The Margin: Tiago, DeJuan, Danny, Marco and jerseys
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We’re doing The Margin for each of the playoff games during the Spurs-Mavs first round series, and for those readers not familiar with this format, let me get you up to speed. Stolen blatantly from our friend Rob Mahoney, The Margin is a bullet point for each point in the difference in the final score.
- Tiago Splitter has been fantastic this series. He’s averaging nearly a double-double and has doubled his assist numbers from the regular season. He and Manu have been wizards working the two man game (like Harry and Hermione levels of magic). But most importantly, he’s played great defense on Dirk Nowitzki. He’s big enough and just mobile enough to cause problems for him and he doesn’t bite on the pump fakes. Best thing you can do to Dirk is crowd him and hope what you’re doing bothers him enough to make him uncomfortable. Hat tip to MySA’s Dan McCarney for finding this, but Dirk is shooting 34 percent from the field with Tiago on the floor and just a shade under 46 percent when he’s off.
- On NBA TV last night, former NBA Executive Vice President Stu Jackson said he thought the Spurs shooting guards were a real weakness for San Antonio right now. He obviously wasn’t talking about Manu Ginobili. Danny Green and Marco Belinelli have both been really bad. Right now Green is shooting 27 percent from the field and has a negative 26 plus/minus. So not only is his shot lost at the moment, he’s having trouble staying in front of the Mavs guards. Belinelli’s shooting numbers have been better, but his problem is he’s struggling to get his shot off. Right now, he’s only averaging 3.8 shots per game. During the regular season, he averaged 8.7 attempts per game. Credit goes to the Mavs for staying committed to staying close to the Spurs shooters, but these guys have to figure out a way to get themselves loose.
- I didn’t think DeJuan Blair’s kick to Tiago Splitter was intentional and I don’t think he should be suspended for Game 5. I do think he should’ve been ejected. Intentional or no, you can’t get a guy in the head like that and have there be no consequences.
- Seriously, what happened to the Mavs’ green alternate jerseys? Do they ever wear them anymore? I’d buy one of those and I don’t even like the Mavs. Would find it really odd if Mark Cuban doesn’t like the color green since, you know, it’s the color of money. Can we get a Kickstarter fund going for this? A petition? While we’re here, I think we need to see the Spurs in their grey alternates. Those worked great last year.