Pre-Game Reading: Spurs-Mavs, 3/4/09

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The Spurs and the Mavs play this evening in Dallas for the fourth and final time this season. The Spurs currently lead the season series 2-1, with our only loss coming at home during our early season malaise. I don’t have a ton to say about this game other than in all likelihood it will occur, and will do so without the presence of either Pops Mensah-Bonsu or Drew Gooden. But, over the course of this season, both my good friend Rob Mahoney and I have had a fair amount to say about this match-up. So instead of forcing some rehearsed drivel down your throat, I’ll leave you with some light reading to do before the game.

The Two Man Game:

No Game is an Island: Let’s Try This One More Time

No Game is an Island: The Long and Winding Road

San Antonio Spurs 93, Dallas Mavericks 76

48 Minutes of Hell:

Match-Up of the Night: Nowitzki vs. Duncan

The Notebook: Anatomy of an Overtime

Reflections on a Rival: The Dallas Mavericks

The Notebook: Spurs-Mavericks, 2/24/09

  • Mason

    Pretty frustrating game. I’m sitting in my chair thinking to myself they need to put pressure on the ball and not double team. They put no pressure on the ball and let Kidd walk up the court. They double team letting Josh Howard get an easy layup and double team again letting Kidd shoot an uncontested three.

    And I’ll say it again for the tenth time, dumping the ball into Tim every trip down doesn’t work like it use to, as seen during the 3rd quarter.

    Mason hit a clutch three, too bad Finley played his spot the majority of the fourth quarter.

  • Nico

    Mason,

    You are not lying, throwing it to Duncan just doesn’t work like it used to. Part of me hopes this is just because of Duncan’s injuries and not a factor of his decline, but since both are correlating they seem to work really well for opposing ballclubs.

    Mavs haven’t controlled the tempo against us that well since 2006.

    Gooden, your ass better bring the D.

  • GMT

    No offense Nico, but I’m really getting tired about people mentioning Duncan’s decline. His numbers are on the upswing this season, and even though he struggled in this game, he still got his double-double.

    Who’s to say that Duncan won’t continue to be the constant that he is, or possibly have something of a resurgence season when he’s 37 like Shaq is now?

    The real problem in this game was the lack of pressure, as Mason said. I think Pop relied on Finley too much here, as he was his usual streaky self and only hit 2-8 tonight. I wanted to see Hairston and Oberto get more minutes and a couple shot attempts and a little less Thomas and Bowen/no Udoka.

    I also didn’t like seeing Tony take those couple of 3 balls at the end. He really needs to improve it first if he’s going to do that in-game.

  • ChillFAN

    Great comments, but I saw a pretty inspired game by the Mavs, tonight, they wanted this more than, say, Finley did. They needed this win.

    Mason, I hate to admit it, but Duncan really doesn’t “punish teams that don’t double him” like he used to. However, he had good stretches and got lots of calls against the Mavs. For better or worse, our jump shooters depend on him getting it going first. There are no plays for Bonner and Finley for a reason. BTW we needed more from the Rocket tonight.

    GMT, Tony had some key baskets at the end to pull us close. No credit there, he he?

    Nico, excellent points. Mavs dictated the tempo, Kidd played a great game steals/rebounds/3s.

    Coach Pop has been silent on the Drew Gooden signing because its even more of a non-story than Pops Mensah Bonsu getting 45 points and 68 rebounds against the Odessa Jackalopes.
    (I mean as far as the 09 playoffs are concerned, Sheesh.)

    What a healthy Gooden can contribute, Tim getting blocked by Dampier, a loss to the Mavs… none of that matters as much as a healthy Manu.

  • Nico

    What really made me mention Duncan’s decline was that play in the third quarter where Tim missed a layup that really should have been a dunk. He was too close to the basket not to throw it down. I know that’s not his style, but that shot has the highest FG% in the league. Duncan’s IQ is high enough to stay in the game longer than most, but I still don’t see the TD of old coming out of the locker room. Sure he’s still in the top 10 MVP selection, but we know his true value is his ability to take over games, which we didn’t see tonight. We’ve also won a few games without TD… so, I think any rational fan has to question the offense running through TD.

    Sticking with Finley was a poor decision, but I have to think that Pop knows how much Finley loves to stick it to the Mavs. Only thing was Finley wasn’t very sticky.

  • ChillFAN

    Finley has been an utter dissapointment for fans whenever the Spurs and Mavericks get together for what, 12 years in a row? Why stop now.