Coming off Game 1’s devastating 90-85 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, the Dallas Mavericks look to shake off the frustration and even the series with a win tonight in Game 2.
The Game at Hand:
The Spurs are feeling good after winning Game 1, despite shooting a embarrasing 17% from the 3-point line. Father Time hasn’t approached star forward Tim Duncan yet, who fininshed Game 1 with 27 points on 60% shooting (12 for 20) from the field. The Spurs always had help from 6th man Manu Ginobili. Starting guard Danny Green scored zero points in 23 minutes. Ginobili carried the load at the guard position scoring 17 points off the bench.
Dallas battled hard in Game 1 against powerhouse San Antonio. The Mavs shot 41% from the field and outscored the Spurs 46 to 23 in bench contribution. It wasn’t enough to get the victory. The inability to contain Tony Parker in the first half coupled with a severe scoring drought to end the game led to the Mavs’ downfall.
For those who care, tonight’s officials are Danny Crawford, Michael Smith and Derrick Stafford.
— Bryan Gutierrez (@BallinWithBryan) April 23, 2014
Wacky Stat: From 2001 to 2011, the Mavs had a 2-16 playoff record when Danny Crawford officiated the game.
Keys to the Game:
1. Forget Game 1; Focus on Game 2:
It’s very hard for a team to come back down 0-2 in a playoff series. Since 2002, the Mavs have lost 5 playoffs series when the series is 0-2. The Mavericks have to not worry about what happened in Game 1, focus on just winning Game 2.
2. Start Strong; Finish Strong:
The game of basketball is all about runs and momentum. From the tipoff of Game 1, the Mavs started the game with an unacceptable first quarter. That all changed with a much better second quarter, outscoing the Spurs 32-22. After halftime, the Spurs outplayed the Mavs when it mattered. Dallas has to start off on a good note in Game 2, penetrating to the basket and not settling for jump shots. Also, the Mavs have to come out in the second half looking to finish and close out with the win.
3. Play Defense:
Asking the Mavericks to play defense is easier said than done. But credit goes to the team for holding the Spurs under 20% shooting from behind the 3-point line. The Mavs have to carry that effort of perimeter defense in Game 2 tonight.
Devin Harris can really be the backbone of the Mavs’ bench. He had 19 points and 5 assists in Game 1, putting pressure on the Spurs’ defense. Harris came in the game and gave the Mavericks some life at the point guard position when Jose Calderon had a cold shooting first quarter performance. Expect Rick Carlisle to give Devin some big minutes tonight to match up with Spurs’ veteran guard Tony Parker.
Devin Harris on Tony Parker: “When I was here before, he was happy to see me go. I’m looking forward to just matching up with him again.”
— Earl K. Sneed (@EarlKSneed) April 22, 2014
When and Where:
Tip-off is in San Antonio, Texas at AT&T Center and will start at 7:00 PM CST. It will be nationally televised on NBATV, locally on TXA 21.
Photo courtesy of EFE/EPA/ASHLEY LANDIS CORBIS OUT
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