End of Regular Season Showdown (aka Game Preview #82): San Antonio Spurs @ Dallas Mavericks

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Rim Rockin' Red Rocket!

Okay, I've done 13 straight previews and y'all are probably sick and tired of reading about my mega-expert opinions (also known as "utter bullsh*t"), so I'll keep this one simple and straightforward. Actually, this is just a lame excuse for not finishing something I had intended to do for this preview. Maybe I'll do it for the playoffs if I finish it, who knows?

Good news is, some of the PtR staff will be back to making previews for the playoffs (umm... right, guys?) and I will now rightfully fade into obscurity, sit back and play whack-a-mole while watching Roger Mason, Jr. build another house of bricks.

After the jump, talk about all the issues concerning this game and the playoffs. Break down matchups, how badly you want or don't want to face Dallas in the first round, how important or unimportant this game is to the Spurs, or if David Stern has this playoffs thing already rigged to give us a Kobe-LeBron final. It's a free-for-all, folks. Hit the "Continue reading this post" link already, will ya?

Here's your motivational photo for this regular season finale:

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In the immortal words of Randy "Macho Man" Savage: Oooohh yyyyyeaaaah!!!

And if this game suddenly turns ugly in the other team's favor, here's a table that might help our PtRers who resort to "coping mechanisms" whenever things go bad.

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Let's move.

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San Antonio Spurs @ Dallas Mavericks
Where: American Airlines Arena - Dallas, TX
When: April 13, 2010; 7:00 PM Spurs time
Watch: FSN Southwest (San Antonio); KTXA (Dallas)


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How They Stack Up
29-12 Home 27-13
21-19 Road 27-14
101.5
Offense 102.1
96.3 Defense 99.4
47.4 FG% 46.5
36.2
3-pt% 37.2
74.1
FT% 81.8
42.7
Rebounds 41.6
13.0
TOs 12.4
7-3 Last 10 7-3
Won 2
Streak Won 4
2nd, Southwest Position 1st, Southwest

Country/Time Zone Game Time
Argentina 9:00 PM
West Coast
5:00 PM
Philippines 8:00 AM
Central Europe 2:00 AM
Palestine/Egypt 3:00 AM
East Coast 8:00 PM
Mountains
6:00 PM
Perth, AUS 8:00 AM
Tokyo, JP 9:00 AM
Sydney, AUS 10:00 AM

Spurs
(50-31)
Matchups

Mavericks
(54-27)

George Hill
Flight of the Albatross

Point Guard

While there's a slight chance Pop can start Tony to exploit the matchup, I think he'll still go with what worked for the team during our late season magical run and start Hill. We'll see if George is really back now that he's going up against a slow but very savvy, future HOF PG in Jason Kidd.

The ageless Kidd has been able to harness a very loaded Mavs offense, and has killed us in losses with his dagger threes. Memo to Spurs coaching staff: this old man can really shoot now, so don't leave him open.

Advantage: Dallas


Jason Kidd
Can Now Shoot Threes

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Manu Ginobili
Fire

Shooting Guard

Dallas may have found a gem in Roddy Beaubois, a guard with Tony Parkeresque speed and is a pretty streaky shooter who can really hurt teams when he's on.

But oh, hey! Look who's on our side. It's Manu Ginobili! I'm sure The Sickness is dying to make himself known again to the Mavs. No doubt, revenge is on this man's mind.

Advantage: Spurs


Rodrigue Beaubois
French Fry

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Richard Jefferson
Might Opt Out

Small Forward

If we talked about this preview maybe 30 games ago I wouldn't even bother defending RJ. Now? I'll have to give credit where credit is due. RJ's recent play has also gotten him out of a lot of fans' negative FARS ratings, and I trust that he will be a factor in tonight's game.

Caron Butler was held out the last game due to a minor injury (Shawn Marion got the start instead), but don't be surprised if he plays tonight. He's a competitor but at the very least, he and RJ can cancel out each other.

