Re: San Antonio Spurs @ Dallas Mavericks Game Thread (Mavs lead series 1-0)
It really sucks that George Hill has to be fighting through an injury at this point, at the beginning of the playoffs, because the Spurs played their best basketball of the season when he was our starting point guard. The problem with that (which is similar to when Tony Parker was out) is that we have no reliable backup at the point guard spot. Obviously Garrett Temple would be the best option over Roger Mason, due to his absolutely horrendous play throughout the season. But even if Temple were to take Mason's minutes, he would not be a difference maker in any playoff game.
Mason has played so poorly, it makes me miss Michael Finley. It's hard to even take Manu Ginobili or Tony Parker out of the game at this point because it's hard to rely on Mason and Bogans (NBA veterans) to produce at all. Bogans has been inconsistent, but Mason has been totally absent, gone. It's as if someone possessed his body last season and left us only his untalented corpse. If he plays tonight he deserves no more than 10 minutes a game because his production is non-existent this year.
I don't even know what to say about Richard Jefferson. Is it a confidence issue, or is he just headed downhill, is it the Spurs' system? I don't know. But for a guy, who is expected to be a difference maker and a major scoring option on this team, to only take 4 shot attempts in a playoff game is outrageous. You scored 20 PPG last season, RJ. Did you leave your skill set in Milwaukee? Step it up.
Last thing, defense and rebounding. Nowitzki is our biggest problem. Clearly it's not an easy task to stop the guy, but we need to at least slow him down. Throw 2 bodies at him and make him work for his points. No more 86% shooting performances from him or we won't even contend in this series. We switch on the pick and rolls and a lot of the time we end up getting a guard or a smaller defender on him. We need to defend well, if he gets hot we need to resort to double teaming. Even if our defensive rotations have killed us this season, it's probably a better option than letting his go off on us the entire series. Rebounding, we need to crash the boards. Tim Duncan can't grab 20 boards a night and along the front line and even the bench we are relatively weak and undersized when it comes to rebounding. There was a point where Brendan Haywood was killing Blair with just offensive rebounds in Game 1. We need McDyess, Blair, Duncan, Bonner, RJ (any additional guard help) to produce consistently on the boards and limit second chance opportunities from a much bigger Dallas team.