mavs are either.