(8) Dallas Mavericks (0-0) at (1) San Antonio Spurs (0-0), 1 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - For the sixth time since 2001, the San Antonio Spurs and
Dallas Mavericks will square off in the playoffs, starting Sunday afternoon at
the AT&T Center.
For the 17th consecutive season, the Spurs will be in the postseason.
For the seventh time since 1997, the Spurs finished with the best record in
the Western Conference. The Big Three of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu
Ginobili returned intact and key contributors did exactly what Spurs' role
players do - they played sensationally.
Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter, Patty Mills, Boris Diaw and,
especially newcomer Marco Belinelli, played brilliantly for stretches this
Popovich is a master of resting his players as the season progresses and San
Antonio heads to the postseason in good health.
"We had an unbelievable regular season, we put ourselves in a great situation
to be No. 1 overall," said Ginobili. "We're going for it, like every year."
If there was ever a season the Spurs could've folded, this would've been the
one. Their longevity is stunning, but this season could've very easily been a
championship defense until Ray Allen stuck a dagger in the Spurs' hearts.
Miami's Allen made a crazy 3-pointer to tie Game 6 of the NBA Finals, a game
the Heat went on to win. Miami took Game 7 to win back-to-back titles, but the
inevitability of a San Antonio win in Game 6 was so clear, tape was being put
up around the floor in Miami to prepare for San Antonio's celebration.
"What does impress me about the group is that they've gotten themselves in
this position after a devastating loss in the Finals last year," Spurs head
coach Gregg Popovich said earlier in the week. "I thought they were pretty
amazing after Game 6 to play as hard as they did in Game 7, when I think a lot
of teams would have just given in. Beyond that, they came back, put it aside
and have done what they've done. I think that's pretty impressive. I don't
think a lot of people have picked up on that but I have and I'm really
impressed with them."
The Mavericks are back in the playoffs after a one-year absence, meaning
Dallas has been in the postseason 13 of the last 14 years. They earned the
eighth seed after a gritty overtime loss on Wednesday to the Grizzlies in
"Yeah, we'll be OK," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said immediately after the
loss in Memphis. "I feel good about our team. I really do. And (Wednesday
night) is a great indication of the fight we have in us. We're going to take
that fight to San Antonio."
The Spurs have won nine straight against their Texas rivals, including a four-
game sweep this season, but that doesn't mean Dallas doesn't know what it
takes to beat San Antonio.
"What you've got to do against San Antonio is you've got to be a little
smarter than we were in the last couple of outings," said Mavericks forward
Dirk Nowitzki. "We feel like one little, two little mistakes and boom, it's a
three. A brutal missed boxout, pass out and three. Against that team you've
got to be smart, you've got to execute perfectly and we've got to shoot the
Nowitzki made yet another All-Star team with averages of 21.7 ppg and 6.2 rpg.
He shot 90 percent from the foul line, almost 50 percent from the field and
just about 40 percent from long range.
Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon joined the Mavs in the offseason and formed a
very strong backcourt. They combined to average 30.4 ppg and 10.4 apg.
04/20 10:24:34 ET
Powered by The Sports Network.
Daytime at Nine
Home Town Experts
Terms and Conditions
Contact Fox San Antonio
EEO Public File Report
FCC Public File
Sinclair Digital Solutions
KABB Fox News 29 San Antonio provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, investigations, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for San Antonio and nearby towns and communities in South Central Texas, including Bandera, Boerne, Carrizo Springs, Castroville, Cibolo, Converse, Crystal City, Cuero, Del Rio, Devine, Eagle Pass, Floresville, Fredericksburg, Goliad, Helotes, Hondo, Kerrville, Live Oak, New Braunfels, Pearsall, Pleasanton, Poteet, Poth, Sabinal, San Marcos, Seguin, Schertz, Somerset, Universal City, Uvalde, Windcrest.