No. 8 Dallas Mavericks (49-33)
No. 1 San Antonio Spurs (62-20)
2014 NBA playoffs preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Dallas Mavericks Season series:
- Game 1 in San Antonio: Sunday, April 20, 1 p.m. ET, TNT
- Game 2 in San Antonio: Wednesday, April 23, 8 p.m. ET, NBATV
- Game 3 in Dallas: Saturday, April 26, 4:30 p.m. ET, TNT
- Game 4 in Dallas: Monday, April 28, 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT
- Game 5 in San Antonio: Wednesday, April 30
- Game 6 in Dallas: Friday, May 2
- Game 7 in San Antonio: Sunday, May 4
Spurs swept 4-0. SPURS: MVP may not be Duncan or Parker MAVERICKS: Dirk's unwaivering influence Points per game (per 100 possessions):
Spurs 105.4, Mavericks 104.8 (Spurs 110.5, Mavericks 111.2). Points allowed per game (per 100 possessions):
Spurs 97.6, Mavericks 102.4 (Spurs 102.4, Mavericks 108.7). Matchups worth watching:
Spurs PF Tim Duncan vs. Mavericks PF Dirk Nowitzki, Spurs SF Kawhi Leonard vs. Mavericks G/F Vince Carter.
Scoring leaders: Spurs PG Tony Parker (16.7 points a game), Nowitzki (21.7). Why San Antonio will win:
The Spurs are the first team since the NBA/ABA merger without a player averaging 30 minutes a game, and only healthy, younger backup guards Marco Belinelli and Patty Mills topped 80 games played. Yet they were the best team in the NBA anyway. They have had no problems with their longtime rivals all season, and they appear ready for another Finals run. Why Dallas will win:
Nowitzki cannot be counted out, and Monta Ellis is a high-level talent who has put it all together this season. And if any coach can handle Gregg Popovich, it's the Mavs' Rick Carlisle. Did you know?
Duncan and Nowitzki, who have been in the same division (and state) and playing the same position since 1998, have played 26 playoff games, with Duncan leading the series 14-12. He holds the regular-season edge a little more comfortably, with a 31-21 split. Prediction:
Spurs in 5.