Originally Posted by ro_50
Josh Howard is a matchup nigthmare for the Spurs, he is a younger version to me of Shawn Marion, just fills up the stat sheet. I saw him play a lot in Wake Forest and knew he was going to be special in the league. A good kid that works hard.
I've always called Josh Rod-Pippen because he plays like a mixture of the two. He's got the Pippen perimeter/attack game and the tenacious mindset on the boards and on defense like Rodman. He's even got the Rodman attitude. He just needs to get his basketball head about him and he'll be the #2 star that Dallas needs.
It was embarrassing for a defending champ to play w/ no urgency or no heart. They looked lost out there and the Mavs made them look like a JV team. They were beating them to the boards and I swear if that the Spurs are the worst defensive rebounding team in the playoffs right now. They allow so many offensive boards it has to be driving Pop crazy.
If the Spurs dont match the Mavs energy, this is going to a hell of a series for the Spurs.
Dallas is starting to exploit the Spurs' commitment to force the ball away from Dirk. Dallas' strength all season was their efficient offense. The story of this series is not about Dallas' defense, Duncan scoring, or Dirk Nowitzki scoring points. It's about Dallas offensive efficiency and whether or not the Spurs defense will make it inefficient. The Spurs eeked out a game 1 victory by making things very difficult for Dallas in the last 4-5 minutes. Dallas didnt execute well, and ultimately lost the game because they couldnt execute on the Spurs' defense on the last play. It's a classic battle: great half court defense vs. great half court offense.
The Spurs collective age has shown in this series. You mentioned energy, and I think that what we are really talking about is the Mavs' youngsters making their way against the Spurs' veterans. Ginobili looks old and beat up. Finley looks old. Van Exel is old. Barry is old. Bowen is old. Duncan's old. On the converse, Dallas' key contributors are all young in comparison (exept for Stack). Dallas should have the physical edge in a long series.
I think that SA is asking an awful lot of Duncan right now. They are asking him to dominate offensively, dominate the glass against a great rebounding team, and to keep Dallas' guards out of the paint on rotations. He is also old, and I dont see him being able to play at that level for an entire series with Dallas.
Game 3 will be very important. If Dallas pulls out another complete victory, it could break the Spurs' will. If SA wins, they regain homecourt and keep Dallas from taking advantage of the opportunity that they created for themselves. That would shift momentum again with a big game 4 on the way.