Sunday Recap (May 7)
SPURS/MAVS (Game 1): Spurs 87- Mavs 85
- The Mavs really let a golden opportunity slip thru their fingers. They had the Spurs on short rest, they were leading most of the game until the early stages of 4th, and they played very good defense that nearly matched the Spurs' effort. This could have been their best chance at the one road victory they need to win this series.
- Both teams played very good on the defensive end, especially in the 2nd half (Dallas shot 41.6% for the game vs. the Spurs' 41.3%). But the Spurs were just a little bit better in the final stanza. They were actually superb in the 4th--they held the Mavs to 15 points & did a tremendous job on Dirk. Granted, Bowen was a big part of the defense, I thought the help of the rest of the Spurs was awesome--especially Duncan. I have to admit that I thought Bowen was mauling DIrk on a lot plays, it seems Avery thinks so as well. It will be intriguing how the refs call this matchup the rest of series.
- Duncan was an absolute force on both ends of the floor. He was putting on a low post clinic that Pete Newell could have not done better. I thought he was going to personally foul-out the whole Dallas frontline in the 1st half. Also on defense, he was helping out very well, especially on Dirk. I thought one of the plays that stood out the most in Game 1, was when Timmy came flying in from out of the picture to snatch a big rebound away from Dirk after he missed a lay-in with about a minute remaining in the game. He just seemed to have no problems with his mobility or aggressiveness all game, plantar fascism or no plantar fascism. I am not a big fan of fascism anyways.
- Ginobili had a real uneven game--he had some bad turnovers (4 total), & some crazy shots attempted, but he also made some tough floaters & some big defensive plays--he totally blew up the final play & had 4 steals overall. He needs to be a little bit more under control on offense.
- The Mavs have to be kicking themselves a little today because they did the little things to compete with the Spurs--they outrebounded them 47-40, with 13 off. boards, held the Spurs to 3 for 13 from 3 pt. land & 41.3% overall from the floor. They shot the ball very well in the 1st half, especially Stackhouse. I think they will probably double Duncan a little more often, who just absolutely murdered their single-teaming. I think they will see if the Spurs' perimeter players can hit their shots a little more, they did a pretty good job at making Parker a jumpshooter and Manu's forays to the basket rough.
PISTONS/CAVS (Game 1): Pistons 113-Cavs 86
- The Pistons look like they want this series over quickly. I know the Cavs had to turnaround from a road game on Friday night, but that had very little bearing on this game and this series. The Pistons just need to stay semi-interested on the defensive end, something they failed to do in Milwaukee, for the series to be a breeze. Especially if they are going to hit 15 out of 22 from 3pt land--something that was not in their arsenal last year offensively (You know with Larry Brown being all anal-retentive about 3 pointers ruining the game or something to that effect).
- The Cavs might still be recovering from the collective shock to their system from the jarring difference in defensive ability between the Wizards & Detroit. No longer were the gaping driving lanes to the basket anywhere to be found--the Pistons did a great job collapsing into the paint, the help rotations were a thing of beauty (Cavs shot 41.5%). It looks like Detroit is not going to double Lebron and are content with letting him be a jumpshooter. Smart move. The only time you might see doubles is when he posts up.
- I like how Mike Brown was trying to get Ilgauskas involved early. Big Z was not bad--14 pts. on 14 attempts--but the rest of the Cavs' supporting cast did not show up: Varejao was the only other guy in double figures (11 pts.) besides Big Z & Bron. The bright spot for the Cavs is they did record 16 offensive rebs & 44 points in the paint.