It’s a Texas tiff in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs with Game 1 between the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs set on Sunday (Monday 3:00 am AEDT).
It’s Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki once again in the postseason as they relive their Texas rivalry to open their playoff campaign this season. Two of the top big men in the past decade or so, the veteran power forwards are still the unquestioned leaders for their respective squads.
Duncan’s Spurs have bested all in the 2013-2013 regular season running away with the league’s best record to gain homecourt advantage in all best-of-seven series they’ll play. Nowitzki’s Mavericks have done just enough to win a playoff seat—eighth seed in the tough Western Conference.
Duncan averages 15.1 points per game, 9.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots per game in his 16th season in the NBA. Nowitzki haven’t faltered too; the German logged in 21.7 PPG and 6.2 RPG in 80 games this year, his 15th in the league.
The Spurs are 6th in the league in scoring dropping 105.4 PPG a night led by Tony Parker’s 16.7 PPG. As with any constant in a Greg Popovich's squads, these Spurs share the ball with scoring from everywhere. Starting forward Kawhil Leonard averages 12.8 PPG while Manu Ginobili adds 12.3 PPG off the bench.
Two shooters can also light it up in any given night; Marco Belinelli (11.4 PPG) and Patty Mills (10.8) both average in double-figure scoring and are deadly threats from behind the arc.
Dallas' supporting cast can be as deadly as well. Monta Ellis averages 19.0 PPG and veteran Vince Carter 11.9 markers per outing. Two more veterans also average in double figures, Jose Calderon with 11.4 PPG and Shawn Marion with 10.4 PPG.
It was near domination for the Spurs versus the Mavericks during the regular season. San Antonio swept Dallas, 4-0 with margin of victories of 9, 22, 6 and 9 points.
Watch Game 1 of the Dallas-San Antonio series via NBA League Pass.