Is Game 2 where Spurs-Mavs gets less weird?
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I said this earlier in the week, but Game 1 of Spurs-Mavs was weird. Only one Spur hit a 3-pointer (Manu Ginobili made three of them), Dirk Nowitzki scored 11 points in a playoff game against the Spurs, and Devin Harris went off. The Harris part wouldn’t be strange if this were 2006, but it was pretty odd considering his performance the last couple of seasons.
Overall, no one expected San Antonio and Dallas to get in a defensive struggle. The Spurs scored 109 points or more in each of their four regular season games against dallas and the Mavs scored more than 100 in three of those four. Will we see things get back to normal tonight?
If I had to bet on one thing changing tonight, it’d be the Spurs outside shooting improving. During the regular season, the Spurs averaged 21 3-point attempts per game and made 8.5 per game. Sunday, they took 17 shots and, again, Ginobili was responsible for all three of their makes. Take a look at all the blood their game shot chart:
That’s a lot of red brick the Spurs were building with. There’s no way that continues. Patty Mills missed all three of his pull-up 3-point attempts. During the season, Mills made just under half of those attempts per the NBA’s player tracking stats. Marco Belinelli missed both of his catch-and-shoot attempts Game 1, they type of which he made 46 percent of in the regular season.
Granted, the Mavs did a great job taking away some of those open looks, but that also meant the paint was wide open for guys like Tony Parker and Tim Duncan. Will Rick Carlisle keep that strategy for Game 2? Or will the Mavs try to clog the paint, which will mean more open looks for the perimeter guys? Either way, the 3-point shooting can’t go much farther south than it was during Game 1; expect a big jump in makes.
Plan for a more high scoring affair tonight. Whether it was the extra days off, the funky start time or a combination of things, Game 1 was an offensive mess for both teams. Dirk Nowitzki’s shots should fall with more regularity as well, there’s just no way a poor game from him is happening again. The Spurs will continue to hoist up 3-pointers and, in all likelihood, make more than three of them. Basically we should expect a normal looking Spurs-Mavs game.
Game 2 tips off from the AT&T Center at 7 p.m. and can be seen on Fox Sports Southwest or NBA TV. Anyone still looking for tickets to Game 2 should check out our friends over at TiqIQ.