Hey guys, Jared here to discuss what I consider to be as key a game as can be seen in the NBA’s regular season. I am new here to the SportsFullCircle family and look forward to being able to discuss some of the latest NBA news and its significance.
No I am not talking about Lakers-Celtics, nor the exciting Sacramento Kings LA Clippers match up (that would be a poor attempt at humor). I’m talking Mavs-Spurs baby.
It’s funny how things work out, and I was just talking to Jon about this. There are six teams in the NBA; three in each conference, that stand above the rest. I’m talking about the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, and the newly revitalized Orlando Magic in the east (honorable mentions to Chicago and New York) and the Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, and Dallas Mavericks in the wild west (shot outs to Utah and Oklahoma City Thunder). The symmetry expands as there are also two pairs of state rivalries with the atmosphere of a college game.
The Spurs and Mavericks are Duke and UNC of the NBA. These teams hate each other, – like really hate each other. Whether it was the Josh Howard flagrant foul on Bruce Bowen a couple years ago, or Edwardo droppin’ flagrant fouls like crazy during last year’s playoffs – it is heated.
“I hate the Spurs. No, I mean I hate the Spurs. I have a hard time being civil to [Spurs owner] Peter Holt at the board of governors meetings and he has a hard time being civil to me even though we both like each other. It’s what it represents.” – Mark Cuban told the Huffington Post.
The point I am trying to make is this match up is huge. Keys to consider:
-Dirk Nowitzki will be inactive tonight due to the injury he sustained two games against OKC - Duncan is coming off a career low two points. Prepare for the Spurs to capitalize.
-Duncan may be tall for a Power Forward, but the 6’7 Blair is short for a Center. Be prepared for the 6’7 swing-man Shawn Marion to get the start in place of Dirk and guard Blair so that Defensive stopper Tyson Chandler can guard Duncan.
-Jason Terry has been much in the clutch lately – look for him to have the ball in the fourth quarter if the game is close for the Mavs.
-Tony Parker has thrown some amazing passes recently, look for this to spark either Jefferson or Ginobli who was obviously too tired to make shots of his own after doing a stellar job contesting Kobe.
-Watch the Spurs bench rotation among big men. Coach Popovich it will be interesting to see who he delegates backup minutes to between Bonner, McDyess and Splitter. Not all three will be able to log 15+ minutes against Dallas – I am predicting Bonner and Splitter, but I have been wrong before.
-Look for veteran play-maker Jason Kidd to feed swing-man Caron Butler in the first quarter.