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Game 7 Preview: Dallas Mavericks @ San Antonio Spurs

This series wasn't supposed to go to a Game 7, but that's exactly where the Mavs took it. The Spurs look to take the series and move on to the Western Conference Semis.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks @ San Antonio Spurs

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
May 4, 2014, 2:30 PM Spurs Time

This series was never supposed to go to a Game 7. All the predictions across the major sports networks predicted the Spurs were going to have wrapped this up by the fifth game, sixth at the latest. Dirk was expected to tilt one game in the Mavericks' favor, but by all other accounts, San Antonio had already shown they were the better team in the regular season and should've moved on swimmingly.

Whatever was supposed to happen didn't, though, and so here we are prepping for a seventh and final game of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. It sucks a little bit.

Let's get the whole "respect" thing out of the way. The Mavs gained respect from basketball fans all over the country in this series by stumping the Spurs on the defensive end in Game 1, hitting big buckets at important times in Games 2 and 3, and simply making life hard for San Antonio. Rick Carlisle has been the most impressive Maverick of them all. The Dallas coach has been brilliant against the best team in the NBA and quite possibly has outcoached the reigning NBA Coach of the Year. All of these events were completely unexpected. All of this weird "respect" I feel for the Mavs and the way they played our San Antonio Spurs was unexpected. I would even bet the fact this upcoming seventh game is actually happening is unexpected for all basketball fans in Dallas. The Mavericks have undeniably done an amazing job against San Antonio. They deserve all the accolades they're getting in this series.

But while the respect that has unexpectedly grown in the Mavericks camp is nice and all that, it doesn't change the truth that has existed all season long. The truth is that the San Antonio Spurs are the best team in the NBA this season. One obvious way to prove this is their 62-20 record, but it isn't the only glimmer of excellence we can point to in order to understand this. We can look at the crazy number of assists they were able to produce. We can go back and watch their offense screen, cut, and find the open man on play after play. We can relive how the bench boldly stepped up during the time of the "various maladies" that wiped out most of the team.

The truth is the Spurs are the better team. Respect goes a long way in this world, but can ultimately only be restrained by truth. The respect for the Mavericks is something that was only created recently whereas the truth has been with the Spurs for years. I am wholeheartedly confident in San Antonio winning this Game 7, but only wish it would have come sooner.

This isn't supposed to be last game of the season. But then again, whatever was supposed to happen didn't.

Matchup to watch: I have been loving me some Tiago Splitter this series. He was my player to watch last game, and I felt he earned himself another honor for Game 7. I have been so impressed, not only with what Splitter was able to do on the defensive end, but with how crafty and confident he's been on offense. I can't remember him ever throwing down dunks in this many consecutive games before, which shows he's learning to find his superpowers right before our eyes. Dirk was able to hit some big shots last game, but the Mavs ultimately need more than what he could put out. As long as Splitter is able to hold Dirk from taking over Game 7, and thus the series, he will be the first round MVP for me.

Game 7, Western Conference Quarterfinals, 2014 NBA Playoffs
Regular Season: 49-33 (23-18 road)
Playoffs: 3-3 (1-2 road)

Regular Season: 62-20 (32-9 home)
Playoffs: 3-3 (2-1 home)
May 4, 2014
AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
2:30 pm CST
TV: ABC/FSSW - Radio: 1200 WOAI
Jose Calderon PG Tony Parker
Monta Ellis SG Danny Green
Shawn Marion SF Kawhi Leonard
Dirk Nowitzki PF Tim Duncan
Samuel Dalembert C Tiago Splitter
Advanced Stats
93.5 (16th) Pace 95.0 (10th)
111.2 (3rd) ORtg 110.5 (7th)
108.7 (22nd) DRtg 102.4 (3rd)

The perspective of Mavs fans can be found here: Mavs Moneyball

Game Prediction: Spurs by 4.

Line in Vegas: Spurs by 6.

As always Tony must dominate Fisher, and you can get your San Antonio Spurs tickets from Daniel Farias with Spurs Sports & Entertainment:

Tel: 210-444-5607 |