Advantage: Tied


Caron Butler
Tough Juice

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Tim Duncan
GPFOAT

Power Forward

Yes, there's a white box around Dirk's ugly mugshot. As dominant as Timmy has been this year, Dirk's been close. And he always kills us, no matter who guards him. It's only fair to call the battle between two of the best big men in the game a tie. Even if Timmy's been a little bit better.

Advantage: Tied


Dirk Nowitzki
German Gatling Gun

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Antonio McDyess
SAM

Center

Dice got a good day's rest during the Minnesota game, so expect him to be active and hustling for rebounds and loose balls. Count on him to provide solid minutes.

Brendan Haywood was supposed to improve the Mavs' defense, but after the 13-game winning streak, Dallas has sort of returned to their shot-happy ways. No doubt, Haywood playing well on defense can be a good indicator if the Mavs have a shot at winning an intensely contested game.

Advantage: Dallas


Brendan Haywood
Nice Pickup

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Matt Bonner
Hoagie Hammer

Bench & Role Players

While Tony's now part of the BAM, Bonner's been fokkin' awesome and RoMaJu seems to be rediscovering his touch, it's hard to argue against the firepower of the Mavs bench. Shawn Marion is a former All-Star, Jason Terry is a dirty player who can get hot from outside, JJ Barea is average but always gives the Spurs fits, and DeShawn Stevenson represents everything I hate in a player. They're good on one side of the ball but defensively? The BAM might make a difference there.

Advantage: Dallas


Jsaon Terry
Nut Puncher

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Gregg Popovich
4 Rings

Coach

Carlisle is a good coach and deserves credit for steering a loaded Mavs team to the Southwest title. But if CIA Pop is still smarting after last season's playoffs beating, he just might pull some unexpected tricks in the bag to pull out the win.

Advantage: Spurs


Rick Carlisle
Zero Rings
images via yahoo.com

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Other Factors

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Intangibles

You can pretty much throw all stats and assumptions aside for this game. Both teams are going to be ready, and brining the intensity.

Advantage: Tied

Mojo

Maybe I'll reconsider if we beat the Mavs.

Advantage: None

Winner:

Spurs win a possible game for the ages. Or possibly a stinker if both teams decide to rest their stars. But my mom said I should always go with epic, so I'm expecting another barn-burner.

Keys To The Game

  • Intensity - Dallas is going to bring it. We need to match it. A lot is at stake in this game, and hell, it's not even the playoffs yet!
  • Defense - It will save us if and when the offense conks out for stretches.

Strength of Schedule

Last game of the regular season for both teams. After this, get ready for the playoffs, suckaaaaaas!

Last Time They Met

Oh noes, the last one went bad. After leading in the first three quarters, we let the Mavs offense explode for 42 points in the fourth, resulting in a 103-112 loss. That game was waaaay back in January 8, and it might be safe to say that it's a different Spurs team now. I think we're ready to win this.

Some Other Reading

Mavericks

Mavs Moneyball - The SBNation home of the Mavericks. They played nice with us last year during the playoffs, so go say hi.
The Two Man Game - The TrueHoop blog for Dallas. 48MoH quotes and links them pretty often, so it can't be all that bad. Some good analysis can be found here.

Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell: The best TrueHoop team blog is now even better, after adding two new writers. Congrats to Jesse and Andrew, who are already doing good work.
Project Spurs: Check out their regular podcasts. I think they love Manu as much as we do, if that's possible.

Where to Tune In

TV

This game will be aired on FSN SW in SA, and KTXA in the metroplex. If you have cable or satellite, you'll have to look up your individual channel. And of course, there's always League Pass for the haves. For the have nots, read on.

Online

As always, NBA League Pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Most Spurs games will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area.

Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate. In fact, nobody can stop you from googling "atdhe". You can also shoot an email to poundingtherockmail@yahoo.com for more assistance.

NBA League Pass audio is still free this year, so check it out.

Radio

If you're in the San Antonio area and aren't near a TV, tune in to WOAI (1200 AM).

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