Originally Posted by MavsFFL
Bowen is awesome. He single-handedly won the third regular-season matchup between these two teams (first game in S.A.) with his smothering, irritating, grabbing (w/o being caught), biting, kicking, etc. Sometimes I think Artest is better on defense, but, whatever -- there's no question that the two of them are in a class by themselves as perimeter defenders and third place (whoever that is -- Tayshaun maybe?) is not close.
Spurs deserved the win yesterday, and I shook my head and smiled as Timmy killed my Mavs in the first half with his brilliance. I love great basketball, on both the individual and team levels, and the Spurs still make me admire them as they rip out my heart.
Having said all of that, I believe we're in for a long ride in this series. I also believe Dirk will get the better of Bruce, Horry, Tim, and whoever else you throw at him in several of these games. Yeah, he sounded like a puss in the post-game press conference, but you've got to know Dirk to know that doesn't mean he lacks confidence. Unlike other NBA players, who will rarely give their opponents credit, Dirk routinely does. He learned that from Nellie, who constantly told the press that his opponents were better than his team, whether it was true or not. Personally, I prefer the approach of saying "I'm better than you and you got lucky," because I think saying out loud that the other team (or individual defender, in this case) is awesome brings you that much closer to being psyched out by them. But I don't believe Dirk is or will be psyched out. Don't expect to see much of him on the low block (where all of the experts -- on this board and elsewhere) seem to want him to go. He makes the occasional foray there, but he's still not comfortable with it. You will see that from him in future years. But, he'll play with his back to the basket at the elbow all night long, and juke and jive until Brucie (or whomever) gets up in the air or shifts their weight enough for Dirk to find daylight for the jumper, draw the foul, or drive to the hoop. He'll get pounded and he'll flail. He'll whine to the refs. He'll miss some jumpers. And he will also take many opportunities to rip out the hearts of the Spurs fans like Timmy did to us yesterday.
Congrats to the Spurs for a well-deserved victory under very tough circumstances yesterday. Friends, we've got ourselves a series.