In the final game of the regular season, the Dallas Mavericks defeated the San Antonio Spurs 96-89, sealing both teams’ fate in the 2010 NBA Playoffs. Although it could be considered a precursor to the upcoming series, the Spurs almost beat the Mavericks despite keeping stars Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobli out of the game.
Dallas Mavericks 2010 NBA Playoffs Preview
The Dallas Mavericks have had a very up-and-down second half to the 2010 NBA season. After a mid-season trade to acquire Brendan Haywood and Caron Butler, the Mavericks ran off a thirteen-game winning streak. After this run, the Mavericks are 10-6, including blowout losses to the New York Knicks and New Orleans Hornets.
The addition of Haywood and Butler certainly invigorated a Mavericks team that was struggling to string together wins. Still, it’s Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd who have to play well for Dallas to have a chance of making it deep into the playoffs. An off-night from Haywood will not have as big of an impact on the Mavs as an off-night from Nowitzki. Nowitzki will also have his hands full facing off against Duncan and the Spurs in the first round.
San Antonio Spurs 2010 NBA Playoffs Preview
The San Antonio Spurs are playing their best basketball of the season. Manu Ginobli is heating up, Tony Parker is back from a hand injury, and Tim Duncan has still been efficient despite seeing reduced minutes from a year ago. Young guard George Hill played well in Parker’s absence and should continue producing from a backup role.
The X factor for the Spurs, however, is the fact that, outside of maybe the Los Angeles Lakers, the Spurs are the most experienced team in the Western Conference. Duncan has won four NBA Championships. Parker and Ginobli have won three NBA Championships. Richard Jefferson has extensive playoff experience from his days with the New Jersey Nets.
The one thing that could stall the Spurs is their age and injury history. All of their main contributors have recent injury problems, and players like Duncan and Ginobli are old enough that they require more time to recover when they do suffer an injury. If anyone on the Spurs goes down with an injury, it would be a quick exit for San Antonio from the 2010 NBA Playoffs.
Mavericks vs. Spurs Conclusion
Which Dallas team is going to show up in the first round of the 2010 NBA Playoffs? Will it be the team that ran off a thirteen game winning streak (albeit only one of those wins was by more than 10 points)? Will it be the team that suffered an embarrassing 34 point loss to a very poor Knicks team?
The match up problems presented by the Spurs, coupled with the Mavericks’ fall to earth following their thirteen game win streak, could lead to a first round upset by the seven seed Spurs.
2010 NBA Playoffs Prediction: Spurs defeat Mavericks, 4-3
All statistics retrieved from ESPN.com