Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Reason We Live, Round One -- Before Game 1

Wow! Haven't done this in a while. Sorry guys; with nailing down a new day job and trying to reorganize my life, I've been hellacious busy.

So it's the Mavericks versus the Spurs in Round One. Again.

Who's favored depends on who you talk to. The usual suspects in the Dallas sporting media machine are optimistic about the Mavs' chances -- the consensus seems to be Mavs in six or seven. On the national stage, things are a mite murkier. In spite of being the higher seed, in spite of Tim Duncan simply not being the player he once was, in spite of Tony Parker's newly healed hand-- the series has more buts than an ashtray at a bowling alley.


The logical part -- the one that doesn't howl every year that the Mavericks are clearly the greatest basketball machine in the history of eternity -- is apprehensive. True, the Mavericks have upgraded significantly, but this is San Antonio. Both teams have gone through prolonged periods of waiting for their real lives to begin this year and both have lost games because of it. Because San Antonio has titles, because they're coached by one of the best, and because Tim Duncan still has a pulse, they're getting more of the benefit of the doubt. A lot of the folk outside the region simply do not believe the Mavericks are as good as their record.

I'll buy that as a line of reasoning.

I just don't see it unfolding that way. The Spurs have Ginobli back and that's not a small thing. Their rookie's decent, which will help if Parker has to have his minutes managed (in a way, having to sit out a few weeks was probably a good thing, because he was also dealing with plantar fasciitis and only time heals that). The Mavericks, to a certain degree, have to contain them both. San Antonio really doesn't have one guy they can stick on Dirk and last year he made them pay for double-teaming. It'd be intriguing to see if Coach puts in Rodrigue but JJ's been here before and performed brilliantly.

Neither team is really scared of the other and they both think they can go deep in the postseason if opportunity presents. Nobody has a reason to do anything other than bring it each and every second. I think as a series it's going to be a lot like the game at the AAC back in November. Prepare to have your heart torn out and pray to your god the Mavs can pick it up and put it back again. Mavs in seven.

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