Blair is going to be smilig all the way to the next round and beyond if Popovich doesn't make some adjustments.
"Blair came off the bench with effective minutes. His energy and hard-nosed rebounding helped open the game up as the Mavericks went up by 15 points in the second quarter.
The Spurs would cut the margin to five by halftime, but the Mavericks ran away in the second half, going up 99-76 with 8:39 to go when Vince Carter got loose for a dunk.
“We had that persistence that you need to have and you need to have it because you’re going to get hit with things that are going to challenge your emotional strength,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “I felt our ability to have emotional strength was a key. In the playoffs, it’s so emotional and there’s so much going on that when you win, it feels like you’re never going to lose and when you lose, you feel like you’re never going to win again. And so you got to avoid getting into those highs and lows and tonight we did a good job of it.”
And handling the physical nature of the Spurs was critical.
The Mavericks forced 24 turnovers and outrebounded the Spurs, 36-32.
Basically, they played with a manly attitude.
“Blair helped us in that area,” Carlisle said. “I thought Marion played a phenomenal game all-around, offense, defense, rebounding. He was terrific.
“As far as the physical nature, NBA playoff games are physical. If you don’t have the right kind of posture and disposition, you’re going to get knocked back on your heels and your butt. So then we did a better job of hitting first in some of those instances. But we got a long way to go and a lot of work to do.”
Blair had a key defensive play late in the third quarter when he pilfered the ball from Manu Ginobili – the Spurs lone strong offensive threat all night – and took off on a one-man fast break that made it 86-70.
And so, the Mavericks proved that Game 1, when they built a 10-point lead only to lose it in the final 7:30 of the game, was no fluke." Shawn Marion, DeJuan Blair get physical, help Mavericks even series with 113-92 win | Dallas Morning News